Sunday, June 25, 2006

So, yes, I'm in India. Internet access can be pretty sketchy, but I finally found an I-way internet cafe that seems to be okay (4 hours for 50 rupees, that's roughly 4 hours for a dollar). Of course, they could be siphoning off my passwords, but I'll never know until something bad happens.

I've been in India for a little over two weeks now, and I feel as if I've lived a thousand lifetimes. I have a greater admiration for travel writers now--how do you possibly sum up a place like this in words? I could write about the dead dog I saw on my way to the Institute today, but that would not tell you how charming the stray dogs can really be when they dig their homes in the ever-present piles of sand. Today, a little boy simultaneously emptied his bowels on the sidewalk and yelled out "Hello!" to me. What to make of such efficient multi-tasking?

We are all anxiously awaiting the monsoon. I've been through 2 pre-monsoon storms and they were pretty impressive. Wading home after the torrential rains made me very glad for all of my immunizations. I am so investing in Dettol stock when I get home.

My Hindi is improving, but I'm still absolutely non-functional and illiterate, which demonstrates how bad my Hindi was to begin with. Jaipur deals in tourism, though, so there is a lot of English spoken, enough that when I mess up the numbers for 50 and 25 I can revert to English to re-bargain the price of an autorickshaw. I have mixed feelings about taking a cycle rickshaw. On one hand, they are much better for the pollution problem. On the other, what human should have to drag a rickshaw behind them? On the other, if they weren't pedaling rickshaws, wouldn't they be out of the only job they're ever going to get? It's hard to say.

Two weeks down, six and a half to go.

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