21 September, 2008

Paying the rent

My weekly donation of thirty-plus hours to NHPR isn't entirely conducive to a steady part-time job. Enter, Craigslist gigs: one of the riskier, but more interesting ways to put a few dollars in the pocket.

Take I: Hampton Falls Jumper Classic and a better-left-unnamed traveling saleswoman from Pittsburgh and I; a makeshift boutique under a party tent with blouses, bags and bangles to be peddled; two days and nights of rain and wind alla Hurricane Ike and one endless long weekend. Retail--not my thing.

Take II: Bean Farm Road in tiny Meriden, NH, a self-catered wedding. The setting was classic New England; everything else, however, was far from run-of-the-mill. Upon arrival, I was promptly ushered by a pair of men in traditional Indian dress into a bustling kitchen, ablaze with purple, green and gold saris, warmed by smells of simmering curry and abuzz with laughter and chatter in a language not my own. For five hours, as I chopped, squeezed, baked and served alongside the bride's aunts--who, I learned hail from eastern India--I felt welcomed into a culture where family and food are paramount. The womens' voices stayed with me on the midnight drive home on Route 89, as did aromas of cumin and curry, wafting from Ziplock bags of chickpeas, rice and naan in my backseat.

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