we were in gulmarg, kashmir this past weekend and it was a respite from the pollution, from the touts, from the traffic, from the deception, from the ad hoc-ness. we returned monday afternoon, descending through a thick blanket of brown. we purchased a pre-paid taxi voucher inside the airport and proceeded to wait outside in the very long line. the taxis were not queuing; instead, they were waiting down the street for permission to queue. when we pushed our way to the front and demanded a taxi assignment, the taxi drivers refused to take us because our proximity to the airport meant they would not earn much money on the trip. my boyfriend stopped one taxi by blocking it with his body while i hopped in and dragged my bag inside. the taxi driver nearly refused to drive until i began shouting at him. once we arrived home, i had cooled off a bit and gave him a 12% tip (tips are still uncustomary). he began arguing that the tip was insufficient. we hauled our bags out and went inside.
that's one example of how india has gotten to me. when we pointed out the inefficiency and unfairness of the taxi system, we were targeted as trouble makers. when i feel moved to be kind (tip), it rarely suffices. when i agree to help out (ballet performance), the other party doesn't honor their word. when i want to stop fake drugs, the government officials deny the problem. when i'm walking down the street, unknown men approach me and consider me rude when i don't respond.
i consider it God's grace that i'll be in the US for awhile. i pray for an attitude of hope and grace.
I hope you are feeling refreshed and blessed. Nothing like getting refueled before returning.
I miss you, Sarah. You know, Chris and I are pretty out of the mainstream now, and we feel like our eyes are opened to a lot of scams in the US. We've gone through phases of anger and frustration. People are fallen, and people are everywhere. I feel like I have come to a place where I can accept that more. It's probably easier because I'm in my own culture. I'm in a place where I can really believe that everything I do matters desperately, but the outcome is not my responsibility. It's given me a lot of peace. I hope you find some rest and renewed energy!
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