We returned inside the station and sat next to each other but on opposite benches.
We had broken the ice and started to inquire about each other work and employer. (I will keep that private). Still, Suma did not waste time and worked diligently. We were both in software development and we shared very short demonstrations of our projects to each other.
Our impatience grew and the bus from Peoria had not arrived. Suma shared a picture of her son, and I showed how the picture could be cropped so that the focus becomes on her son instead of the door, the alarm o’clock on the cupboard.
She showed me a picture of her wearing a beautiful India saree. Next to her stood a man wearing an untucked shirt and a pair of jeans. What a contrast! I abhor the picture of a woman that spent time prettying herself and put colorful clothes and matching jewelry next to a man that really does not care how he appears. The worst is a man wearing a t-shirt on which I Love NY or something else is written and standing next to a beautifully dressed woman. I told Suma to demand that, from now on, her husband must to wear traditional Indian clothes or a suite and a tie. She laughed.
Why don’t many men care how they look in pictures with their beautifully dressed spouses? Pictures are better when all family members are neatly and nicely dressed and groomed.
At 10:35 AM and almost an hour late, the PCC bus finally arrived, and we got inside after the driver placed our suitcases in the luggage compartment. Once inside, I asked Suma to sit on a seat on the opposite side of mine, and she graciously accepted.
I learned that Suma first got a BS in Pharmacy but later switched to information systems in graduate school. That interest in medicine resulted in her cosmetic and hair stylist sideline jobs. She even worked in a beauty salon. She showed me two black, beautiful, and long hair styles she did. One was of her niece in India.
When our discussion turned to food, she said that she has brought Masala Puri with her to eat if she got hungry. I jokingly said that if she would have to share it with me.
“No, no,” you can have all of it,” she said.
“Maybe half,” I insisted.
She pushed her lunch on me and I started to feel bad for taking her food and worried she would get hungry later. I ate all of her delicious homemade Masali Puri, and I thought that I was going to India and my journey started with eating India food cooked by an Indian woman whom I did not know two hours earlier.