Skip to main content

Avelina

I shot her a cursory “buenas dias!” My biggest concern was that I’d messed up the gender of “dia" -- rookie mistake. She had a whole day of housework ahead of her.

“Avelina will prepare lunch for you." She'd already made my breakfast. "You can eat with her and practice your Spanish!” said my aunt, and later, “if you don’t want any of the fruits from the fridge you can give them to Avelina.”

The “quick lunch” she “whipped up” as I sat at the table texting my friends was absolutely rico. Fish, vegetables, potatoes, rice -- and a lime garnish on the side! I found her squatting in the kitchen eating a meager version of the same. “Avelina, come eat with me!”

She came to the table upon my request and may have felt a bit like a queen to be drinking bottled water and offered Coca-Cola, which she denied. (She had been in the hospital for an ulcer recently so she doesn’t drink black drinks anymore.) “Would you like to try this rice from my country?” I pointed at the leftover Indian rice on my plate. I hope she didn’t know that I was offering because I didn’t want any more.

She loved it. She wondered how to make it. She had never tried Chinese food. Somewhere in her stream of Spanish, she complained that her floor-length black cotton dress had gotten soaked in a toilet somewhere during the day -- she started her sentence with the words “eso es . . .”

I swear I heard “SOS.”

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Bygones -- by Marina Keegan

I had a dream the other night that I was checking my email.

That dream sucks.



And woke to woes of seniors writing

love songs for tomorrow and

Tomorrow and the melodies

That flirt us forward, whispering

the next thing and the next thing

and  – so we beat on

birds flocking south until we

circle round and realize maybe

maybe all that running wasn’t worth it.



Maybe we should build a cabin.

Or teach high school.

Or use our hands.

My palms are smooth as words –

Weak with fashion and double spaces.



I want everyone else’s club and job and class

The grass I sleep in always browner than

Than that around erasing dreams

To sit and breathe because you

Only bank for two years then it's over

And twenty two is nothing new

It’s just another chance to build

For when we’re twenty three

And twenty four

And time begins to sell for more than

Any 9 a.m. to never.



We’re not stuck.

That's the thing, we're not stuck.

We owe no one our nothings.

Yale will be what it was,

Gothic dreams of lucky, of…

Day 351: You can place your bets, world.

I started the day with a grave mistake -- eating butter chicken for breakfast. Those ten minutes of scream-inducing euphoria were hardly worth the sluggish pace and sessile nature of the rest of my day. I attempted to counteract the unfailing lethargy which results from consumption of Punjabi food by swallowing down some coffee ice cream, thereby only adding to my foods-that-should-not-be-eaten-for-breakfast list and exacerbating the problem.


We left home before noon for Shenandoah National Park, with hot air ballooning dreams for the day. We soon learned, however, that due to impending thunderstorms, this mission would not be successful. We instead spent the day exploring the side of the park we've never seen before.


We had a lunch of fried chicken at one of the park's rest stops before piling back in the car and driving around some more. At a lookout point, we met a park ranger who showed us the coat of a lynx found in the park and suggested a trail for us to hike. We fou…

My Move to Mumbai: Frequently Asked Questions

Hello, dear readers!

By now, you've probably heard the news: in Ratna's-gap-year fashion, I've taken a leap and moved to Mumbai for a one-year consultancy with Aangan Trust, a nonprofit that works to make sure that even the most vulnerable child has the right to a childhood free from trafficking, child marriage, child labor, and abuse.

Transitions are tough, and it turns out that this one is no different, even though it's one that I've chosen for myself and been very excited about for a while. It's one thing to pack up your bags from New York and move to a new place in Mumbai; it's quite another to adjust to the daily reminders of the little things you don't yet understand about where you live, and the small ways in which you don't fit in.

Part of what has made the transition tricky is a stream of (well-intentioned) questions that sometimes make me feel like I have to justify why I made the choice to be here. These can be hard for me because someti…