We went to ben t's school today via rickshaw. The driver claimed to know what we wanted and we knew enough to get him started. He went off in a congested and totally unnecessay direction before we convinced him to ask others for help. We ended up on a very crowded, major street that I knew was beyond the range of where we needed to be. Still, having left early, we got to the school with plenty of time for ben t. to write his English placement test before the orientation began.
Met with other parents a bit. We're pretty much out of our league here -- they're coming with drivers from places close-by (the really upscale neighborhoods), but we've arranged, at least, a pickup point for ben t. to get on the school's bus transportation. At least one of the parents was shocked that we came by rickshaw this morning, but ben t's going to have to do that to get to the pickup point.
He also took a math placement test and I was able to get his most recent transcript from the online system in MN. At first I blanked on the passwords, but it came back. Got him out of the French placement test, too. But since his math placement depends on today's test, we have to go back tomorrow afternoon.
Got a lot of little errands done, in typical Bengali fashion, the hard way. The next rickshaw driver took us totally out of the way (but at least on this tour we saw where the earlier one had missed the turn!), and eventually got us to the point we'd asked for. It was noon and hot and I was not doing particularly well with the crowds. The first atm rejected the withdrawal request (my sister asked me about yesterday's negotiation with the driver, was it really about 30 cents? - and I realized that it was more about not having much money or change for today, so I really needed to approach having cash differently). Then a guy turned up to help us. Actually, he really did help us. He found the right atm and then asked what else we needed to do -- passport pictures, photocopying, sim for the ben t's cell -- and guided us through the maze. Even lunch, and he joined us for lunch, which was in a place I'd never have seen and probably wouldn't have dared - it just looked too fancy. Cost $7 for all three of us and there were leftovers. That was pretty much the end of what we had energy to do, so we also took his recommendation of a rickshaw driver -- one who spoke English and pointed out many landmarks, including the pick-up spot for ben t's school bus. We got to the local pick-and-pay, got laundry soap and walked home.
I'm trying to stay awake now (at 8:30 pm) since I did take an hour nap, or maybe it was 3 hours. Didn't feel like I was asleep until the last hour. Need to sleep through the night tonight.
Cooked supper here. need to learn about the spices. keeping in touch with folks by skype. haven't unpacked and organized, but I think I'll spend some morning time on that tomorrow. Today I postponed the meeting that seemed impossible to get to, and I may pass on the one tomorrow morning and just go to ben t's afternoon counseling at his school. slowly, but surely.