Group picture after climbing up to Toad Rock on Mt. Abu, where we took our 6-week retreat.

The lady in the sari is a local...the white lady is a social work professor at Columbia who did a Fulbright in Mumbai last year and is now visiting Mt. Abu on vacation. She made friends with the locals on this mtn. last year when she was here...and now she is taking their son to visit NYC for a month. When she introduced herself, I immediately noticed her unmistakable old-south accent. She grew up in Chattanooga, and even after 17 years in NYC she still has this glorious, sing-songy voice. So, on this obscure little mountain in India, 3 SEC states were represented- Bama, Florida, and TN.

Speaking of Southern connections, lots of Indians I've met have an Alabama connection. My boss, Prakashji, just told me yesterday that his best childhood friend is a nephrologist at UAB. And a man in our accounting department informed me on Monday that his sister and brother-in-law live in Birmingham. (Actually, their anniversary is coming up and he wants to give me 1,000 Rs and have mom pick out a present and deliver it to them...as opposed to spending hundreds of dollars to ship it across the ocean like we frugal Americans do. Smart Idea...mom I'll discuss this with you later...) He told me that they were thinking about moving to Milwaukee and I told him to tell his brother that that would be a very poor decision.

AND, best of all, I met a man who was vacationing with his family in Mt. Abu who got really excited to meet an American...and got really, really excited to hear that I was from Alabama. "I used to live in America," he said. "What part?" I asked. "New Jersey. My son was born in New Jersey. And I lived in Detroit and lived for some time in North Carolina." I figured he was probably a doctor, engineer, or some kind of IT professional. "I was a manager of Dunkin Donuts, and my wife worked behind the counter!!" he informed me. So much for my racial profiling of Indians.

"You don't have many Dunkin Donuts in Alabama. I bet you miss their coffee," he said.

"I do miss American food," I answered. "Do you miss America?"
"I miss America so much," he replied, "I miss McDonald's and the roads in America are so good. And I miss Dunkin Donuts. You did not eat Dunkin Donuts in Alabama?" he asked.
"No, sorry. But, I used to eat a lot of Krispy Kreme my freshman year of college. It made me fat," I said.
"I have a very good friend in Alabama. He owns a Shell gas station," he said.
"Oh, really? Where?" I said.
"South Alabama. I don't remember his name," he said.

1 comment:

Pam said...

Always glad to see a pic with you and know that you are still alive and kickin...sweet home Alabama misses you.