Friday, February 4, 2011


Normally, I’d be sharing a T.G.I.F. moment (THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY) with all of you today, but that’s hard to do when realizing like I did this morning that I’m about one more bathroom session shy of having to go Indian style from here on out.   For those of you that don’t know what “Indian” style is over here, the easiest way I can describe it would be to think of my hand as my toilet paper. of the reasons I wanted to come up here was to appreciate some of the little things I take for granted back home, but I can say toilet paper is something I’ve always appreciated, especially the extra soft kind at my parent’s place.  
Honestly, I knew at some point I’d be put in this predicament.  I only brought 2 travel size rolls of toilet paper for a 4 month stay in India and as a “weak stomach Westerner,” you’d be lucky to have an amount like that last a week, but here I am going on almost 4 weeks and I’d say that’s quite the accomplishment. As tempting as it might be to put this accomplishment on my resume when I’m back home since I think it’s a perfect example of maximizing product output and that’s a good thing in business to do, I’ll avoid the temptation.  Despite my low inventory right now, I do still have hope of finding an adequate toilet paper substitute in the next few days and if I do, it will be a win/win for everyone.  The benefit for me is pretty obvious and the positive for everyone else would be that since I’m left handed, they could avoid shaking what would end up being my “toilet paper” right hand.  If your thinking a way around this “handshake dilemma” would be for me to just use my left hand for “the act” instead of my right hand...I say to you that request is no different from me asking you to golf left handed instead of right handed and unless your Ryan Fritz, we both know the result that would come from would be messy. 

Ok...enough about toilet paper.  Sorry.  One thing I have been trying to remind myself to tell everyone about are a couple special helpers we have at the Howrah Station by the name of Mike and Mak Tock.  Both of these guys I guess you could say are residents of the Howrah Station, meaning they are homeless, and they meet us every morning right after our platform run in the middle of the railroad tracks.  Mak Tock is a pretty goofy character and the fact that his wardrobe only consists of a shirt long enough to cover most of his upper half should be enough information to reinforce this to you.  One day our team put pants on Mak Tock, but the very next day, he greeted everyone pantless yet again so we’ve given up in this area.  To each their own right?  

Mike, our other “homeless humanitarian,” is my favorite. I’d guess he’s about 18 or so, but it’s hard to say since the streets have a way of making the young look old and the old look even older.  Mike doesn’t talk and so the team actually gave him the name “Mike,” which of joke...was short for Mike Tyson since when they first found him he had a fat lip.  With this said, it would only make sense then that Mike would follow me, Tyson, on my routes every day, as he does.  Mike Tyson humor aside though, Mike is actually a great sidekick to have and me saying this has nothing to do with the fact that I enjoy the knuckle pound we do every morning, or the fact that he carries my supply bag every day or even that he makes me a handmade cross every now and then.  The great thing about Mike is that he is a true “humanitarian” and you can tell that he cares, strike that...he CARES MORE about helping the people at Howrah.  Sure...we give him a hardboiled egg and some other munchies everyday that might motivate him to tag along with us, but just a few days ago, Mike gave up the egg we gave him on his own initiative to another homeless lady that we missed initially.  I’s one thing for me to give an egg to someone, but it’s a much more powerful act of generosity and humanitarianism for Mike to do it I think and that’s awesome to see.

Well...I've got a toilet paper substitute to find so gotta run.  Happy Friday to all and Go Zags!

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