On Tuesday and Wednesday, Kolkata had city-wide bonds, or strikes, which basically shut down the city's transportation systems. No buses, no auto-rickshaws, no taxis. And rumors of violent demonstrations between rival political parties. All things considered, Beth advised us to stay close to home on these two days. Sounds boring...and okay...maybe it was a little boring, but the way I see it, there are a few crucial ingredients to making a lock-down at home a success. One, crayons and a coloring book. Two, good music. Three, a roommate like mine.
Consider this post a tribute to my roommate, Sheila Nicole Yoder. Without her, my time in Kolkata would be much lonelier, and I would be stuck processing the theology of pain (among other things) with the bedroom wall.
Sheila and I did many fun things on Tuesday and Wednesday. (Oh boy, this is starting to sound like a grade school report.) We played hopscotch, and we chased boys, and we fell down and scraped our knees, and we also colored. Acutally, I'm lying about all those things except the last. We really did color. See picture below.
JBU buddies Nicole, Robbie, and Sarah sent me a coloring book and crayons a few weeks ago. Turns out I really like coloring. After completing a few masterpieces which I will soon be sending to friends in the States, I wanted to keep going. Then, Sheila and I had the great idea to color a picture for each person on our team. (Um, we had a lot of time on our hands.) This morning, when we ventured out of the house for the first time in over 50 hours, we presented our handiwork to the team. As you can see, the response was overwhelming. We are thinking about launching our own website, and yes, we will be shipping to the continental 48.There was only one tense point in the entire duration of our holiday at home. That would be the point when Sheila beat me at Speed Scrabble for the fifth time in a row. I was an English major for crying out loud! These losses hurt my pride. Those who know me well (aka my family and a few close pals) know that I can respond rather vehemently to losing. Once, at a coffeeshop, I burst into tears when I lost a round of Scumbags and Warlords. I was 18. But, ahem, I'm doing much better now. Sheila and I, like all good conflict resolvers, worked things out and moved onto the next thing. In this case, a little Johnny Cash on the iPod was enough to mend the broken bridges.
In one final accolade of my roomie, I would like to praise her hair-braiding abilities. French braiding is a girl skill that has somehow managed to evade me these 23 years. I just can't do it. But Sheila, she can plait one fine French braid. With her skillz, we were able to enjoy the days off with matching hairdos ...oh yes...I know, the excitement is almost too much. Almost.I don't know, what do you guys think? Maybe we could open up a hair salon on the side of our art venture. I mean, neither of us quite know what we'll be doing after December. We're open for suggestions...