Sunday, April 20, 2008

Culture Club

Trying an Indian treat.

So at work, I sit next to this girl named Heather, who is our events manager. She just started at the job a month or two ago and she amuses me stories about her life, in particular, the clubs that she's in (who is in any club, let alone multiple clubs?).

She and her marketing friends started a "Culture Club". The idea is that one person will plan a day-long event that will educate the group about one culture. What's so great about living in New York City is that you can actually experience many of these cultures firsthand--usually by going outside of Manhattan. (As far as Heather's other club, apparently, some of her friends were jealous of "Culture Club" and so they decided to start another club called "Girls Day of Fun" which is just about doing fun things like flower arranging.

Since everyone at work knows that I am trying to write a "Polish-themed" book, Heather thought I would be a perfect candidate for Culture Club and so me and this other work-mate Sarah decided to go along for the ride. This month, the theme was Om Sweet Om, and based on the clever name and cute email that went out, I determined that these girls were complete marketing geeks. (And yes, it takes one to know one).

This morning, the ten of us met at Grand Central--and Kara, the organizer of this event, led us on an Indian adventure. First, we headed to Little India in Queens were we walked along the mainstreet and explored shops selling gold jewelry, Bollywood video rentals, saris and exotic sweets. My favorite was visiting the grocery store where they sold giant bags of rice and wild ingredients that made me want to cook up some Indian food. (I have never cooked Indian food before nor aspired to do so, so that was very exciting for me). We ducked into a random beauty shop where most of us got henna tattoos.

I got one on the inside of my wrist. I wasn't sure what to expect, but basically, this woman grew a pretty design on me, almost like someone would decorate a cake. The henna is black and comes out of a tube. It takes about a half an hour to dry, so on the way back into the Manhattan, we were all sitting and standing with our arms out on the subway like we were holding platters of food. The black stuff turned all crusty and once someone started to pick at theirs, then the rest of us did too and when the black stuff came off, it revealed the orange design. The woman at the beauty shop said that the color deepens based on your body temperature. I think they're supposed to last about a week. I like mine.

In the city, we took a beginner yoga class. Luckily my foot has not been acting up too much today, even with all the walking, and the gentle stretching was probably the best thing that I could do for it and it relaxed me as well. The girls were heading for some Indian dinner afterwards, but Dan and I had alternate plans, so I headed home after that.

I liked the whole idea of "culture club" and of course, by the end of it, the girls were asking me when I am going to plan Polish Day.

Getting my henna tattoo.

A closer inspection.

Drying it out.

Me, grimy after yoga class, and the final tattoo.

1 comment:

Annette said...

I want to be in the club! I'm so jealous!