Sunday, June 24, 2007

Well, a lot of time spent at both the Hindiwali Reliance store as well as the Angreziwali Reliance store, and I'm not sure I'm any closer to fixing my SMS problem. I'm also not sure why it seems so urgent: before ten days ago, I'd never sent a text message. Suddenly, if I can't text message, my world will end. Well, it's nice be able to communicate without having to actually *talk* to people, so maybe that's the attraction.

This morning, I dragged a classmate to Jai Niwas gardens so I could take photographs--I'm working on the second draft of an article (well, we can hope it turns into an article) about the Jaipur city plan, and I need my own photos. I'm really pretty excited about it, especially now that I've revisited the gardens and re-experienced the space for myself. I even managed to get a photo of the facade of the Chandra Mahal that faces the Govind Devji temple. I looked and looked for one this spring, but except for a 19th b/w print in the British Library collection, I wasn't able to find one. So, that alone made the rickshaw ride through the bazaar this a.m. worth it. The ride was so hair-raising that I handed the rickshawallah 2x the agreed upon price when I got out of his rig. I mean, really, it was pretty intense for a few minutes there.

Also in Jai Niwas gardens is a Hanuman temple, and outside is a monkey corral full of happy monkeys eating temple offerings. Baby monkeys with wrinkly baby monkey faces = SO CUTE.

We walked around Jai Niwas, and then around the bone-dry Tal Katora. Hard to believe the site used to be marshy and wet during the 18th c. Today, it was full of boys playing cricket. We saw this unfortunate 8-year-old albino boy--my eyes hurt from the sun here ALL THE TIME, even with sunglasses. Imagine his pain.

I think perhaps Julia and Crystal are getting tired of my impromptu architecture lectures. "Look at the Shahjahani baluster columns!" "Oh my god, look at the faux chini khana!" Crystal had to sit through an endless session of me with Ebba Koch's Mughal Architecture (OUP) book while we were drinking watermelon sparkles in Barista: "Look at the perfect hesht behesht!" "Look, aren't those fantastic squinches?"

Today, a 26-year-old informed me that 40 = over the hill. She apologized, but said that's what she thinks. Over the hill, and I haven't even finished my Ph.D. yet.

In other news, I still can't speak Hindi. I also seem to be suddenly struggling with English, however, so maybe that's a step in the right direction.

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