24 November, 2009

Back in Action

The title makes me sound like I was off and running.  But I wasn't.  I had the taxi pick me up, my old standby driver, Omvir.  He stutters a lot and drives through Delhi traffic while talking on his phone. For those of you who have never been here, that takes a lot of magic, a lot of talent or a lot of plain stupidity. He MUST wear his seat belt, but he has removed the seat belts in the back seat, because they are not required by law. So I figure angels are watching over me as they always have in the past and relax. What else can one do when his or her life is in constant danger, but has no way of controlling the situation? Either relax or have a heart attack. Reading books are good in these situations.

I went to the Delhi Network, a woman's organization.  This is the organization women from all countries come and connect to swap stories, complain, help newcomers and set up travel destinations for the group.

It is better than the American Club, because the American Club has segregated itself to only American women. I like the idea that we are able to see the problems women from other cultures have in India. Because many of the problems are the same, it breaks down racial, ethnic and cultural barriers.

Men can come too, if they are stay at home dads. But they tend to be a bit suspect, if not by  the women, then by their husbands.

However, the language in common for all these cultures is English, and today I met a woman who speaks no English. She was raised behind the Berlin wall and the second language they were expected to learn was Russian. Luckily I speak German so I suggested we get together a few times before I leave. But she will have to learn English if she and her husband decide to stay in India.

It must be tough to be in a foreign land and have to learn a language that is also foreign to the majority of the inhabitants. That does not mean to say that Indians don't speak English; the educated do certainly and those who want to work internationally. The rest speak a few words, learning only what is necessary to do their job.

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