I’ll be honest, I was a little worried about traveling to India with Mantamy for two weeks. I mean, sure we’ve been friends for years, and yes, we did go to India two years ago with no problems, but still. Two weeks is a long time to be share a tiny space, amiright? . I just knew something would come up to test our friendship. I just didn’t expect it to be on DAY TWO.
So there we were, our second night in India, in our room at the Children’s Home. It’s a very comfortable place, but no frills. Mantamy was sleeping on a metal twin bed, and I had pulled my mattress onto the floor where it was cooler. The room didn’t have air-conditioning, but with a ceiling fan, it wasn’t uncomfortable.
This is the point in the story where Mantamy always interrupts and insists that you know two things. First, about 3 years ago while visiting India, she got Dengue Fever, which everyone knows is a virus spread by mosquito bites. And TWO, since it was Lent, I was fasting breakfast, which everyone knows is the time between when you get up to start your day and 11:00 a.m. Okay?
I woke up about 3:30 a.m. due to a variety of circumstances. A) I was still suffering from jet lag and 3:30 in the morning is about 2:30 in the afternoon US time. B) The electricity had gone out, thus no ceiling fan so the room was a bit hot. And C) someone in the neighborhood decided 3:30 a.m. was the perfect time to have prayer at the local Hindu temple. Or Mosque. I’m not sure, it was just loud wailing to me. So I got up to visit the restroom, and as I was walking back to bed, this THING, hair all askew, sat up and in a loud voice said:
Wow. At first I thought Mantamy was making some sort of prophetic proclamation, like “Where there is no wind, and by wind I mean PRAYER, the mosquito (or SATAN) will come!” But no, she just meant that the wind in the house, or as normal people call it – the CEILING FAN – had gone off and I should get under the covers.
Okeey dokey. Seriously, as if the wailing down the street wasn’t bad enough, who could sleep after THAT. This is when I realized that I was hungry. So quietly and covertly, I turned on my flashlight, found a granola bar, and got back in bed. To combat the noise outside, I put on my headphones and turned on my Ipod. Ahhhh, heaven. There I was, happily laying in bed, listening to worship music and enjoying my granola bar.
Unbeknownst to me, Mantamy and her bionic ears, could hear my granola wrapper. She said, “What are you doing?” Oblivious, I continued to eat. So she asks louder, “What are you DOING?” Again, I was in my own world, enjoying my evening. Finally, she yells, “SERIOUSLY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” Rude, amiright? I finally heard her, pulled off my headphones, and answered, “I’m eating a candy bar.”
To which she laughed hysterically, because she thought, erroneously, that eating at 3:30 a.m. is considered breakfast and I that I was cheating, which everyone can see is WAY off base. Thirty minutes later, she finally stopped laughing, I threw away my wrapper, and lay back down in the dark. Then I heard:
“And you want to know something else you do?”
You can imagine my enthusiasm. “Sure, what else do I do?”
“You make this weird breathing noise! You SIGH over and over.”
Day TWO and Mantamy doesn’t like the way I eat or breathe. After promising that I’d do my best during the rest of the trip to do neither, she finally allowed me to go to sleep. And sleep I did. A nice, relaxing, deep, sleep.
Until 8 a.m. when I awoke with a start because someone, with forethought and malice, was holding a granola wrapper inches away from my ear and making as much noise as possible.
Obviously, it’s only our great spiritual maturity that has allowed us to remain friends. That, and as annoying as we are, who else would we ever get to travel with us?