It's been over a year since I moved to India, and I must say, I've handled it like a champ thank you very much. Oh, I've had my moments, but I have held it together very well considering I am a foreigner in a chaotic, congested city where none of my rules apply.
Like this week. Ben has to go out of town again. Normally, that would make me upset. This time, I just say, it's okay, I'll be fine. And I meant it, which is the strange part.
Well, today, my composure left me. I'm blaming it on the hormones of pregnancy compounded by the anxiety of being on my own.
I was on my way home from a nice outing with Jen and Addie (whose arrival in Bangalore has been a significant blessing for me) in a rickshaw with Simon. Ben had made me promise that I'd just call a car, but I was feeling cheap, stubborn, and like I needed some fresh air.
I agreed to pay 150 rupees to an auto driver to take me home, which is not the worst rip-off in history, but more than generous. As we headed out, it became clear that my driver did not know where he was going, which was a problem because I wasn't too sure either. But, I had an idea, so I yelled at him for agreeing to take me to Ramamurthynagar when he didn't know how to get there, and I decided I'd be fine, because I was pretty sure I could figure it out.
I began to creep over the edge when we got to the road I knew we should take and it was closed. The guy kept driving, but he didn't know where he was. I called Ben (this is where the tears started to set in) and he told me I should get out and get a new auto. So, I climb out, hand the guy 100 rupees (I thought that was fair considering I wasn't home), gather Simon and our bags and walk over to a waiting gang of autos. One guy agrees to take me, but not before driver #1 comes up to get the rest of his money. Now, I am sitting in an auto in who-knows-where, surrounded by 6 auto drivers who all want me to give the guy more money. But I didn't have any small bills, and I didn't want to rifle through my wallet while they all watched.
So, I started crying. I wasn't scared. I was mad, tired, pregnant, frustrated, and just generally over it.
That was the moment I was supposed to have in my first week here, not my last. But after a year of keeping my cool, I thoroughly embarrassed myself in the middle of a road somewhere in Bangalore. Simon found it all very curious.
As I was crying, my new driver had mercy on me and drove me away from the giggling crowd, and he got the 50 rupees I was supposed to give driver #1.