Thursday, December 20, 2012

A haircut

Today, I took Ethan for a haircut.  Now, admittedly, this is usually Brian's job, but since he is out of town, and I couldn't stand looking at Ethan's shaggy hair for one more minute....!  I took him to the barber down the street.
     This barber sets up under a tree, not far from our house.  There are also barber shops here (or hair saloons, as they are called..serioulsy that is not a typo..they call them "saloons"), but the shops will charge 2-4 times more for a cut.
     Now, for any of you who will tell me to cut his hair myself, there is a simple answer.  Brian can testify to the fact that hair cutting is not one of my talents.  I cut his hair, to save money when we were first married and lived in the US (*shudder*).  When we got to India and I found out the price of a men's haircut, I gladly retired from cutting his hair!  Ethan's haircut this morning cost about the equivalent of 40 cents!
Kara waiting impatiently for Ethan to be done
A picture of the kids on 12/12/12 at 12:12pm

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Winter (??)

A Maine winter...
                          OK..I will admit it.  I'm still a Maine girl at heart, so it's very difficult to call anything that doesn't involve snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures, winter.  But, we are in "winter" season here in Punjab. (Notice, I still had to put it in quotes!)
     Some people may be surprised that India experiences winter.  North of us is Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, both of these states get snow, but they are both mountainous regions.  Here in Punjab, we are living in the plains, so we never get snow.  Yes, I said it..a winter with no snow...sad, I know!   So, what is our winter weather?
     I have already posted about the summer here, and the summer for me is always an endurance test.  But, most people here, find the cold months as hard to bear, as I find the hot months.  People always ask me "Don't you feel cold?"  My answer is always, "Sometimes, but I like to feel cold!"
A pleasant October day
       Usually by September, the monsoon rains have stopped and the temperature starts its slow descent out of the high 90's.  October and November are extremely pleasant months, with the temperature ranging between 65-85 most days.  By the end of November, the day temp. won't rise above the 70's and the evening temps. fall to the 50's.  By December we have to pull out the sweaters!    This week, the temperature is hitting a low of 45 at night, and highs in the 60-65 in the daytime.
Visiting in a village...warming up village style!  Villages get colder than we do here in the city, because they are an open area.
     By the end of December it will dip close to freezing (around 35), but usually only for a few nights, while the highs will be in the 50's.  January is usually a very foggy, damp and miserable month.
Waiting for the train to Delhi on a cool morning in December
January fog
Some interesting things to note...our houses here have no heating system, and are not sealed.  So, whatever the outside temperature is, the inside temperature is not much higher.  Also, our house is brick, cement and tile, so when it is chilly and damp, it gets very chilly and damp in the house. Many others live in much less substantial shelter than we do, so they are even more affected by the cold.  We wear the same amount of clothes indoors, as we do outdoors, and it is very difficult to get clothes to dry. 

Thankfully, this type of weather only lasts about a month, and then by February the temperature will start creeping up again.
    The children have only seen snow a couple of times in their lives, and are hoping to someday visit the US in December and January, so they can experience a "real Maine winter"!!!