All hail Helen the fearless cockrach killer!
After all of that ‘I’m a hardcore traveller’ stuff in the last post I went home that night and there was a massive cockroach on the floor. So what did this hardcore travelling person do? Got on my chair and screamed until my flat mate caught it under a bowl! We had been told that if you squish them then their babies come out and you end up with 10 of them instead of one, so we put a table and suitcase on the bowl and left it there. Because I am outdoor survivor lady I then called my mummy 4 times on her mobile in Italy (still 02s best customer even out of the country I think) to find out how to kill it. Apparently we had been lied to. My flatmate squished it the next morning and I spent all night waking up paranoid that a cockroach had got into my mozzie net. I now call my flatmate the cockroach killer as she killed another last night and is becoming a bit of a pro. If you put them under a bowl first they get sleepy and easier to kill. They also FLY and walk up walls. As mummy said they survived the ice age so they are harder than us. However we are bigger which is a relief.
We are going to see the refuge for the girls who have court cases impending tonight. They cannot leave the shelter home because they are testifying against the mafia and other criminal organisations, consequently there is quite high security there. It looks like we might be working there. The children have their own organisation which they run and we have been asked to help them to make some publicity material such as posters and leaflets so they can further their cause. Furthermore I will be doing art therapy with them (courtesy of the Priory and Broadway Lodge!!) and teaching them how to discuss issues in large groups (courtesy of UK NA region). I am also writing an article on recovery for the NA magazine which is published for Calcutta NA. Am quite busy really!!
Last night we went to Pizza Hut which was bizarre in itself. Tomorrow night I go to a women’s meeting of NA. There is a real stigma attached to being an addict here, let alone a female one so it feels really important to support the 4 other women in the fellowship here and get to meetings. There is also no step work done here, which really pushes my holier than thou buttons!! Luckily the culture shock is still stopping me acting out on any of this.
So I am almost through my first week! It is weird, I see what I think is a shack in the slums because there is only one room and the roof is corrugated aluminium and then I realise that the house in question is a very good house because it has a waterproof roof. Indeed even having a roof over your head is a privilege in this city. I have now taken taxis on my own, it is much safer than Delhi or Mumbai because there isn’t a tourist industry here. The beggars just annoy me now and I have started to dress in Indian men’s clothing, as a western woman this seems to get me a lot more respect, especially if I am quite macho and bolshy with it.
Hopefully I will upload the pics soon so you can all have a good laugh at me!!