Vanessa and I went out to lunch, but I had to get back in time to pay the cleaning ladies for the big bottle of water that two of them delivered earlier. As the ladies were cleaning, my Kannada tutor came over to where I was sitting at the table and stood a bit behind me, reading my Kindle over my shoulder.

“…stepped into the room,” she said, reading a phrase.

“Yes,” I said, handing the Kindle to her.

“My friends and I were part of a…” she touched her finger to a word she didn’t recognize and the page turned. “Oh!” she said, handing it back to me.

I showed her how to flip the page and then went back to the word. “Bulgarian,” I said.


“People from the country Bulgaria are Bulgarians. Like India and Indians, America and Americans.”

“Bulgaria, Bulgarians." 

At this point one of the other cleaning ladies gave me a lesson in which buttons on the wall turn on the lights and the fans. Then they all giggled at my inability to use a fan in hot weather. 

There was a brief parting discussion about lunch. I was asked if I’d had rice (yes), and I told them I also had moong dal and paratha. Then we took a poll on favorite breads – with chapati being the clear winner.

It was a nice chat, and once they left I went to check and verify that, yes, my bed is made inside-out.