Archive for August, 2009

No longer feeling out of place

August 20, 2009

My third week in India is fairly work-oriented. Teaching, grading and preparing lessons. I am a volleyball “coach” on Thursdays from 2-3, after classes.

I visited the Chairman’s Club fitness club and I just ran for 45 minutes around the Gandhi Krishna Vignana Kendra University of Agricultural Sciences campus my apartment, so I’m beginning to feel a bit more sustained energy coming.

Last Friday I went out to Hint (a club downtown) and had a great time dancing in Bangalore. The DJ was playing Michael Jackson and bhangra back-to-back. I’m not sure about the illegality of dancing.

Saturday was India’s Independence Day. Krishna Diamond Apartments put together a little morning in the common area which I enjoyed with my neighbors.

One man recalled going to see Gandhi as a child.

Most of my neighbors attended the event.

Even though it was a Saturday and a national holiday, many children were marching at school.

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The remainder of the day was spent riding and to walking around at 1478m in Nandid waurgtching monkeys grab people’s possessions and visiting temples. Click here to see pictures.

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August 8, 2009

When one decides to become an expat, one should accept the probability of loneliness. This is what my principle told me. There have been moments of loneliness, but at this point the novelties are overpowering. Yesterday my classroom was painted, the floors were cleaned and my furniture was set up. This was all done for me, just like most things so far. I will be teaching students from grades 8, 10, 11, and 12.

I have found that I can accept being alone even when surrounded with others. When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. I have learned to enjoy my own company at those times. I am excited to improve my communication with the locals in order to form closer bonds. I have been lucky enough to befriend two Indian teachers (Mobin and Avinash) with motorcycles who have taken me for rides in the city. Traffic has few rules, but it somehow manages to work (from what I’ve seen so far).

The school staff met up for drinks and dinner, and while a number of teachers left early, some abstaining from alcohol, there were a few of us that kept the night moving with scotch, great Indian food and Cuban cigars.

Today the new teachers were driven around by Raja and Madhu for a day tour of the city. First, we drove to the Bangalore Palace (click here for pictures) Then we visited Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens (click here for pictures) as well as a few other places to get us more familiar with Bengaluru. I enjoyed a mushroom dish that was a “jerezi” or something. I also ate masala parantha and rice. I also drank a little Indian water… I figure I’ll drink a sip now and then to see if I can build my immune system.

The lights are flickering. Maybe the power will go out again. My wonderful neighbor told me that I am going to an international auto show with him tomorrow. He does not invite, he commands. I had to tell him he was mistaken since I have to work tomorrow to get ready for the first day of school on Monday. Tonight the teachers are going to a place called Opus to listen to jazz and rock, but I’m staying home this time. I do not need to spend all of my time with my colleagues. I need to meditate for an hour, do this blog and some reading. My peace of mind and independence must be cared for.

Hello world!

August 5, 2009

Yesterday, Marietha, a Columbian woman who has been living in Bangalore for seven months, took me shopping at a mall in the next neighborhood. We decided to walk, which proved exhausting because of all of the traffic coupled with the fact that there are no walkways. Walking in the roads, the cars, buses, rickshaws and motorcycles regularly come within inches of hitting the pedestrians while blowing dark exhaustion into our path. There are many stray dogs and I was surprised to see a man pissing on the side of the road 10 meters from a police officer. I am happy to have the freedom to do so. No more holding.

I was woken up at 2am to the sound of about 20 stray dogs howling and barking. When I woke up in the later in the morning, I discovered why I am supposed to take my garbage out every day. Hundreds of ants had gathered around the garbage pail to enjoy the smell of banana peels and apple skin. The incessant crowing of the rooster and the continual bang of the temple bell 20 meters away from my apartment joined with the sound of my neighbors talking in Kannada loudly outside my door in the hallway. India is truly no place for the impatient.

I couldn’t figure out how to get a dial tone on my landline, I don’t know when I’ll have internet access and I have to wait for a code for my new cell phone in order to make international phone calls, but I am excited to talk with voices from within the western hemisphere.

Take a virtual tour of my apartment: