Saturday, July 07, 2007

First, I just want to say that the letter "t" does not work on this keyboard. I have to paste it in whenever I want to use it (which seems to be frequently), so if a word is missing a letter...add a "t".

I woke up with a rather piercing headache this morning. Or, not a headache exactly, but a sharp pain on the right side of the head, behind the eye, stinging down to my molars. Last night we (Julia, Crystal, Silas, Arvind, me) went out to dinner to celebrate the end of week 4. On the way, one of my favorite rickshaw wallahs (he has some side business going on, but I can't figure out just what), hit a pothole. My head hit the metal bar on the side of the rickshaw. It probably would've have been merely a bump, but there was a screw sticking out. Luckily, it was a flat tap, not a sharp, self-tapping screw, otherwise it would have left a good puncture. As it was, it took a bit of time to recover (and, no, I didn't cry, even though I wanted to). I thought my teeth had been knocked out, and the vision in my right eye was a bit off all night, and still a little off this a.m. It was a little better during the day today, but in the evening, we drove down a road full of potholes, and every bump reminded my head that it hurt. Anyway, tomorrow I will avoid all potholes.

Today we went to Am(b)er as a class, also visiting Jaigarh and Nahagarh forts. I've been all three places, but still had fun. Well, the guide at Amer was a bit odd, and he kept asking my why I wasn't listening (which I was, but I was also taking photographs). When we were at Nahagarh, a fort from which you can see the entire city of Jaipur, a storm arrived. That was a lot of fun because not only did we get wet, the teachers stood under the eaves and played Antakshari, male teachers against female. In general, I think the teachers really enjoy the field trips, so even if it was tiring (a ten-hour day!), I'm glad we did it.

Notables: we watched a family of monkeys eat bananas at the petrol station. Ashlee cut open her foot on a stack of rebar. Arvind cannot pronounce Rotem's name properly in Hebrew. Sayedji only likes to hold babies when they are not crying. The storm approaching while we were at Jaigarh was pretty nice. I saw the jantar mantar jaisa watchtower on the road to Jaigarh. One by one, our Reliance Classic cellphones ran out of batteries, which means there was a never-ending chorus of the Reliance shut off music, also known as the theme to Harry Potter. A ton of elephants on the road.

So, as a large group field trip, it was pretty fun. But we also had fun earlier this week when we went on a small group field trip (five people). We were assigned destinations to visit, and we hit two of the three possibilities. First, we went into the old city to Sahitygar, a Hindi bookstore on Dhamani Road off Chaura Rasta. Took us forever to find it. I remember it from last year, but had no real idea where it was in the city. Then we went to the Govind Devji Temple, but it was closed, so we wandered in Jai Niwas gardens. We went out a gate I've never used before, and suddenly we were in the barnyard of India. It's too bad Arvind wasn't with us, because he's been sad that there aren't as many animals around these days in Jaipur--he remembers a lot from his childhood. We wandered through a lot of animal pens, cows, goats, chickens, dogs. We ended up on "Vegetable Street" (Subzi Marg). I can't remember the name of the neighborhood, but it was the Panjabi word for vegetable. A new part of town for me.

Today is an ausipicious day for weddings, so I think a lot of the elephants we saw on the Amer road were coming to Jaipur to carry grooms to the wedding. For the past two days (really, the past two weeks), we've been hearing non-stop wedding marching bands, seeing the light towers paraded down the street, seeing a lot of white horses all dressed up to carry grooms. At the religious center between my house and the Institute, workers have for three days been building a wedding reception structure. Tonight is the night, so it is all dressed up in lights and flowers. I imagine I'll see or hear the marching band go by soon.

Tomorrow my plan is to go to the jantar mantar and talk to some of the workers for my final project. However, if it's raining, I think I'll just go to Cafe Coffee Day and do homework. One more week until Hindi Camp in Pushkar, then we're off to Ujjain.

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