Thursday, July 31, 2008
I think I got majorly hit on today. It probably could go into My Studies blog, actually, as it is more related to that, but eeyuck, I’m too skeeved out to give a detailed account. I’m not sure how I could dress more conservatively, short of a burqa, but something about me screams ho in Hindi. I doubt they even have a word for that. They probably just say “American.” I repeat: eeyuck.
And lastly, I will try to fill in the blanks for some of our quotes. Here’s one from Ladakh. It more of a dialogue:
Me: My friends…are they here?
Guest House Owner: Hmmm…Americans?
Me: Yes! A girl and a boy…the girl has long, curly red hair!
GHO: Ah, ah, yes, they are here. [directs me to a room with two Japanese-American girls. I apologize to them]
Me: [thinks long time] Ummm…red hair? Like this [indicates curly] and like this [indicates a red flower, which turns out later to be a plastic bloom pasted to a real plant]
GHO: Oh, oh! A lady and a gent! Gent is Indian?
Me: [decides the language barrier doesn’t facilitate me explaining that Alex is Filipino-American.] Yes, that’s right!
GHO: No, no one here like that.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
S informs me that I probably have some horrible dermal parasite which hasn't manifested yet. Yes, I used her initial because of confidentiality purposes. like you can't figure it out if you cared.
I can't believe it's almost 7, and I've been at the computer for hours. It turns out the computer lab is a sociable place, though, and I've met several people. One girl is going to take me out and show me the campus tonight, since I keep getting lost. Everyone here is the Nicest Person I've Ever Met, making Punjab my favorite state. Or at least Chandigarh my favorite city. In the world. Maybe that's going a bit far, but I feel wonderful about it right now. Except about the S key on this keyboard.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I haven't posted or written in my Studies blog because my computer has up and died. Which is lame of it, and I tried to explain to it that none of the other computers wants to play with a dead lappy, but it remains dead. I'm sort of in mourning, though there's still hope that if I get a new charger, it will work again. For now, it's just a fragile hunk of junk that I'm forced to carry around with me everywhere. Dumb computer!
It's my third full day at LBS in Mussoorie. India is growing on me more every day, and I'm afraid after all my homesickness and misery, I'll be equally unhappy to return home. No, that's not true, because I can't wait to see my family and my cats and my friends (including Andy, yay!). There are things I won't miss about India, that's true enough. But I have a feeling that I will look back quite fondly on most of this experience for the rest of my life.
Next week, I have the chance to visit an ashram. Which kind of is amazing when I think about it. They're just going to let me stop by and check it out. I'm really looking forward to that, so I hope my bad travel luck doesn't strike on that particular day.
I keep dreaming of Ladakh, and flying! It's the awesomest dream ever!
This update is equally disjointed, but I have no excuse of exhaustion. I guess my excuse is hunger because I'm about to go to dinner right now.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I'm about to go to lunch. I'm not even hungry, but that's how much I love lunch!
When I come to update here, I feel like I've already said everything in the Studies blog. Maybe I need to better differentiate the blogs. It's nicer to have the whole experience in one place, and since the Studies blog is the most verbose, it pulls in all the other details as well. I come here and find myself with nothing left to talk about besides "What in the world is my hair doing lately?" or "OMG, y'all, I got a totally cute reversible wrap yesterday!"
Last night in bed, I watched Bollywood for an hour. But the thing is, the sound on my TV doesn't work. So I watched Bollywood with the sound off. It's OK because I already knew most of the songs for the videos, and I could just listen in my head. I noticed a lot more details about the choreography, too. This is probably what my friend Jay does when he'd bedridden from back surgeries. Except I had no excuse but laziness.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
holy! sufjan stevens is totally adorable! did everyone know this already? i imagined him with sickly washed out skin and horrendous ape-like orange eyebrows. and thick like an oak tree, which is all fine, but not what i would call adorable.
but i was wrong about him being christian, according to wikipedia--he's just very spirtual. it's just danielson that's christian.
But just to let you know, I'm at the next destination. I didn't update my Studies blog yesterday today, so I need to work on that. But the rooms here are swank, the food it good, the people are helpful. All good news. I hope I get a lot of work done here.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
- You will become a hypocrite, you will become a liar, and you'll try to paper up your own cracks, and everybody does it, and that's what becoming an adult is. And then you have babies, and that's it.
(Thom Yorke)I've quoted this before, but every once in a while, I decide to get morose about growing up, growing old, not growing anymore. Although, about that last one, thank god...I feel utterly gargantuan in India! Just think if humans had a third growth spurt! I'd crack through the sky, not just the ceilings here. And why have I never noticed that my hands and feet are like gorilla hands and feet?
I finally had a nightmare that I was glad to wake up from. Good thing, as I was starting to get really, really homesick. I couldn't take one more dream about my cats.
Had an exhausting day of being what Jenny calls the White Girl Freak Show. We got stuck on a neutral ground one night trying to hail a rickshaw, and she said something like "Tonight, on a very special edition of the White Girl Freak Show," since cars were slowing down to get a closer look, passenger sticking their heads out and waving. Anyway, that should go the quotes, too.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
“There goes the King! That guy owes me money!” Otsal, guest house owner.
We were having dinner outside with Otsal. For like two hours. He was very jovial, but was verbose. He mentioned he went to school with the queen of Ladakh. Later, a Bolero (SUV) drove by the restaurant, and the guy said the quote, offering to call the king back for us.
“Brad and Angelina came to this shop, and I didn’t know them. I just thought, yah! They take quite good care of their bodies.” Praveen, internet shop owner in Varanasi.
We couldn’t quote to do Praveen justice, but we wanted at least one quote from him. His trademark was to open his eyes wide and say “Yah!” He had lots of stories about his various customers throughout the years.
“I think some people think we Brahmins have an attitude.” Praveen. Who totally had an attitude.
“I wouldn’t be too proud of the United States.” Guen (goon?), the Belgian boy whom we grudgingly had allowed to sleep on the roof with us.
Funnier was when Sarah whispered to me under the blanket “That was rude!” We couldn’t stop giggling after that because he kept saying rude things until we made a point of going to sleep.
“Score one for America” Sarah.
Related to the above; we were on the roof, and it was raining. So Sarah and I both thought really hard to ourselves “Stop rain stop rain stop rain stop rain” and then it let up and stopped. We felt superior to our rude Belgian roofmate.
“Storm is a selfish bitch. That’s probably why they got Halle Berry to play her.” Sarah.
We realized that Storm, the X-Man, would do better to stop drought and famine with her powers, and leave the fighting to people with less transferable powers.
“That’s incorrect.” Carrie.
When a armrest of the seat in front of us fell backwards into our seat, Carrie stared for a moments, and then said this the first time. She continued to say it, for instance if a straw was faulty, or if anything ever went wrong or unexpectedly (which it did).
“I’m sorry. Would you like to punch me in the stomach?” Carrie.
Carrie had talked about how she likes to get her dad and brother to punch her in the stomach to build up muscle like Muhammed Ali did. But they never liked to do it, so she tried to trick them into it. In Varanasi, Alex was stressed out about a near-miss incident with two shifty looking guys who clearly were up to no good. Alex felt like he needed to be our protector, but he’d felt helpless and weird about it, so he was frustrated and pent up. Carrie made this offer, but Alex laughed and said “No, I’m trying to protect y’all, not punch you in the stomach.”
“Cover stealer!” Sarah.
Sarah whispered this very quietly into Alex’s ear in the middle of the night, waking him up, and making them both crack up hysterically in the middle of a sleepy night.
“That’s precious!” Sarah.
Quoted on Carrie’s blog.
“I did a photo session with the guy from the guest house kitchen. He wanted…he wanted them with his mobile phone in one hand, and waving with the other.” Sumit, semi-professional photographer.
Our friend who took fantastic pictures. Here is the actual picture, which we were excited to finally see. Sorry I can't figure out a way to put it in the post itself--something keeps backfiring.
“I think you just want to sit next to him, and it’s really starting to piss me off.” Alex.
Sarah doesn’t like when guys have a barbed wire tattoo around their arm. She and Alex were on the plane to Leh, and Alex was in the middle, with Sarah in the aisle, and a barbed-wire tattoo guy at the window. She kept offering Alex the aisle seat for his long legs, and he finally got irritated and said this quote deadpan to her, which made her laugh hysterically. Poor guy with the barbed-wire tattoo.
“Yes” The universal answer to any question you ask in India.
Is this made of solid gold? Does this cab go to Texas? All of these questions will conveniently be answered “yes!”
“Our people are the filthiest on earth!” Guy from a shop in Jodhpur.
Apparently, an OK way to start a conversation is to yell this to tourists across the road.
“What’s the point?” Travel agent.
In response to our talking about getting altitude sickness in Leh.
“Jesus is lord, Jesus is lord.” British tourist.
After visiting monasteries in Leh, she said she counteracted “all that” by repeating this phrase to herself.
“Great job” Sarah. About everything, usually sarcastically. As in, Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job.
“You can’t build up a tolerance to amoebas, dude!” Alex.
One of our classmates bragged he’d been building up a tolerance to the tap water—brushing his teeth with it, drinking a little teaspoon here and there.
“Those monkeys totally could have had their way with us.” Alex.
Quoted in Sarah’s blog.
“This is so awesome. India is so fucked up.” Alex
Quoted in Sarah’s blog.
“So elegant. So, so elegant!” our professor, snapping picture after picture with his disposable camera of everyone in their Indian suits.
“Deer garden? Like where they grow deer?” Carrie.
“Shit show.” Jenny.
“What the hell does that even mean?” Alex, about the above quote.
“Love thy neighbor, but not while driving.” “Be gentle on my curves.” Road signs in Leh.
“Full Full Full Masala” Battery ad in Varanasi.
“Exhibition cum Sale” Sign in Mussoorie, and a few other places. Gross!
“Do you think it’s like a fountain show?” Carrie, about above, at 6am.
“Educate yourself!” Forestry expert, asking if Carrie knew the origin of the word Hindu and Indus River.
“Your thank-yous are too heavy for us.” Sunny, our guilt-ridden scam artist.
“[I’m sorry I tried to scam you out of thousands, but] you didn’t even tell me happy birthday!” Sunny, contrite but confused about the concept.
“Did you have the sexes?” Some of our scam artists, and their odd turns-of-phrase.
“Whatcha doing?” A wide-eyed Sarah and Carrie, asking Shlomi, our Israeli seatmate at the airport, about what turned out to be a prayer cycle of some kind. It involved wrapping his arms with leather attached to boxes, and tying one on his forehead. Neither of us had ever, ever seen this.
“We can get by without toothpaste, right?” Sarah and Carrie, realizing neither of them had toothpaste or deodorant for 4 days.
“[Dani, a blonde girl] looks like an old man with her hair. And Sarah should wear more sunscreen so she won’t get more freckles. I like my skin color.” R, young and rude.
“She’s clumsy.” Jenny.
Explaining why Sarah fell, in the manner of explaining that someone is mentally retarded.
“Do your have spare breakfast?” Security agent at the airport in Leh.
Turned out she was asking if we had spare batteries, which we couldn’t take on the plane. But breakfast made just as much sense to us at 5am.
“I didn’t know I could do that!” Alex.
After doing some amazing sand dune aerial roundoff. Pretty much sums up Alex.
“That’s some real man-on-man love there.” Sarah.
The men here don’t seem to have the homophobia we have in the states, maybe from not believing homosexuals exist. But they are very comfortable holding hands and riding four to a motorcycle and things. Sarah said this about a man sitting on another man’s lap.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Another thing about the phone here is no one says goodbye. I keep saying "Bye!" and feeling like a total tool! And yet one more thing about phones is it's OK pretty much at any time to answer them. You can be in a meeting with the president, and if your phone rings, she will understand that you have to answer it right then and there. Maybe this is because voicemail is a commodity here? I don't know. But these things that would be rude elsewhere are not here.
That little update about phone etiquette in India should be a clue that I've been on the phone most of today. I have, and finally, in the last hour, I accomplished a few things. So I'm going to get back to it to hopefully accomplish a few more things.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
So, anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know, if you can get to Leh in your lifetime, try to.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
speaking of which, no i'm not going to the reunion. i have nothing against high school, and in fact some of my very good friends are going (i had some very good friends in high school), but i have no desire whatsoever to go.
the phrase "very good friends" makes me think of my phrase o'the year. "we are all essentially alone." compliments of my psychology professor. thanks for the upper, professor! now i can't stop finding examples of this everywhere. i'm trying to share all these important personal details with my boyfriend, but i'll never be able to share all of them, nor would that really accomplish anything. besides, i'm copping out and telling him important details about driving my parents car through the backyard fence. but what else is there? what is a person made of? is a person made of the time her dad hung her a swing on the front porch? or built a jungle gym in the backyard? or the first time she copied a work of art with a charcoal pencil? is a person made of knowing how to add oil to a car? is a person made of her favorite word, or her favorite animal, or favorite song? or the number of cells in her body? it's none of these, right? not even if i asked and answered a million million of these questions? there would not only be one more question of the type you asked, there would be a whole dimension of questions you didn't think to ask.
uh so right...back to work. that's all i do. i will work every weekend till i get back. i can't tell if this will make the time shorter or longer.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
In Nepal, when Sarah was having her chronic insomnia, we all took naps while she had to just sit there and watch. But she was in a really good mood anyway. Right after, when we were walking around the neighborhood, she said serenely “Everything just seems to precious to me. Those kids at the school next door, you two sleeping, you were just lying there, so precious!” But just then she got cut off by tripping over a rat, and she hopped around a bit to miss stepping on it, interrupting herself “Oh oh my god, is that a dead rat?” But she recovered quickly to say fondly “That’s precious!”
Yes, it’s one of those hard to capture funny-things, but it will make ME laugh to read later, and that’s what’s important here.