Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Then again, it's not a good idea to carry yourself with too much confidence. My Hindi is good enough for waitstaff, but not good enough for dukandars (there's your vocab word, Beth). While I can talk someone down from 2750 rupees to 2000, I can't talk them down to the 750 it should be. It's frustrating in the moment, but once I do the conversion to US dollars, it's difficult to get too upset about being more or less robbed. Gotta let it go.

Advanced Hindi follows the same type of daily program that Intermediate follows, so I feel a bit as if I've been here forever. Today, we had our first listening comprehension class. That was the worst class last year, but I seem to have lost my stress over it this year, possibly because I've heard the passages before, possibly because I just really don't care so much about my progress this year. I'm either going to learn Hindi or I'm not, and I can't lose a lot of sleep over trying to keep up (or keep ahead) of the other students. This is the attitude I should have had last year, instead of feeling inadequate all summer.

But...it's only day three of class (not quite two weeks in India), so I reserve the right to change my mind about the entire thing.

I'm overhearing many conversations that remind me of why I am living in the hotel. Even people who really want to live with a family can get stressed out by the all Hindi environment, by the family's expectations, obligations, etc. I definitely made the right choice.

Stage Three: Hoarding Knowledge. Now that you have your social group established, and you feel comfortable traveling around the neighborhood together, you are finding out interesting things. You know where to buy a cell phone, you know where the post office is. You've found a good book store, or a good rickshaw driver. This is the kind of information you're willing to share, but only within your social set. You have a lot of hush-hush conversations that end with "but don't tell anyone, I don't want the entire group to show up there." Everyone is sworn to secrecy about every aspect of Jaipur. What are the repercussions of revealing this information to the larger group?

I'll let you know.

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