Thursday, August 20, 2009


Moving ahead here. Matan's better. The doctor's phone number is definitely a clinic nearby for the next time (I called to verify the place his insurance recommended). Talked to lots of people and felt connected again.

Talked to the cello store in Kolkata and made sure I know how to get there. They said people travel with cellos on planes, as far as they know, as long as a ticket is purchased. The Kolkata-Dhaka ticket will probably be the cheapest way we ever ship a cello. So I bought the tickets: two round-trips on Thursday afternoon, and one one-way for Cello Peleg for Saturday morning with us on the way back. Now to get a hotel reservation (I'm waiting to hear back from a place on the same street as the cello store, with an airport shuttle).

And then I went to the market. Picked up my new outfit. Went grocery shopping, Bought way too much (ie, more than I can carry easily) and still had to pick up the carry-away supper. Yummy fish curry and pecan chicken. The rickshaw wallah argued about the price and a woman stopped to help. She picked up my many, many bags and carried them up the five flights of stairs. OK, I understood that she might want something in return. The apartment was being cleaned by the person the landlord offers, and she couldn't help translate.

I just couldn't let this opportunity pass by because I was shy, so I knocked at the next door neighbor's. So much help! One person translated, that yes, she is looking for work and needs it. She wants to work 7 days a week, 8 hours a day, for more than I wanted to commit to, at this point. So we negotiated it down to 8-2, for a monthly salary of less than what I'd be paying for a weekly load of laundry and a weekly cleaning, per month, by way of the landlord. And she would cook, too! I still feel like there must be a catch. Then the next-door neighbor dad came and started questioning her and said I mustn't be so trusting.

They're almost done with their visit and returning to the States (LA!) next week. Still after the interogation and agreeing to meet the landlord tomorrow morning at 8am, we might have this problem worked out. I'm not sure how I feel about someone being here every day, we could cut it back a day and still pay the same amount and that would be fine with me.

Anyway, we're invited over to chat and he has a few more warnings for me. I'm a bit shaky, but I seem to be moving in the right direction with lots of things today.


  1. my husband's family lived in southeast asia and they had a woman who cooked and cleaned for them. They tell me it was completely normal...even expected. and they talk about her with real fondness and affection. I'm sure you'll get used to it.

  2. I hope so. It's incredibly awkward right now, but she made great pancakes after I put together the ingredients. Wonder if we can go on to General Tsao's for lunch?!