We found a tuk tuk driver this morning who we liked and asked him if he would be my guide tomorrow and take me around to some of the local attractions. Driver Kumar is friendly and says my name is very good. We will meet him at our breakfast place, Kalyani Veg, in the morning. Kalyani Veg is reminiscent of a New York deli with big booths, well dressed servers and a variety of menu options. Very cheerful place.
After Rahul went to work I wandered a bit around the neighborhood. I was delighted to find the side streets to be quiet with good air quality. I browsed a clothing store for a bit and then found a road where big mansions lined the streets. It was nice to be able to walk without dodging cars, sidewalk rubble and beggars. I walked down Lane 4 then Lane 3. As I turned onto Lane 2, near the Osho Ashram, I saw two non-Indian men walking toward me. They were talking but then, suddenly, one of them turned in recognition, raising his arm up in a high five and said “It’s you! How are you doing?” I had never met him but I liked his vibe and wanted a friend so I just went along with it. He asked if I wanted to get some tea and I said sure knowing that Sweet Chariot Cafe was nearby. As we walked I came clean that I was not the person he thought I was. He insisted, “Didn’t we meet in Pushkar or Goa?” both nice, touristy areas in India. I said no, I’d only been in India one week. His name is Teddy and he is from Eritrea but came here from South Africa. He studied Anthropology and then ended up staying. His friend, whose name I forgot, is from Kenya. He has been studying Business in Pune for the last two years. It was nice to make some new friends.
We went to Rahul’s friends house for dinner, his college buddy Crack and his wife Elka. They have a very successful business designing and manufacturing industrial pipe. They are sweet and interesting people but I found the night challenging as Dingo, their amazing barking dog, took over most efforts for a conversation.