The work week here goes from Sunday through Thursday, so I thought I'd get to relax on Friday and Saturday. No such luck. I spent most of Friday with my bum parked in my work chair, conscientiously typing up a talking points document (that was subsequently ignored, oh well) and trying to organize my inbox. It's quite something to wake up to 50 emails full of screaming instructions, but fortunately I have absorbed the "insha'Allah" attitude here, which is equivalent to our "bahala na ang Diyos" state of Zen (although of course we usually say "bahala na si Batman").
Fortunately, a dear former colleague texted me with an invite to dinner with his family, so I leapt at the chance. He works in government, so we got a government jeep, and on the ride over he told me all about his being "on duty" at the ICC Cricket World Cup opening, which I saw on TV. It featured live singing acts -- including Bryan Adams of all people -- and looked like a heckuva good time. Not, apparently, when you're in uniform and expected to protect the Prime Minister, but hey, he got two free tickets that he gave away to junior colleagues, so I expect his popularity is in the stratosphere.
Dinner was most excellent. We started out in a small sitting room and had mega-spicy soup ("I like it!" I gasped sincerely, eyes watering) and chatted away. His wife and daughter were there, too, and I know the daughter as she goes to the university. Apparently, she'd only ever heard of me from her dad, with whom I worked frenetically in summer of '09. Anyway, they're a super nice, warm Bengali family, and soon enough I was chowing down shrimp, fish, beef, fried chicken, and fried rice at their dinner table. Even grandma was there!
Here's a picture of me with the daughter, A., and mommy, whose name I didn't quite catch, so let's call her Auntie. Also, my roundness is an optical illusion -- A. is really just that thin. Hah! Just kidding, I'm totally fat.
After dinner they pointed out all their trees -- mango, guava, and date trees -- and I got a necklace that looks like a giant crystal rosary without the cross. The evening was full of laughter. Bhai (kuya) and Auntie were always cracking up at random comments, and A. regaled us with university gossip. Although I'd intended to be home by 10, I got a ride back at midnight. Yikes! And then of course I worked for the next three hours, but that's boring.
Now it's Sunday, I mean Saturday, and I hope I'm done with work...ohpleaseohpleaseohplease