India Trip, part 4

Tuesday I woke up feeling very refreshed after nearly 12 hours of sleep. I was so surprised that it was 8am when I was stirred awake by my cell phone receiving texts from Rhonda about James having an earache. She wanted to know how we would handle it so he could go to sleep. After filling her in, David and I both headed downstairs to have breakfast and coffee.

It was another family day for us. We took it easy and headed to the community mall for lunch, and to see what it was like. On our way in, we had to walk through metal detectors, and bags and purses were check out by security guards. Once in it looked like any other american multi-story mall, except for the fact that it was open walled. So the stores had walls and doors, but on the two ends of the mall, there weren’t walls, just balcony type areas, just like you’re walking across a bridge.

We headed to the basement to go to one of the Clinch’s favorite little shops to hit up for a cheap, but tasty meal. It was our first experience of the attention that Layani draws whenever she is out and about. If you don’t know, Layani is this adorable blond haired, bright blue eyed little spunky girl, but she’s only about 2. She is very into looking at the Christmas displays that the mall still had up, so she and I hung around outside the restaurant for a little while looking at a some colorfully wrapped presents under a tree. While there, a few people stood back and just stared at her, some took pictures of her without asking. Monica shared with me later that a lot of people believe that having a picture of a white child will bring you good luck in life.

She eventually got tired of people staring at her, or she was missing her mom, so we headed into the restaurant where we went up some narrow stairs and sat in the upstairs section which happened to have a wall covered in a Barbie mural. Chris said anything that Indians deem as American is what they decorate with.

We ordered some of their favorite foods for us to try, David ordered some Chicken Fried Rice and I ordered a “Egg Chicken Wrap” which is basically an Indian chicken taco, but instead of being wrapped in a tortilla, it was wrapped in an egg pancake. The food was yummy, but I think I just really enjoyed eating at the same table as my brother and his family.

After we finished lunch we headed to a coffee and smoothie place that is owned and operated by another set of folks just trying to share the gospel. The kids and Monica shared a couple smoothies, and David and I each got a Caramel Macchiato, his was cold and mine was hot. Both were very tasty.

As we left the cafe, some teenages wanted to get a picture with Layani, Monica asked her if she wanted her picture taken with them, and she said a cute little “No.” and just continued on her way. It was so funny to hear the teens call out, “Please? She’s so cute!” and Ani just continue walking away.

Then we headed home where we put Layani down for a nap, a movie on for the other two kids, and the adults sat down for a couple rounds of Rummy Kub and good conversation.

Dinner that night was taco bowls with an Indian flare of course! Fun times around the table where I let Layani play with my hair some more, and we just talked. We finished the night out with bedtime for kids followed by movie night for parents and then hit the sack.

Or that was the plan anyway… That earache of James’ that I mentioned earlier? Yeah it had gotten worse, so I agreed with Rhonda’s decision to take James to go see her Doctor that day. We also FaceTimed with the boys to see how they were and to tell them that we loved them. They all seemed to be doing just fine. I asked her to keep me posted.

*We saw Indian sized servings for the first time. They are bigger servings, but you’ll see this “American sized single serving” feed a table of 4.

*At this time of the year, we were 10.5 hours ahead of EST, So Rhonda was texting me during her evening/night, and I would be just waking up or having coffee. The reverse was true too, I would check in with her as we were going to bed to check how the night went for her.

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