Paul went back to work after the long holiday weekend and I was all set to enjoy my first day here alone…
…that is until my doorbell rang six times.
First a man came to pick up my garbage. How nice. No need to bring it out to the dumpster; the complex sends a man around to every unit, every day.
About an hour later the bell rang again. This time there were two men that spoke to me in Hindi. After they realized that I didn’t understand them, one of them held up some mail in one hand and money in the other and said, “Diwali.” Apparently Diwali is like Christmas and I was supposed to tip them. I shook my head ‘no’ and tried to tell them I had just moved in. After they left, I realized I probably should have given them something just to ensure we received our mail in the future.
The third time it rang, it was the propane wala. The owner had told me that he comes about every two weeks so there was no need for us to communicate, or so I thought. After he switched out one of the tanks and I paid him he proceeded to speak. I shook my head and asked, “English?” Well no such luck. He just kept talking and I just kept telling him I didn’t understand. He finally rolled his eyes and turned toward the elevator. I closed the door and then wondered if he was looking for a Diwali tip too.
I got a reprieve for a couple of hours until the phone rang. With much effort from both parties, I finally comprehended that it was the technician the owner had called to fix the pump for the ‘rain shower’. About five minutes before he was expected, I got a call from the security gate. Though this person claimed to speak English, they didn’t. Finally, after several minutes, they let him into the complex.
Now while the technician and his worker were downstairs in one of the bathrooms, the doorbell rang again. WTF? This time it was a guy with a replacement drawer for the new refrigerator. Now he didn’t speak a lick of English either, but he had paperwork with him that I could read.
Last, but not least, the men showed up with our new mattress. It wouldn’t fit in the elevator so they had to carry it up twelve flights of stairs. Thank goodness Paul got home then and dealt with it.
English may be the national language in India, but most people I’ve encountered speak very little of it or none at all. This just confirms the fact that it would probably be a good idea to dish out the $500.00 for Rosetta Stone.
On another note, Paul came home with a bunch of homemade goodies. His rickshaw driver’s wife sent them as a thank you for the Diwali gifts I bought for their children. I don't know what they are called, but I call them delicious!