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i like lists

Posted on 2008.01.14 at 21:18
Current Location: american pavilion office
Musique actuelle: sadly none

* it is very warm here.
* pondi is only 20 minutes away and costs $8 by cab
* thank god for bookstores in pondi
* i love my salwar kameezs
* the Hindu is delivered here every morning, my only contact with india
* the cabin in which i live is completely 100% sustainable: solar power, compost toilets, rain water system, etc
* bikes
* when indian food is found, it is yuuummmmyyy.
* in 2 weeks we are taking a 10 day trip around the state (tamil nadu)--liberty!


* it is also very humid
* there are too many westerns here for my taste.
* it is very hard to find indian food , who would have guessed?
* all the westerns that live here strongly dislike the india that exists outside of their Auroville bubble.
* can't pick up any radio stations except for auroville radio
* auroville radio only plays spiritual crap
* classes are lacking in intellectual content
* if i have to share my feelings one more time I am going to have a serious breakdown
* cult-like structure to why people do things around here. very un-authentic.
* its easy to forget that india is out there
* i see more white people than indians in my day-to-day interactions
* students who have never been to india before are missing out on many beautiful things by being trapped in this community
* even the indian classical music concerts are played by westerners.
* snakes, rats, mice, bugs, cockroaches EVERYWHERE!
* poor roads make it very difficult to get around via bikes. I wish i had a scooter.
* bucket showers are tedious



Posted on 2008.01.10 at 08:24
Current Location: Auroville
Humeur actuelle: crankycranky
Musique actuelle: none
I hate loud music that begins at 5am and ends at 7am.I hate bats. i hate snakes. i hate camping. i hate humidity. i hate dirt roads. i hate sandpits. i hate falling off bikes. I hate blood. i hate pain. I hate people who tell me to toughen up, that its all part of my "journey." I hate "body awareness" class. I hate being in India and being forced to live in an elite, white, isolated community that is only concerned with itself. I hate not being able to find Indian food in India. I hate spiritual cults. i hate people worshiping a giant gold ball. I hate eating at the same stupid restaurant every night. I hate people who come to India only to find spiritual enlightenment and don't give a shit about India itself. I hate having to spend almost 24 hours a day with the same group of 11 people. I hate Auroville, this place is really not for me. I don't like living in a sanitized bubble, its not India. I can't wait to get out of here. Sadly, its only the 4th day. *sigh* If I hear one more lecture by a french person on the "mother's" philosophy I am going to seriously go INSANE. This is such a disappointing experience...and i can't even get a good cup of chai. *sigh*


transportation of the world

Posted on 2008.01.02 at 21:27
Current Location: Chennai
Humeur actuelle: okayokay
Musique actuelle: some bollywood hit i'm sure
I think I might have given people the wrong impression of Delhi’s public transportation system. Yes, the metro is fabulous and efficient, but it costs anywhere from 6-10 rupees a ride. In a country with a large population barely earning that a day, the metro is, more specifically, transportation of the middle class and tourists. This also explains why it runs on time, is rarely crowed (and there was generally always a seat available) in a city of 13,782,976 9 (2001), and is a little piece of cleanliness and serenity from the chaotic Delhi streets.

It is worth noting the transportation option of the lower class, as if is highly representative of what most people have to deal with. There are a series of run down busses that serve the various districts of Delhi. These buses are notorious for being over crowded and unsafe for pedestrians and riders alike. On our first day in Delhi, the Times of India ran a short article about Blue Lines’ (a local bus company) 114 victims for the year 2007. The person was coming off the bus (note: that busses here do not come to a complete stop, they merely slow down and the passengers have to jump off) and did not jump far enough away from the bus. He was crushed under the large back tires and declared dead at the scene. Two days later, we read about victim number 115 who was walking down the street when a bus barreled by and ran him over. The day we left Delhi for Chennai, victim 116 made the paper as the driver, who appeared to be making a complete stop, only for the bus to jerk backward running over victim number 116. On this particular ride the other passengers rioted and broke the bus windows threatening to light it on fire. In all the aforementioned cases, the driver of each bus fled the scene of the accident abandoning the bus and its passengers.

And of course, let’s not leave out the rich and fabulous who wander the streets in their chauffer driven SUVs, who have also been known to run over families sleeping on the island roundabouts or sidewalks in a drunken stupor (see http://www.mid-day.com for all the Bollywood gossip).


here it goes..

Posted on 2007.12.30 at 22:41
Current Location: Paharganj
Humeur actuelle: sicksick
Tags: , , ,
Day 4 in Delhi. I have caught a cold. Somehow I have managed to ward it off the past 5 months, and now it has caught up to me. I blame it on a long night of lots of drinking with Minnie and her new husband, Akshay, who were determined to show us the classy side of Delhi by drowning us in India's finest brewed beer. We ended up at a ritzy hotel bar were Kingfisher was brought out and we never saw the end of it. Giovanni spilled the news that my birthday was the day before, which got them even more excited and then cider had to be brought out and drunk in mass quantities. sigh. I don't think i've drunk that much in years. Anyways, combine a heavy drinking night with continued jet lag and Delhi's pollution and dust and voila, a cold.

Tonight we leave on a 35 hour train ride to Chennai to make matters worse...or possibly better.

We decided to skip the tourist route from Delhi. So this will make my second trip to India w/out seeing the Taj. But oh well, another excuse to come back soon i guess.

We are meeting Ujjwala on the 3rd in Chennai and then heading down to Pondi for a few days. I am looking forward to the weather down there (a promising 90 degrees). Its been cool in Delhi, about 70 during the day and 40 at night. The first couple of days it was a real treat to have nothing but sun and much warmer temperatures than back in Seattle. Now that I am used to the nice temp. it gets colder as the days go by.

Delhi has been amazing. It is wonderful to be back in India, in the chaos of the developing world. Since last time we were here they have put in a metro which is amazing. It drives me crazy that the Indian govt. can put in a fabulous public transportation system that links the whole city in less than 2 years, and Seattle can't even come close. Seriously, one has to wonder which country is (or should be) part of the developing world.


bientôt je m'en vais...

Posted on 2007.11.27 at 18:23
Current Location: chez moi
Humeur actuelle: coldcold
Musique actuelle: orishas
in less than a month I leave for India. good-bye cold weather, and hello yummy non-stop deep fried and oily foods! i will gone for 3 months. anyone want to sublet a 1 bedroom apt.? $400/month

what else is there to say? it has been forever since i have last posted and a lot has gone on. i have almost finished my teaching internship (1 week to go!) and have one long quarter left of finishing my thesis and then finally getting my masters. then i will be like all those other teachers out there scrambling to find a job in an education system that keep cutting funding and downsizing schools. *sigh* what a scam.

i started this online journal last time i went to india 2 years ago. i really should write more, but free time is rare, or has been for the last couple of years since coming back to the states.

i have however read some fabulous books in the past few months.

i strongly recommend "the crystal frontier" by carlos fuentes. i might even call it my favorite book of this year.

second runner up, is "a river sutra" by gita mehta. brilliant.

and if you have time, "a fine balance" by rohinton mistery. ignore oprah's book club logo and just know that this a fabulous book on its own accord.


I wish it were...

Posted on 2007.04.11 at 18:55
IN two weeks I am doing another round of student teaching...this time for 4 weeks straight. All I can think about is summer, reading books I want to read, and being done with school. Every week that passes in the TEP program makes me wonder if being a teacher is really what I want to do. I am inclined to conclude that I should have done a *real* masters and not a masters in teaching. I guess what makes me feel that way is the fact that I worked a lot harder, did a hell of a lot more work, and in general got more out of my undergrad. I thought that grad school was supposed to be more challenging, but then again I am going to school in the US and training to be a teacher in an American high school where "the aim...is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is the aim in the United States...and that is its aim everywhere else" (Mencken 1924). Although this was written in 1924, this idea could be used to describe the public school system still today. Even more depressing, people seem to like, buy into, and defend it till death. It's time for some *radical* change. Just don't tell the parents...

Posted on 2007.01.03 at 18:45
Current Location: chez moi
Humeur actuelle: complacentcomplacent
Musique actuelle: rien
I hate school.

Posted on 2006.10.18 at 20:00
Current Location: chez moi
Humeur actuelle: coldcold
Musique actuelle: rien







These are pictures that my brother-in-law sent me. It's appalling, I know, but I want people to think about them. Sometimes living in seattle we forget that outside of our own little community there are people here in this country that really think like this. The response that I sent out to all the recipiants in addition to the person that originally sent this e-mail, and well as their responses to my response, will come with my next post.

PS This was sent to me with the words "Free Speech" on the comment line..kinda makes one wonder what Free Speech is really all about.


là et là et là

Posted on 2006.09.22 at 15:07
Current Location: chez moi
Humeur actuelle: frustratedfrustrated
Musique actuelle: celia cruz
So I finished my first two weeks of student teaching last week and now I am waiting around for classes to start up at the U again. At first I was looking forward to it, then I got the $3,400 price tag that came along with it. At the high school I was posted at the teachers had all kinds of fun technological gadgets from computers to digital cameras to digital projectors, and each student receives a laptop at the beginning of the year. And no, I know what you'll are thinking, this school is not in Bellevue, but in Shoreline which is by far not the richest school, but also not the poorest in the area either. On Tuesday I was back at the U to do a presentation with my cohort and we had no fun gadgets to use, just the overhead projector, which had a burnt out bulb. This leads me to wonder what exactly I am paying $3,400 for? It's fucking beyond me. As far as I can tell it's all to have the privilege of saying "Undergrad? Please, I'm a grad student." While I like this idea, I'll take any opportunity to brag when I'm paying this much money, I haven't noticed any difference between grad school and undergrad. I am still scrabbling to get into classes that are already filled. I am still sending e-mails to all the damn professors (who are all still on their summer holidays "out of the country") begging them the make an exception and let me into their classes even though I haven't met the prerequisites and then on top of that convince them to let me miss 2 weeks of their classes at the end of oct. when I go back into "the field" to conduct student interviews for my thesis. Stupid stupid stupid. School sucks.

On the other hand, on Friday I start my yoga classes. Belly dancing has been put off until winter, and salsa dancing might take place sooner than I thought. One of my grad-mates is a salsa fanatic and I have agreed to let her take me out one of these week-ends. If anyone else is interested......i also need a partner.

PS je cherche quelqu'un qui peut me dire comment la chanson "Sacre Charlemagne" se chante. Un ami libanais m'a dit que lui et ses cammarades de classes l'avaient chantée à la fin de chaque année scolaire. J'ai trouvé les paroles, mais je n'arrive pas à trouver la chanson elle-même. Est-ce on fait ça aussi en France? Peut-être que c'est quelque chose libanaise?


another one for the books.

Posted on 2006.08.23 at 14:06
Bollywood in all it's brilliance. Three hours and twenty minutes of none stop beauty, hatred, love, and sadness. I cried, I laughed, and I would definitely see it again. No one else in the world can better express the rawness,  turmoil, and glory of human emotions, than those dedicated Bollywood screenplay writers who make Indian cinema give Hollywood a run for their money. After all, who in their right mind can explain the complexities of love in less than four hours?
 Last night I saw Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. All day I agonized over trying to find someone to go with me to this film.  I called everyone I know who might have even a slightly remote interest in discovering the world of Bollywood cinema, but to no avail.  I was not too keen on driving out to Kirkland (where the only Indian cinema in the Seattle area is located) by myself, but when at 19h no one returned my messages, I set off for the eastside for the 2nd time that day (the first was to eat at the BEST Indian restaurant in all of western washington see giovanni).  I walked into the theater to discover that I was the only one there. Well, I thought to myself, this must not be as popular a film as everyone makes it out to be. After all, it's only playing one week, you'd think people would turn out for it. At 19:30 (the time the movie was to start) I saw people begin to trickle in. Slowly, the theater began to fill to capacity. There were a dozen or so families with lines of kids streaming in, all of them dancing to the beat of the latest Bollywood songs which were being blasted from the theater speakers. Eighty year old grandmothers adorned in beautiful saris followed by their granddaughters dressed  in full on American style hoodies and jeans took their seats chatting away in the their grandmothers' native languages. Í was surrounded by groups of girls and boys sitting around joking and shouting to each other to make themselves heard over the loud music while waiting for the movie to start. And so it began.

 Karan Johar is an absolutely brilliant director. While I have never seen his satellite talk show series "Koffee with Karan" (but have toyed with the idea of getting a satellite dish for this very reason...okay this and ARTE) I am a big fan of Kal Ho Naa Ho which he directed, and Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham (which he wrote).
All the greats where featured in the film, Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Father and Son Bachchan, Rani Mukherjee, and even featuring a surprise performance by Kajol. Can it get any better than this???!!!!  The soundtrack was also done by the same composers of Kal Ho Naa Ho, which in my opinion tend to get a little too modern with tracks like “It‘s time to Disco” and “Where’s the Party Tonight ,” but overall create the daunting or convivial atmosphere sought out in each scene.
    The movie itself was much less of a heartbreaking tearjerker than Kal Ho Naa Ho (anyone who used less than half a box of tissues during this film has a heart of stone).  The first two hours were filled with comedy which kept me wondering when the much anticipated doom would even present itself. The intermission came and everyone filled the lobby of the theater to stock up on samosas and chai before the second half began.  The intermission reminded me of going to see a Bollywood film in France with Ujjwala. When the intermission came the French kept playing to movie, no break.  Ujjwala turned to me and said, “These silly French, they are so pressed to finish the movie they don’t even give you a break to grab some food.  Do they not realize that a Bollywood film lasts over 3 hours!! In India we take a half hour to get snacks and have our chai. Otherwise, who can sit for that long?”  She has a point. One of the main reasons that Bollywood lacks popularity among the west is because audiences feel that the films are too long.  But one is not supposed to sit through  3 1/2 hours straight.  Another difference between a Bollywood and a Hollywood film is that Bollywood is set up to create a social atmosphere. All around me people were talking back to the characters, gasping, laughing, hurling insults at the actors. During the intermission people chatted, bought food, smiled. It was quite a festive atmosphere, something lacking in most theaters.
    The rest of the movie brought more taunting by the audience, but by the last half hour one could hear more sobbing than anything. And of course, like all classic Bollywood films, in the end, after so much pain and anguish, the suffering find happiness, and the audience finds closure

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