On the other hand--there's a lot to be said for being the local expert. I'm finding it immensely rewarding, anyway. I'm trying not to be obnoxious about it all (there's plenty of pretentious posturing going on here as it is), but I do kind of enjoy being consulted about Jaipur. I can give directions to the bank, the supermarket, two different hookah bars (don't ask me why, I don't smoke the sheesha), two different coffee shops, fabric stores, book stores, and all kinds of other things like parks and post offices and pathways. I am trying not to offer advice unless asked, but once asked, I have to say...I'm batting a thousand (two posts, two baseball metaphors) at getting people where they want to go.
So, this is a big difference between last summer and this summer--my confidence level speaking Hindi. I'm the one doing all the talking: directing the rickshawallah, bargaining, asking directions, etc. I'm still falling back on English a lot, but seem to have lost that fear of speaking that followed me all summer last year. It's kind of relief to be the one with all the answers for a change.
Mostly hanging out with one or two people (we've formed our own clique, membership requires that you be shut out of the rest of the cliques that formed the first week of classes). Started classes officially yesterday, started studying this a.m. We had a brief pre-monsoon downpour today, which was fantastic. The high today was only 95, dropping below 100 makes such a difference. The temperature is supposed to climb again by midweek, so I'm enjoying the cool while I can.
Okay, this is my mailing address for everyone who wants to find me:
c/o Hotel City Home
463, Gali No. 4
Across from Bank of Baroda
Raja Park, Jaipur 302 004
I'm being taken of really by the hotel staff, they put me in the safest room, I think, and one of the AIIS program leaders is in the same place, so I always have someone available if I need it. More importantly, I have a TV, so I can watch the IIFA awards tomorrow. Rocking.