Monday, 23 May 2011

“I must say I feel as small as dust sitting down here”

I wish I had something exciting to report but it’s been a pretty low-lying Monday.  It’s hard to believe its only been a week since I arrived- I feel like one of those little capsules that you can buy at a joke store- “grow a boyfriend” type things.  I feel like this new perspective has opened my eyes wider than I ever thought possible, this new knowledge is constantly being stretched, my taste buds are constantly being exposed to new flavors and textures and dealing with the heat upon my arrival definitely had my sweat glands working overtime (fortunately its cooled down to ~100*F which feels incredibly refreshing).  So maybe I’ll plateau but I think its safe to say I’ve grown more in the past week than the first ten years of my life.
            Last night was pretty much- Rehka thought I had to try this dessert so we went on a quest for jalebi , reinvigorating our nightly walk with a delicious mission.  I should have taken a picture of these but they are kind of like thin funnel squiggle cakes but with more of a crystallized sugar coating.  It was superfun to see them make them as long as I didn’t think about the fact that they were making them in the middle of the dirty street (unfortunately, if you thought too much about the cleanliness of food preparation here, I think there would be very little you could eat).  And so I tried a piece, enjoyed the instant cavity sugar-rush, but a little of those goes a long way. 
            The evening was pretty clear, so my undergrad friend Anjulie (the student council president of the 2010 class) and I laid on the benches and looked at the stars.  She knew “Twinkle twinkle little star” which made me smile.  It was pretty surreal, being in a place where even the night sky is different.  The city smog and light pollution made it hard to pick out any specific constellations but the experience sure inspired some pensive thoughts.
            Today was a lot of unsuccessful waiting- I woke up early (well 8 AM, which is relatively early considering my sporadic sleeping- 6 AM yoga is going to be much more of a struggle than I originally anticipated) to catch up on e-mail and brainstorming how to adjust my proposed project to get at something interesting by focusing exclusively on Indian students for now.  When I got to Dr. Jolly’s office at 10 AM to ask a couple quick questions (regarding audio recording equipment and putting the questionnaire online), she had just entered a meeting.  When I offered to come back after lunch, the secretary thought she’d be done in an hour so I hung around.  Six and a half hours later, she was still in meetings so I gave up after tea sharing.  It was tragic to waste such a beautiful day waiting in the workshop, especially because by the time I gave up, rush hour was beginning on the metro.  I was squished like a sardine travelling at 3:00 in the afternoon on a Sunday so I decided I didn’t have a destination worthy enough of that kind of scrunching considering I should be back before dark for safety reasons.  Without having a phone, I feel like someone in Victorian England where you had to come “calling” and you leave a little card when you want to arrange a visit.  On this trip, sometimes I feel like I’m traveling more through time than I travelled in space.
            I did print helpful Hindi phrases so I think I’ll practice those.  Fortunately there’s no tones in this language, so I sound less like a wailing cow than when I was learning Chinese (I'm sure my roommates remember those three semesters with affection).  Main chalta hoon!  Main chalta chalti! (for any female readers)