This morning we had two great sessions of learning from Bob Heppe, the founder of the work here in London. He is very wise, having been here fourteen years, and is a wealth of knowledge about the Sikh, Hindu and Muslim cultures.
This afternoon, we visited the neighborhood of Wembley (home of the stadium). We were given a map of the area and instructed to eat an Indian meal and do cultural exploration. We had such a great time, and were able to have chats with several people. In fact, John met two people that he had met last year on this trip! One of them even remembered him and the things they talked about.
For lunch, I had sheekh kebab with salad and naan bread. BOY, was it spicy! Oooo, my mouth was really burning and I was sweating. Don't worry, I played it cool. Didn't let on. I like to blend into the culture like that.
Then we visited a sari shop that is closing its doors. I spoke with the owner, asked question about the saris and the shalwar kameez (traditional Punjabi dress). She is closing her brick and mortar store to go online. I was able to buy an adorable tiny kameez (long shirt) for Lucy for £3 (that's about $6).
Another of our assignments was to buy something after haggling on the price. So I bought a tiny string bracelet that the guy wanted to sell for £1 and I ended up paying 50 pence. Hmmm. I think I still got ripped off, because another girl bought about 8 bracelets for £2. Oh well, anything for relationship, right?!
Then John and I stopped to speak with a man selling Bollywood videos. So we asked him who his favorite actress is and why, and asked him to suggest a good, classic Bollywood video for us. We talked with him for so long that we really felt that we had to buy something, so we got a video (probably some illegal copy!) for £5. He was from Bombay (also called Mumbai), but has lived in UK for 20 years!
The most fun thing I did, and I still can't believe I did this...I had my eyebrows threaded in an Indian beauty salon! This is a method of shaping/plucking eyebrows using a thread instead of tweezers. WHY did I do it?! Well, my eyebrows were in terrible shape, something I noticed on the plane on the way over. Oops. Anyway, I had heard of this method before and the sign outside the shop said it was only £2.50! That's $5! So cheap. Anyway, I had a moment of panic as I sat in the chair, wondering if I was going to come out with no eyebrows at all. But the girl was sweet and quick and it looks great. Crazy!
More to come later, and hopefully some pics. Leave me a comment if you read this, and let me know if you're praying for us. Tomorrow night we will be going door to door in these neighborhoods!