Saturday, August 11, 2007


That sounds like "toe," not "too," and means "So," at the beginning of the sentence. For some inexplicable reason, I now start every sentence with that word, even though no native speaker around me does. I usually get my bad speech habits through imitation, but this one seems to be all my own. I have also, thanks to either J. K. Rowling's inept writing, or some other person's inept translation of Harry Potter from English to Hindi, began starting every other written sentence with the "baharhaal," the Hindi equivalent of "At any rate..." Stupid language.

To, yes, I'm in Varanasi with a pretty decent internet connection for the first time in 9 weeks. Okay, I had no sooner finished that last sentence when the power cut out. Luckily, Blogger automatically backs me up these days.

I spent some time at the observatory today. I had it all to myself, I was the only person who visited those poor A.S.I. workers who have to sit there all day and wait for some tourist to discover their site. That's going to be a long, lonely wait. I went twice, once in the morning, and once in the afternoon, because I've noticed that if you leave, and then come back, they think you're really interested and will be more willing to talk to you.

You have to go the observatory (and all the bathing ghats) on foot, bicycle or motorcycle, so I left my rickshaw wallah sleeping outside the Mazda picture house and walked to Man Mandir ghat. I did this twice, which wasn't really all that great of an experience because Saavan ka mela (the monsoon month(s) festival, roughly translated) is going on and there are pilgrims everywhere, people trying to sell me things, etc. The second time through, on my way out, one man did the "Helllloooo Madam!" thing to me, no idea what he was selling. But then another guy said right away, in English, "No, not her, she's Indian, she lives in Jaipur, she has Hindi." I looked back over my shoulder, and the guy was leaning out of the store, giving me the thumbs up sign. How did he know?

I may go to Sarnath on my way to the airport tomorrow, I haven't decided. I'm really tired, and I did go to Sanchi already, and how many stupas does one need to see in a summer? But, I'll probably go, even though I need the sleep.

At this time in a week, I will be hopefully sitting at O'Hare. I had a long post planned about multiple levels of homesickness, but that will have to wait for later.

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