Back in India: Single White Female
By: Kerrie Olejarz
The drive to my accommodations was about twenty minutes. It felt great to finally be in Delhi, on the path to the future. As tired as I was from the traveling, the excitement and adrenaline took over. I knew it would be a long week until Mark arrived, but I also knew I was in good hands and looked at this as an opportunity to just do my cycle with no stress, no work, no laundry…just relaxing in India. We made it to my apartment and this is where things got a little squirrel-y. My driver, Rahul, and I opened the door to a couple of men standing there —strange but whatever, I thought. Rahul spoke to them and it turned out they were here to stay with me. Rahul’s words were “these men will sleep with you.” This really freaked me out. Here I was, alone in a strange Indian apartment, not really knowing where I was, and now I have strange men sleeping with me? I asked Rahul to ask them to leave and after a few minutes of intense Hindi they did. I felt bad, because I had no idea if they had any place to go, but I sure as hell locked the doors and breathed a sigh of relief once they were gone.
Rahul and I made plans for pick up the next day to meet Dr Shivani at the hospital. I was so happy to have Rahul with me and imagined having just taken an airport taxi and walking into this. I quickly settled in and fired up my net-book to gain Internet access. I could not wait to skype with Mark and tell him I was ok, albeit a little puzzled about the men who wanted to stay here. It was 2am in India, just after lunchtime at home, and Mark quickly answered my skype call. I gave him a quick video tour of the apartment. It was a great apartment –large –with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, a sitting room, a large dining area and two outdoor private patios. Mark immediately went into panic about the idea of the men staying with me. As I skyped with Mark the apartment landline rang. It was the apartment owner asking if all was ok. I explained my discomfort with the strange men and she told me they were my servants, that they would cook for me and do laundry, etc. After her call we did feel a little better knowing they were the help, but really had wished we knew in advance. Mark and I chatted for about one hour and then decided I should get some rest. We said our sad goodnights. I made my way into the bedroom and tried to sleep. The bed was super-comfortable –firm, like a board. I lay there thinking about all the previous surrogacy clients who stayed here and boasted about how wonderful it was. These thoughts calmed me down and eventually I fell asleep. I got a good solid three hours’ of sleep that night.
I awoke to knocks at the apartment door. I quickly made myself presentable, opened the door, and there they were, the gents from the previous night. They came in and just started about their day, making dal in the kitchen and not really acknowledging my presence. I felt awfully uncomfortable, especially being by myself. I headed into my bedroom and decided to make a coffee and chill on the patio off the bedroom. The air was still cool and the sun was getting stronger. The sounds of India were in full force, as were the gazillion pigeons. The combination of street noise, pigeons, and the other residents starting their days was incredible. Only in India will you hear this melody and I highly doubt it could be mimicked anywhere else. I pondered what to do. Should I stay here or move? I was severely uncomfortable and a final phone call from the owner helped me make my decision. She called in the morning to see how I was and mentioned that the other two bedrooms would be filled throughout the next twenty-four hours with single, male, travelers. I explained to her my discomfort with this and she assured me all would be fine.
But after the call I emailed Amit in Mumbai to let him know I wanted to move and asked if he had any recommendations. The apartment was great and the owner lovely, but this was just not for me. Within minutes Amit called me and we started organizing the move. He found me a hotel room within walking distance of the hospital; the price was a non-issue at this point. He booked it for me quickly and I could move later that day. I emailed Mark to let him know the update and he was just so pleased. We quickly skyped and were so thankful to Amit. It sucked we would be out money on the apartment, but I was here to cycle, in a relaxed environment, and I just did not think I could get this at the apartment. I needed to start getting ready to go to the hospital so I jumped in the shower and there was no hot water. I showered in ice water, quickly trying to shave my legs. If you have ever tried to shave your legs while ice cold water pelts you and goose bumps cover your entire body, you understand! I finished my ice bath and got ready to go meet Dr Shivani. I made sure all my stuff was packed up and ready to go. I decided to go have my meeting and ultrasound and then get the driver to help me move.
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