Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Concerning my Verbal Prowess.

Or not.
When I was first learning how to read and speak Punjabi, we were given a list of questions to ask each other. One of them was "Are you a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian?" I am non-veg. Of course. Those who know about my ridiculous dietary restrictions would laugh out loud if I said I was giving up meat, as it's one of about 3 things I CAN eat.
Anyway, someone asked me this question... I think it was my Auntie-Ji. The word for non-vegetarian is "masahari." Masa means flesh. Hari is eater. I replied to her question that I was a "masihari." A Masi is your mother's sister.

I am an Aunt-eater.

Growing Together.

We're taking this week off of classes, in light of our loss. Yesterday we went to Gurudwara and then went to the rose garden in town and played together at the park there. We taught our teachers how to play Duck Duck Goose and the Down by the Banks game. We played on the swings and the see-saw and had a good time being together.
Today, we're going to the rock garden. Tomorrow we're taking an overnight trip into the mountains to a Gurudwara that Ajeet had wanted to visit. Friday night we're going to a Punjabi comedy show, and on Saturday we're going to a sitar concert, or something like that. We're keeping ourselves busy and together. It'll be good.

Concerning the Cobra.

So, I neglected to write about a really unique experience that I had while on the long, horrible train to Varanasi. Trains in India are not like trains in the US. First class India would be well below the American cheap seats. And then they have cheap seats...and standing room only. Ewww.
Anyway, another interesting difference is that there are always people walking up and down the aisles of the train, some selling tea or chips, many people begging for a few rupees, handicapped people, etc. The train is a busy, busy place.
When I was travelling through Uttar Pradesh, which is a state generally looked down upon by people from other states, I had a most unique and un-Punjab like experience. A man walked down the train playing some sort of instrument. It looked to be made of natural products, perhaps a gourd or something. He stopped near my seat and sat down and played for a little while. After a few minutes, he pulled out this basket for tips to go into. And that is what you were supposed to do.... except there wasn't only money in that basket.
Oh no.
The man lifted off the top of the basket and a flared, hissing cobra popped up. And THEN the man pushed the basket RIGHT UP TO MY FACE waiting for his tip! And THEN it LOOKED AT ME!!!!! AAAAHHHHH!!!!!

I started sputtering trying to get him to take the snake AWAY FROM MY FACE.
dzaw ji! nehi ji! dzaw ji!
Please go away!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Upon Reflection.

So, a while ago, I wrote a blog about how fun it was to fear for one's life in a speeding rickshaw. After the events of today, I fear that it was in incredibly bad taste. One of my classmates, Ajeet, was killed in a rickshaw accident this morning on the way to school. Or yesterday. The details are not clear to me yet. He was tall and thin and had kind, sparkly, crinkly eyes and a warm smile.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

4 weeks and counting....

Back from Shimla. It was beautiful. Now I have 3 weeks of classes left before finals/presentation week, and then I'll be heading back to the states.
I was pickpocketed on my way to Shimla. The bastard took everything I had with me except for 10 rupees (about a quarter). I had half of my 2nd term allotment with me, so.... that was harsh. Still, I had a nice time there. It was beautiful, and I will be posting pictures tomorrow probably.

I'm really looking forward to being home again. I miss talking to my people. :( Yup. I've just about had enough of all of this travel.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Finally back.

Really fast update. Amritsar was amazing. We came back Sunday, had 2 days of classes, and the left again for our 5 day break. I went to Varanasi with Irma (India Roommate). She had a blast. I was in hell. The whole city is narrow and crowded and noisy and stinky and gross. I haven't had a worse time since I got here. If I manage to get home without have contracted Hepatitis, Black Lung, or head lice, it will be a miracle.
We got stuck in Lucknow on the way back and ended up returning to Chandigarh 3 days later than planned, and only with the assistance of Institute people. It took 2 motor Rickshaws, 1 train, 2 bicycle rickshaws, 1 plane, 1 un-airconditioned bus and 3 long taxi rides to get home.
I'll be heading back to the states in one month. I have many problems to deal with when I get home, so I'm both looking forward to it and also not. I'm regretting having come because I feel like I've neglected a lot. I HAVE neglected a lot.
Anyway, there's nothing I can do about any of it now and from here. I'm tired and I'm frustrated.

This weekend I'm going to Shimla, up in the Himalayas. At some point, I still need to make it to Agra. Also at some point, I need to learn how to speak Panjabi. :(

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Concerning Fabulous Trips

I just got back from Amritsar. I have haggled in the marketplaces. I have seen the Golden Temple. I have walked on its roof. I have bathed in the holy waters there. It was amazing. I'm in the process of trying to upload photos on to Facebook.

Today I am going to Varanasi. I am so excited for my trip.

School is getting easier. I finally earned a Kalliope-type grade on an exam, which made me happy. I haven't wanted to cry in over a week, other than on the bus ride to Amritsar, during which I had a sad epiphany that my life plan is probably not going to go the way I want it to. Big surprise, right? Whatever. I'm in India. I'm doing awesome things. This summer is far more awesome than I could have imagined.

I'll be offline for a week. Having awesomeness.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Concerning Monsoon

So, Saturday monsoon hit in full force. On a 3 minute walk from a tailor to my house, I got drenched. Of course, my shirt was white. Well thought-out, there. Well done. Anyway, before I reached the house my clothing was see-through and I was wading through 2 inches of water on the streets. I got home dripping wet, ran upstairs, hung my clothes to dry, and took a bucket bath. Then I flopped on my bed to do some light reading and roommate went in to take a bath.

30 minutes later, Kerna opened my door with a shocked look on her face. I looked at her, then looked down. The bottoms of her pants were up around her knees and she was standing in ANOTHER 2 inches of water. In the hallway. Looking around my room, I realized that it was flooded. The whole upstairs of the house was flooded. Water was rushing in from the balcony because the drains were clogged. Kerna noticed because in addition to filling the bedrooms with water, the crazy stuff was also rushing down the stairs and flooding the first floor. Oh Jeez.

Kerna, Roommate and I spend the better part of an hour scraping water out of the bedrooms into the hallway, and then back onto the balcony so that it could all run out the newly unclogged drains.

I will admit that of all the things I envisioned happening while I was in India, de-flooding my 2nd story bedroom was not anticipated.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Concerning Travel

Next Saturday I am going to Amritsar to see the Golden Temple, the center of the Sikh religion. While there, I will be traveling to the Pakistani border to see a sunset ceremony during which the two countries blare music at each other, open the gates between the countries, and salute each other. Sure. The weekend after that is my long break (which will mean that the program is half over), and I will be going to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Apparently, you haven't lived until you've seen it at sunrise. I'm living.

I also plan on seeing Jaipur, Dehli (pronounced "dili"), and taking a train to the base of the Himalayas.


Pictures will be on facebook. :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Concerning Pink

To continue with the whole "dukandaars are obsessed with pink" thing (dukandaar means shopkeeper), I have learned a very valuable phrase:

kion ehe gulaabi he? Menu gulaabi nehii pasaand he.
Why is this pink? I do not like pink.

Oh yeah. That's going to come in handy. :D