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Thursday, December 8, 2011

An Indian Kitchen

I've been thinking a lot about personal space and William Morris lately.  I painted many a rental apartment/house in my youth (cheap labor for the landlord) and have had a burning desire to hire painters since arriving here in Goa.  I forgot how soul-sapping it can be to live in an "ugly" environment, the sine qua non of William Morris's genius. So my drab apartment will do till late January when our time in India is up. I will appreciate all the more my lovely, personalized space when I return home, space that will be even more beautiful with the addition of Indian fabrics.

My son and I are living in a high-rent-district, an upper class neighborhood in the Indian equivalent of a mansion---in fact, it is called Peter's Mansion.  But this country is changing fast; it is seemingly in a time warp between the past and the future.  On tv, nearly all the commercials depict an India that seems to have no connection with our everyday experience here in Goa---the commercials look like people living lives in Europe or the US.  I can't even imagine how weird that must be for young Indians coming of age.  This country is making the leap from developing world to first world, seemingly in a generation.

The front of our house with my laundry (washed in bucket) hanging on line.  Could be art deco Miami, right?  We live on first floor.

 And here is our kitchen.  Note the green plastic two-stage water filter and super-charged Coleman stove for cooking.  The sink has two taps, only one of which works, with water that cannot be drunk without boiling.  I sterilize dishes in the bucket in sink.

Here is the bathroom that gives new meaning to the term indoor plumbing (note sink drain and drain in floor.  When you wash your hands your feet get wet!).  Below is "suicide shower" with a taped electrical element heating the water in the showerhead. 

So, it is probably obvious if you've been following the Indian posts that on weekends we often escape to beach "bubbles" of loveliness.  Next post, my daily walk to work.....