Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer disease

The political unrest in Kashmir is like an infectious disease that flares up every summer.
I read this article in the Times of India and I thought about how it seems better for winter and cold weather to remain in Kashmir, for as soon as warmer weather comes, so does the protesting.
2008 was a bad summer. June and August, especially, were full of unrest. Curfews and strikes and angry people with rocks in their hands wherever you went. But when I watch this video, it seems to me that the young men with rocks are bolder than they used to be.
When violence escalates the way it has, there is rarely a right or wrong side anymore.
These are not "innocent" youths pictured here.
I think it must be a lonely job to work for the CRPF.
I think it must be awful to have lost a son to a bullet fired into a protesting crowd.
Living in Delhi means I have to go looking for news about what happens in Kashmir. People here go on as if nothing is happening. I do the same.
But I do remember the enforced stay-at-home days, the tires burning in the roads, the school boys who attack cars.
I may not live there anymore, but peace in the Valley of Kashmir is still something I long to see.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A book to recommend

I read a book today. I did a few other things, too. But the book was short and interesting so I made quick work of it.

The author divides the cultures of the world into hot and cold climate, or relationship-oriented and task-oriented.
I found it to be interesting and helpful reading for anyone considering a cross-cultural trip. Even for those who have years of cross-cultural experience, it's full of good reminders and observations we are prone to forgetting when we are frustrated.

I'm pretty sure we all suffer from ethnocentrism, so we can do to increase understanding between people only makes the world a little bit better, I think.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Giant tv

There is a giant screen tv at the market I visited today.
Do people watch it? Who pays for that?
It would be nice, perhaps, if you were one of the auto rickshaw drivers waiting around beneath it.
Shucks, that's something I should have taken a picture of.
Well, I'll go back there, I'm sure.

Monday, June 21, 2010


In case you are unimpressed by the number 112° F (or 44.4°C for my metric friends), here is some proof that the weather here is hot:
  • When I take the butter from the fridge and set it on the counter, it's already melted before I get out a knife and open the bread. My counter-top acts as a heating surface.
  • I have no cold water. Everything that comes from my pipes is hot. And in the kitchen it's hot enough to scald when I wash the dishes.
  • And the weightiest proof of all is that even I--I who am always cold and appreciate hot weather for the relief from winter that it is--think it's hot out.
I think that at this temperature, the eggs come out of the chickens already boiled.
Yes. It must be hot.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Not so exciting

I've been thinking to myself, what more can I write about? I haven't had a lot to say lately.

Well, I can tell you that it was a year ago today that I moved into my flat. And at that time there was so much happening that there was plenty to keep me posting frequently.
The flat shaped up in January, and since then, there's been less excitement.
So to speak.
Don't get me wrong. Every day is still an adventure, I'm just looking for a little less of it.

Take this week:
I've spent most days in the house hiding from the hot and melty-like weather. Inside I think of myself as spoiled to turn on the air-conditioning. I use it at night and during the day the cool marble floor and fan are enough. But at around two in the afternoon, I think I need a nap.
The only things it's not too hot to eat are mangoes, watermelon and koolaid. I made pasta sauce one day but was so tired afterward that I didn't eat any of it. I went and took a nap.
When I leave my room, which is cooler than the rest of the house, I immediately head to the fridge for more water, then think: "why did I come out here?" I go back to my room, remember why I went out and open the door to face the heat again.
The dust storms cover everything in dust. I could spend all day dusting and then start at the beginning again.
My refrigerator is half full of water--it's the only cold water. The tank on the roof spends the day in the sun and all the water that comes through my pipes is nice and hot.

No wonder I'm exhausted--and I LIKE heat.
And no wonder there's nothing to write about if I'm napping so much of the time.

My friend and I were talking:
"This is what hell is like," she says. "So hot and you can't do anything to be cool."
"No," I reply, "Hell is when you're cold and nothing can warm you."
Yes, we are opposites in this.
It's kind of funny how she sat there near dead--it is how I would look if you'd caught me in the middle of winter: immobile near a heater.

My outing one day this past week made me feel it was a day of great accomplishment.
I had a list of things to do and all of them got done.
The pharmacy had what I needed.
The atm at the bank was in operation.
I found the bookstore I needed and got my books repaired.
I got some groceries.
And I did it all in an hour and a half.

So perhaps you can understand that if the above is an exciting day in my life why I don't have so much to write about.
And really, I'm not asking for more excitement than this. The lull is good.

Friday, June 4, 2010

To that guy with the tshirt--

Dear guy wearing the black tshirt that said "Porno King",
This is not an appropriate moniker to wear. You should not be proud of this addiction your life.
This is not attractive. Women do not think it's cool that you disrespect them in this way.
Also, you need help. Please get some.
And burn that tshirt. It's disgusting.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I have gotten a new phone to replace the one that was recently stolen. The new one has some setting on it that allows the mobile phone service advertisements to just pop up on the screen. A text message would wait for me to choose to view it, these just appear and light up the screen.
They are annoying.
Song quizzes where you fill in the blank.
What's famous so-and-so's sister's name?
Properties available somewhere.
And yesterday it was this one:
"hi my sweety sorry if i annoy you could you please call me back ########"
Yes, airtel, you annoy me. I will not call you back and I am not your sweety. Leave me be. And while you're at it: learn to use some punctuation.