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The Cat In The Bag - 36

But one day a group of Tamils came to work for us. And I needed to make tea for them. They saw me struggling with the stove, and their leader proposed that the youngest Tamil worker would teach me how to make fire in such a Tamil stove made of fired clay.


Günther asked me if I agreed, and of course I agreed. But we had to sit quite a bit apart, and not touch each other.


In Tamil culture, a man should not touch a woman, and certainly not a married woman.


Then a boy of about 15 years old came to sit next to me at a bit of a distance.

Gesturing with his hands and in slow motion, he took all the materials in the right order, showed me each item, and then put it slowly in the stove.

He lit the fire and then also taught me how to keep the fire burning, so that it wouldn't go out again.


I was so pleased with how this boy, without speaking and in slow motion, taught me how to do it. It was very visual, I am a visual learner.

From that moment I got better and better at using the stove. I would be able to light it in a minute, and then use my hands to control it. With the movement of my hands the air made the flames go up and down in that little stove, on the rhythm of my hands. From time to time I added a wood block.

Günther even came and watched me do it, as it seemed as if my hands and the flames were dancing together.




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