Lethargy is My Armor


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Asia » India
May 7th 2009
Published: May 7th 2009
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Why don't we build enormous white elephants anymore. They're so cool.
India is bizarro Nepal. In Nepal every service is either non-existent or so sporadic that it might as well not exist. ATM's work on alternate blue moons if you're lucky. Electricity pops on and off at irregular or regular intervals so that just when you think you can count on having power at a particular hour you get thrown a curveball. Now India, so far, has all the modern services you could require and everything pretty much works. So life is easier right? Nope. On the cultural front everything has been so mangled from what you or I accept as the norm that if anything life is subtly more difficult. You can't even count on a head nod as meaning yes. There are no head nods!!! You've got to learn a whole new vocabulary of neck and head movements. That wasn't in the brochure. The bureaucratic attitudes towards almost everything has my rage-o-meter bouncing against the rev-limiter. In true bureaucratic fashion rules are adhered to strictly only when working in the bureaucrat's favor, otherwise everything is open to negotiation. So the first few days were a little rough just adjusting and trying not to kill some poor Indian guy for just
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Can you spot Fi?
being Indian. "First few days," might be a little generous. I was irate for a week...two weeks? I don't remember, but everything's ok now. It's......OK. I tell myself every morning.

Once I (Fi is much more flexible, although not perfectly so) emerged from this fog of cultural intolerance life's gotten a little better. The trick is the title of this blog entry. You must adopt the local attitude of not giving a shit about anything. If you attach even the slightest importance to any particular goal you have, you'll only go insane. So my attitude is and forever shall be, in India, "Fuckitwhocares."

Fi and I are not done in India. We've just more or less finished the east coast and are roughly half way through India, time-wise. We've gone all the way from Darjeeling, the Himalayan hill station so famous for its tea, to Pondicherry, the slowly and charmingly decomposing husk of the French concession near the southern tip. We've been checking out the temples and fortresses as we've moved south while attempting to master the art of avoiding the heat of the day. The temperatures have been record breaking for much of our first month here sometimes heading right past 45C (That's 113F for those of you still clinging to the Imperial System). The sleeper train journeys have been the most comfortable and convenient transport we've encountered so far and the food has been fantastic if gastro-intestinally challenging. In fact right now in Pondicherry we've been splurging a bit and enjoying very passable French food as a little break from the Indian fare. We leave tomorrow and return to local diet. I'm looking forward to it.

No real dangerous adventures so far. We're heading out to go canoeing in crocodile infested waters in two days though so don't worry. More exciting blog entries to follow. Enjoy the photos.

P.S.
Congratulations on finishing the marathon (It's like a telephone-colonel) Mom. You the man.


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12th May 2009

Hi guys, hope you're having a great time. Gabe your photo's are outstanding! Safe travels. Ally x

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