Thursday, December 17, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
And I would also just like to note that this is the first Christmas, in three years, that I do not have to deal with peak! (I also look forward to pointing that fact out at Valentine's Day & Mother's Day...particularly Valentine's Day)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Went to the cinema tonight to see the MJ movie. Before the movie or previews could start, we had to stand for the national anthem. The dancing snacks and "silence is golden" did not make an appearance.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Little boy approches each foreigner.
Little boy: 'ello. Happy Diwali!
Foreigner Boy: Hello
Foreigner Girl 1: Hello. Happy Diwali
Foreigner Girl 2: Hello.
Another child enter the scene greeting the foreigners with a cheerful hello.
A few more children enter greeting the foreigners with an in unison hello.
Foreginer girl 2 quickly turns around. Some has plucked a hair from her head. She sees a mass of at least a dozen children following them. The sound is nearly deafening as the streets are filled with all the children chanting " 'ello" in unison as they walk down the street.
I wanted to get video but was afraid. Very afraid.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tonight, I am watching "Outsourced" a movie about a call center manager that gets sent to India to train the call center. I watched the movie shortly before I left for India and now, seeing it just about 3 months into my time here I can fully appreciate and relate to his experiences. The excesses cows, exposed wiring, harassing children, the beefless McDonald's... I've also found some problems in the movie such as Mumbai airport exit really wasn't the Mumbai airport and he entered a rickshaw from a side which is not possible (because of the festival). Before I laughed because it was ridiculous. Now I laugh because it's true.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Bonus Story: So our tour guide has a very weird sense of humor. Most of his jokes I did not get. Like the one when he was showing us artifacts from the past such as dresses, rugs, silverware. He points to the displays and says "this was the washing machine". Personally, I thought it looked like an old time record player but he's the tour guide. Shortly after a kid pops through, excitedly asking "really?!" and pressing his face to the glass. Moments later our tour guide says "no, it's a record player." Ha. Ha. Good one tour guide. But not really.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Day 2 of trekking: Today was going to be a long day. My legs still hurt from the day befores hike although I was surprisingly able to move my legs which I hadn't really been able to do the night before. The hike started out easy enough compared to yesterdays never ending stairs. We had already climbed most of the hill and were now making our way along it at a level point. It was only a 3 hours walk til lunch which we figured was really 4 and then another 5-6 after that.
Just before arriving for lunch, we had our first mishap of the day. One of the boys got ill. Unfortunately, he was not able to enjoy the fresh, homemade lunch made for us. Everything was made and grown right there at the house. Our porter, guide and Preshal all helped make the food. It was so delicious. One of my favorite pictures is from this stop. We had some local boys come and play around the house. I got one skipping back home down the pathway. Before we left, we got one last story of the place involving our guy puking off the stair landing, scaring a chicken at the bottom and having the chicken almost attack him. Sure beats my story of puking off a moving train. We later named the chicken Shanker, but that is another story. After trekking a bit more, we came upon a small town, here we tried to get a ride for our ailing guy and once again it started to rain. At least this time we could get some plastic to cover us. By the time we headed off to continue our trek, we were down two. The only two remaining were the girls.
The rain wasn't so bad, but my legs were not liking the length of the hike. The last few hours were some of the most painful of my life as our level hike suddenly turned to climbing again. Our hotel for the night was at the very top of the highest hill of course. Our guide then took us on shortcuts which were nothing short of mountain climbing. At the bottom of each, I had to give my mind and legs a pep talk to make it up. My legs were dying fast and the hill was not getting any less steep. Even after the short cuts were over the walk was a steep incline that only seemed to get steeper and with each step my legs seemed to turn a bit more to concrete. Of course the final 100 or so meters to the hotel was the steepest incline which I barely had the energy to do. My triumpant picture was not nearly as enthusiastic as the day before. Tomorrow was gonna be interesting unless I got some new legs to use to walk.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
My good friend Amir, I can call him my good friend because he asked me to be his friend, even looks out for me ever since that time he forgot to bag my spaghetti sauce. Our friendship still needs work though. I don't think he's quite caught on to why I bring an empty bag into the store yet. I'm sure one day we will have a good laugh. But he has suggested that I try garlic roti with curd. It's good for my health. Next time Amir, when I actually figure out what curd is. Also, he tried to upsell me on the Skippy for my American palette. It may have more peanuts than the Indian brand but for an extra rs95, it tastes just fine.
Side note: After finding out that back home, the weather is cooling, I realized that the seasons here are changing too. And for the better! After living in Vermont for three years, today while out shopping I fully took in the warmth and sun of the day. The rains have stopped and the sun comes out a bit more each day. It's still very warm and I love it.
Additional side note: Ambush! Walking home I saw a bush with legs walking towards me. There was a man under there somewhere. I wish I had my camera.
Farewell for now & on to the grilled cheese!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Let's play that game...name that professor!
Group email courtsey of Shawn
"Laura are you with us"
A good majority of our professors seem to have some trademark phrase or pronunciation. Of course you have to be there to understand most of these. I guarantee we laugh daily at them.Hint:There is no David in our group.
Ahhhhhhhh! My friends, we will talk soon. Good night.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Well this evening, we finally got our answer. The episode finally aired on MTV and Preshal and Heather just happened to be on that channel. And we all just happened to be filmed in the crowd. Who would have thought my first tv appearance would have been on MTV India. BTW, the contest was to go around kissing peoples feet. If I were the girl, I would have been happy to loss that contest. Nasty.
Now I just have to work on getting into a Bollywood movie.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Then there are the rains. The hallway to the bathroom frequently floods from open windows. We are talking small lakes that need to be jumped. I used to try to prevent it. But now I just put on my rainboots.
Rainboots were also necessary for the hopefully one time only massive flooding of my room due to cracks in the windows. Thankfully, the monsoon season is almost over. Otherwise, I might have to start building a boat.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Living in India has meant change for a lot of things other than going from worker to student.
My days are now spent moving from sidewalk to street back to sidewalk, dodging cars, manuevering around people, cattle and lord knows what on the ground. The only similarity is that instead of sitting behind a computer all day, I'm now behind a desk all day.
Living went from being a cozy one bedroom with the comfiest bed ever to a one bedroom, shared bath, and a hotplate. Not to mention what I can only imagine is plywood for a bed. It reminds me of freshman year. Shower sandals, bath caddy, and the desire to not make skin to wall, floor, or dirty fixture contact. Although I never have to worry about their not being any tp in the stall, cause there never is. Each trip a roll is tucked under my arm newspaper style.
I have once again reclaimed my nights. 10pm no longer seems late but instead seems to be the perfect time for a snack. Nights of 8+ hours of sleep are gone and continue to dwindle from their currently far too few hours. I don't miss getting up at 7 or earlier. I rather enjoy an eight o'clock rising which could only be made nicer if I actually went to bed at a decent hour.
Eating out every meal is very affordable and since we only have a hotplate, it's pretty much what we do. We have plans to cook but this requires time to find cooking supplies. Time which we don't have for at least the next three weeks as we are now starting to make up our swine flu classes on Saturdays. Although eating out probably in the end takes up more of our time as there is no such thing as a quick meal. I like to think the rule of thumb is don't wait til you are hungry to go eat; go eat when you think you'll be hungry.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
laura: brings hand to eyes to brush away something. shouts ensue.
"Curry in my eye! Curry in my eye!"
Lesson learned: Hands do not go near the eyes when eating curry.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
While I am sure I have mentioned the love of white people, I think this video starts to illustrate just how much. Aside from being asked for photographs, being stared at, having pics and videos taken without permission (most of the time not very discreetly), congregating gets added to the list. India is by far the most intense, unabashed culture I've come across.
This was taken during one of our walks on the beach. We stopped to get Henna and quickly we were surrounded by at least a dozen guys. They seemed to have come out of nowhere. Some stood around for a few minutes and left and the rest as you see stayed. Others passing by would stop and look up close as well. I want to make a shirt that says "White people aren't that interesting"
Friday, August 14, 2009
were lots of dances and songs which were amazing and a fashion show of the different cultures. Again, I just love this stuff. Indians know how to party.
So the swine flu continues. Class Mon-Wed of next week has been cancelled because of it. So we booked a long weekend in Goa and plan to be sitting on the beach sipping beachy drinks. Can't wait! I plan to enjoy it as much as possible as it will be no picnic making up the classes on once free weekends.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The school even had someone come to our class to warn us about the dangers of swine flu and let us know of their offerings to help us through. Aside from a list of reputable doctors and testing locations, he said the school was offering juices and other drinks at a reduced price so that the students would be able to afford to keep especially hydrated. They were also looking into getting us protective masks. A very impressive effort that I doubt I would have seen from any institution in the states. Everyday the warmth and the way the people continue to look out for each other continues to impress me.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
School started today at 9:30 am. Ended at 4:30pm. Which will pretty much be my schedule while I'm here. Thankfully no 8am classes.
Today was Stat and Financial Accounting. So far so good. The teachers are great. Although my finan. acct. teacher kept thinking I didn't understand the lecture. Even after I had given her lots of correct answers to a problem. If I look confused when I understand the material, I'd hate to see what I look like when I don't.
I have some more stories which I will add later. So stay tuned for Blogs on electricity, toilets and who knows what else.
I don't know how a city this large could possibly not have some sort of signage. Probably to keep the tourist out since even the locals have a hard time navigating the streets. Using landmarks is key, although distinguishing one delapidated corner from another is hard. Big and nice buildings stand out the most.
There are tons of open markets. If you are not happy with one vendors price, there are many others to choose from. It took my cohort, Heather, 4 vendors before she got her braclets two for 5rs.
The streets are filled with cars with no established traffic pattern and only a handful of traffic lights. Horns, like in China, are constant with no reason some of the time.
But no, it really was friendship day and all we had to do was let him sign his name across our arm. Now we are friends with Eshawn, whom we will probably never see again. After signing, we noticed people had their arms covered in markers with their friend's names. It was quite amazing. Kinda like a yearbook signing, but no book. Day 2 and already participated in a tradition. Check.
Back to school, we had a luncheon with our teachers and had some very delicious Indian food. I don't think I will be loosing weight over the first month like I had thought.....
School starts on Thurs.