Day 20: Not-Grilled Cheese and Taco Sandwiches

Back at it again! Thank you for all the prayers and good thoughts that you sent. They must have worked because it is my first day without vomiting in almost a week! I was able to eat all day too #miracles. I was beginning to worry because I have lost quite a bit of weight. I barely recognize myself in the mirror. Where there once was biceps is now just sticks that I call appendages. Anyways, today was a great day in the hospital. The dentist-doctor was heading rounds (the one that is super-duper unnecessarily afraid of morphine toxicity) so I knew that I was going to see her cause unnecessary suffering by taking away people’s morphine. To my surprise, she was flaunting a new confidence about her clinical judgement rather than fear. It made a huge difference. She didn’t even decrease one person’s morphine. In fact, she even increased it for two patients that were actively dying. Because Therese has been so persistent in questioning her and offering advice, 6 people died without any suffering or pain in the last 24 hours. We may have finally made an impact on India!

The great thing about India is no one pays attention to what you are doing. Therefore, I was able to sneak out after rounds and run home to grab my bathing suit (spur-of-the-moment beach trip) and come back without anyone noticing. However, since people talk, it seems like everyone knows everyone’s business. I mean people would come up and ask how my morning yoga class was and I hadn’t even met them before. Crazy. Anyways, the rickshaw driver decided to take the scenic route back to the apartment, so my 15 minute, fifty rupee trip turned into a 45 minute and 140 rupee trip. Part of the reason for the long drive was that he slammed his brakes for the invisible car in front of us and my lunch hit the back of the seat and exploded everywhere. In his defense, he probably has less training about taxiing people than Uber drivers in the States, who don’t have training. I hate that I always get up charged for being a foreigner, sometimes even 3x as much. Still nowhere near uber prices.

After that, it was time for the beach! Therese, the UK girls Lucy and Amy, and I snuck out of work in our Indian bathing suits and rode to Kovallum, our favorite tourist beach. We also got beer and watched the sunset. I ordered a “cheese sandwich”, which you would expect to imply that it is a grilled cheese sandwich. No. It came out of the kitchen as cheese on bread. I actually laughed.  On the same menu they had pictures of tacos to represent their sandwich selection…which is totally wrong. Indians do not know what tacos are! My classmates constantly ask what I typically eat at home, and I always say tacos. Somehow they have never heard of tacos. What a lonely, sad life to live without ever embracing a taco by the mouth.Anyways, the beach was relaxing. I mostly went because my poor mother was in surgery and I didn’t want to sit at home waiting to hear news. She is out of surgery now and doing well! So thankful that she will be on track to healing. I can’t wait to see her next weekend to check on her.

I want to end this with some shocking news. I am not talking about the Trump Ban of laptops on all flights from Muslim countries, so I won’t be allowed to take my laptop on the plane next weekend (screw you; I did not want to spend 17 hours being productive anyways). I was talking to Ann, the lady who stays in the guest house, about arranged marriages. As I mentioned before, these are extremely common here, where families try to combine different properties and assets to help both families become more profitable. However, this means that families of the bride have to have a large dowry to make sure their child will be married off well. Because of this financial burden, having male children is more beneficial as compared to having a female child. This leads to female gendercide. Apparently, once the blood test or ultrasound tells them the sex of the child, they will opt to terminate the pregnancy, or if they don’t know and the child is born a female, they may give them up for adoption or, in rare cases, drown the infant. It makes my heart hurt knowing that money can drive people to do this. I hope to understand this more. I also hope in the future to bring one of those girls home with me.

On a lighter note, I get the weekend off to go explore by myself. I am excited to see the trouble I’ll get into. Stay tuned!


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