Friday, May 08, 2009

The Desert is Dusty.

It may be my imagination, but it seems to me that we're getting an awful lot of air traffic over Bikaner these past few days. Who is bombing who in my part of the world?

Aside from runs in the evening, I spend most of my time inside. It hasn't been as hot--it was only 109F today--but it can still be painful to be out in all the radiation. I don't mind burning skin, but even with sunglasses, my eyes can only take so much of the glare.
I'm only putting in five hours a day at the archive, for two reasons. First, that about takes me through the maximum amount of material they will let me look at in day. Second, it is physically uncomfortable to stay longer than a few hours. The room is okay as long as there is electricity to run the ceiling fan. They even brought in a window AC-unit, not that it does much good when there is no insulation, the windows don't shut tightly, and the door is left hanging open. Then, too, my back starts to hurt after about three hours, and I just have to grit it out for the last two hours of every day. The worse problem, though, the thing that really gets to me, is that there is no women's bathroom at the archives. There are two men's rooms, and a row of urinals out behind the building, but for women? Nothing. Today, I actually used the men's bathroom, but I got caught, so I guess I won't do that again.

Anyway, five hours max. I'm getting my work done, but I am mostly doing it in a heat-and-hunger-induced stupor.

Another thing that has been keeping me inside my room is the dust storms. Friday to Monday = four days of wind and dirt and heat, so pretty much stayed low the entire weekend. Well, on Saturday, before the late-afternoon winds arrived, Mr. Host took me to KEM Road to get a new pair of glasses. And on Sunday, we went to Deshnok to the Karni Mata Temple (AKA "the Rat Temple" photos here). Otherwise, I spend a lot of time practicing taps, cuts and rolls on the tin whistle, and obsessively messing up my Rubiks cube. It turns out that no matter how long I spend messing it up, it still takes the same 1 minute to solve the damn thing. That's not much of a distraction.

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