Street Encounters

Gina writes:

Today's post is an entry compiling a few funny things that have happened over the past few months involve encounters with our fellow Koraputians.

20 Questions
It's common for a young boy or girl to approach us as we walk along the streets of Koraput. If they are brave enough, they ask questions in English like, "Where are you from?" and "What is your name?" One particularly outgoing group of 10-year-old boys was curious about our taste in music. They asked, "Do you like Michael Jackson? What about Ricky Martin? The Jonas Brothers? Green Day? Do you like Bruce Springsteen?" It was hard to keep from laughing at the strange variety!

Car Accident
Sometimes our temporary companions are not so outgoing, but just as curious. One young girl of about 12 years was walking quietly beside me for a few hundred yards. She was staring at me while walking and I was pretending not to notice. However, it was impossible to ignore when she walked smack into the back of a parked truck! She was more embarrassed than hurt, but I think she did bump her face pretty hard.

Bicycle Accident?
This hasn't happened yet, but I can virtually guarantee that it will. A young man in his 20's is riding his bicycle toward me and sees me, the foreign white girl. He simultaneously a) slows down to a speed where he can't steer straight anymore and b) neglects to watch for objects/people/animals in front of him. There have been at least a half-dozen near collisions. I'm just waiting for the day...then he'll know what it feels like to have all eyes on him for a change!

Autograph Please
There have been three or more times when we've been approached by kids and asked for our autograph. In one instance, Corey and I each had to fill out a whole page of a girl's "friendship book" with our deepest secrets like our favorite color, our favorite movie star, and even our favorite food!

We've told our names to dozens of children in Koraput. While we can't even hope to remember their names or faces, some of them remember us. So there have been three or four times when either Corey or I are passed on the street by a kid on a bicycle shouting, "Hi Corey [or Gina], how are you?" It's always a surprise and always funny!

Word On The Street
On our walk home from work we pass through a small village, and once a week we bring some candy to give to the kids. So the kids in the village have started asking us for "chocolates" every time we pass through. The scary thing was when the kids near our house started asking us for "chocolates" too. Word gets around.

A similar thing has happened when we're coming home in an auto rickshaw. We'll tell the driver the standard "near the hospital" for the destination, but then he drops us off right in front of our house with no further instructions. Word gets around.

We just smile and wave...that's what we do all the time here...just smile and wave.