There’s a reason I’ve barely been posting on this blog, and have only had 2 conversations with my parents and less than five with my sig oth. The reason is that I may be working harder that I’ve ever worked in my life, which is a bit remarkable. Wake up at 5:30, either go for short run/walk, or start working. Stop working for meals, and then keep working until sometime between 11pm and 1am. It’s grueling. Sometimes it’s made me quite sad, and sometimes I feel so much adrenaline and enthusiasm for the work that the entire day just flies by. I often feel sick of sitting, so the past few days I’ve gone out for a brief evening walk just to stretch my legs.
Vasu, Dave and I went to check out the local sewer. It’s apparently quite an attraction and a place the kids go to play. At dusk, it was curtained by mosquitoes and bats.
Vasu and I were not enjoying the incredible levels of smoke on the walk.
I wish I had time for a lot of things – exploring nearby Lucknow, reading, shopping for a few new outfits that I could keep cool in, cooking a bit, taking photos, blogging, and calling dear ones back home. But there’s tremendous pressure to do a million things and I’m trying my very hardest to keep up. I had to make the decision to work – and not think about everything else I could be doing.
A few other stores of somewhat amusing daily events:
It’s hot here – you’ve heard that before. Women must cover their entire legs in villages like mine – I know this. However, when I wake up at 5:30 every day to start working, I tend to work in my long shorts in the bedroom. I think they count as decent for around the house clothes (they come to the middle of my knees) and they are infinitely cooler than pants. However, I know they should NEVER be worn outside the house. One morning I was working hard in the bedroom and went upstairs to tell other teammates about something – and when I walked in the room (still early in the morning) the driver Dinesh was sitting there. There was such pure shock on his face. He got up and walked out of the room, and went to sit in the car because he was so shaken (as Vasu told me when I pushed her, sensing something was very wrong).
I felt horrible that I made him so uncomfortable – and worried that he’d hold my “indecency” against me. These calves, ankles, and knees are too much for Jagdishpur… sigh.
(Men, on the other hand, can run around in skimpy shorts like these on the Muffin Man. Ram swears he would be laughed at if he wore them out of the house – but at least he can wear them around inside without making people flee!)
Thankfully, I think Dinesh has forgiven me, forgotten, or just filed the incident away in the catalogue of our oddities.
Vasu told us about about an Indian joke:
“Theres this popular saying… ‘You’re in heaven if you have an american salary, chinese food, european job, and an indian wife. You’re in hell if you have indian salary, european food, chinese job, and an american wife.’ The joke is that she would demand equal rights.”
“Well, that would be hell. Definitely.” – Alyssa
Well said, Alyssa. Indians definitely have a thing with Chinese food (or indo-chini as they call it, I think). It’s nothing like the chinese food I love back in the USA, which is surely nothing like authentic chinese food. Our favorite dish to order at the only restaurant near where we live is “Singapore Noodles”- a completely made up dish with nothing to do with Singapore consisting of stir fried ramen and veg (veg in this case = onion, chili, and some cabbage if you are lucky).
And an Indian wife is preferred because she is known to worship her husband as a god – we americans may not always be counted on to do the same (!).
“Is David a fighter?” the field boys ask. David bhaiya (David brother) as they call him is fit but slim with the look of someone who may have recently completed P90X. To them, he’s something magical. Part of it is because of the muscle-obsessed culture India is becoming (see this video proving my point, if you can handle it!). Part of it is also, I think, that he is American – and of course, part of it must be that he is friendly. Dave goes to play cricket with the field boys a few times a week – and I’m determined to join some day soon when I can find the time! I’ve now started calling dave “the fighter” in my best indian-english accent, and Ram posed with us Americans to prove the point.
The fighters continue – we’re launching the survey in 2 days.