Today was my first Sunday in Sahakara Nagar (Saha). I had no plans what so ever. So I took a late afternoon walk around the area. I was feeling a bit blue. I am not yet capable of leaving the area. If I told a taxi driver a famous place in the city he could take me there. On the other hand, I have no idea how to tell them how to come back. Saha is much bigger than the five roads I have walked on. Without the Internet to supercharge the rate I consume information I am learning about my surroundings and Bengaluru rather slowly. Anyway, I resolved to explore my area further and to venture out next weekend.
Walking around the crummy places was fine. The people are non-threatening. Although the areas look trashy and dilapidated, I haven’t got a threatening vibe from anyone yet. They do dangerous things ALL the time, but not threatening things. Two guys running a banana stall commanded that I buy bananas. Then they charged me more than I had. Rather than allow me to haggle the price down they just gave me the bananas and told me to pay them tomorrow. At first I didn’t even want your bananas and now I owe you money. Bravo Banana men. I bought a new blanket to replace the sheet of mold I had been sleeping under.
I wasn’t feeling too well. The most meat I’ve eaten in almost a week was the topping on a pizza. Meat is hard to find. I went into a high-end food emporium. They had eight packages of boneless skinless chicken breast wrapped in food wrap on a Styrofoam tray. We all know that chicken grows on Styrofoam and naturally cuts itself into pieces and wraps itself into little packages without protest before it graciously gives its body to humans for dinner. I knew that the cleaned and packaged the chicken could be trusted. When I bought the chicken there was some fanfare. The chicken was carried for me to the touch screen computer where a man in business casual clothing complimented me and bagged the chicken for me. Then plop back into the crummy streets.
I noticed that the street dogs were following my bag with their eyes. I guess they faintly smelled the chicken and were curious. I saw one dog shivering with its tail down. These are signs of rabies. Rabies is 100% fatal if untreated in humans. An animal can have rabies for one year and spread it without showing any signs. A human can incubate for a long period of time as well. If rabies is not treated in a human in the first week and a half permanent brain damage or death can occur. I totally understand why Atticus Finch had to shoot that rabid dog in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Walking through the cray-cray (crazy) streets a boy greeted me with, “Hello Ana”. He was a student from the school named Viresh. I asked him where he lived and he pointed toward his house. This gave me more evidence that the area was poor. I was so happy to be greeted by someone. I had just been walking around sullen about the barriers to communication. Then I realized that rather then try to make friends in the area, a near impossibility, I actually have all the acceptance and friendship I could ask for in the children.