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A close shave

If you say there is no room to swing a cat in India… the answer would be, no, it’s no problem. Space in India is lived within an inch of your life. As we catch an auto into the city to get some stuff, we pass traffic so close that you can see every speck of dirt naturally graffitied onto the side. We nicely make contact with the rear of a motorbike and a hurried apology is made and we continue on our journey, if it’s a red light then take left slip road, then go straight across the traffic both ways and join the road, just a quick and unsafe way to skip the lights. The other trick to save time at the junction is to drive though the petrol station. We go a little further down the road and a motorcyclist wobbles as she over takes with her young daughter because the road has many bumps and dips. Some of which have what is probably the origins of the Grand Canyon. The car she wobbles beside slows down as she over takes, however gravity seems to be stronger as she fall over in front of the oncoming car as the bike falls on top of her daughter. The car skids to a stop and the wheel is inches away if not centimeters from crushing her head. The daughter screams and the traffic stops everyone jumps out and gives a hand to clear the scene a few seconds later they were standing at the side of the road, shaken, bruised with a few tears. Traffic resumes in the normal Indian chaotic chaos with the young girl’s shoe left in the middle of the road.

We attended the birthday celebration of our host’s daughter. She was 17 and the guest of honor was the retired chief of police for the state of Andhra Pradesh. He arrived with a few bodyguards with guns and when he left it was very late at night so the host and I travelled through the back streets of the city to show him to the main road (I was bare foot!), when we arrive at the road we ran out of petrol and so the saga of getting home commenced.

The plan tomorrow is another short trip into the city, 60 orphans will be sleeping on the ground floor tonight. The family we are staying with were asked if they could accommodate 4 orphans for the night while they had a look round the city on an educational trip. The phone call this morning revealed it was actually 60! On Wednesday night we are going South to the orphanage at Coimbatore. We will leave Secunderabad at 4pm on Wednesday by bus and arrive in Coimbatore at 8am on Thursday, hopefully without too much of a hitch.

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