Friday, March 31, 2006

Closer to Out Than In

I've come to realize that I really only have another 3 months here and less than 3 at my site. Where has the time gone. I should go into one of those long things about the things I've come to appreciate here and will miss, but I will leave that for June. In the meantime you get

Things that still Irk me-

Honking: although I don't hear it 1/2 of the time and have been able to tune out a lot, I shouldn't have to have my shuffle on high just to hear the back beat to a song.

Ineffective meetings: Okay, for every 5 or 6 meetings we have only one thing or Plan Of Action is chosen. At least in Namibia I was at power to change it (well my meetings anyway) and things were definitely decided at those all day PTA meetings (even if they weren't acted upon always).

Men "Brushing By" me: The side walk is huge, buddy, use the space, and don't touch my ass.

Feces on the Side of the Road: No poop-er scooper laws around here, and with all the street dogs it would be pretty hard, but some of it. . ..

Public Urination: Okay it's not really irksome, just funny. Especially when they look around while they are peeing.

Things I still miss-

Booty Shaking: Because of the lack of booty in this country, people don't really shake it. After living in the "Dirty-Dirty South" and then in Southern Africa (where everyone even the white people have booties) I miss it, and no one really appreciates it here. Or at least not in the right ways.

Non Pretentious Clubs with Good Music: Most of the ones we went to in Africa were like that and I'd found one in ATL too. Here, even when the music is really good, people are often too snooty to dance.

Peace Corps Health Care: It really spoils you for any other, its so good (especially when you are traveling)

My Dog: Nando or Chaka, there's nothing like having a fuzzy companion to come home to.

My Cell Phone: With voice activation, and being able to call any of my friends at almost anytime. I really miss being able to talk to you all.

Friends who Don't Leave: As I said in Desultory in Cal people are always coming for a bit and leaving. Very cool people but you do miss them when they are gone. (I'm sure some are wishing the same about me. . . I hope :)

Things that still sadden me-

Beggars: You just can't give to anyone, and I do give often as much as I can. But I still feel bad when I don't give.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

You Call that Hot?

After opening my doors out to the balcony, turning my fan on high and wearing as little as possible as a shield to the elements, I still spent a night a little too warm for comfort. When I looked at my fabulous travel clock this morning it told me that it was 32 degrees C at 6:45am (89.6 F, it always seems more daunting in Fahrenheit). Yes my friends it is definitely no longer winter or even spring. Two distressing things about this fact.

1- It's only March. Things keep getting hotter until August just like the states and I don't have an air-conditioner

2- The highs of where I may be next year are still in the low teens C (I'm actually not as uncomfortable as I probably should be, therefore I will freeze next year)

PHS update, I'm leaning toward OSU. . . they do want to pay me after all.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Me on Canvas

Who Should Paint You: Andy Warhol

You've got an interested edge that would be reflected in any portrait
You don't need any fancy paint techniques to stand out from the crowd!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

On the Town

As most know I have no problems taking on the cities I live in alone. Save the cost of taxis (or Petrol in the States) I love taking a day to look about, take in a mid-day movie, sit in a cafe and read or treat myself to a nice lunch. Last Saturday I had my first official lone day on the town.

Order of the day:
Buying an Umbrella and window shopping in the mall
Seeing Pride and Prejudice
Looking through Crosswords for a book of my Guru-ji's that I lost (and resisting buying a book of Marian Keys short stories)
Looking through Oxford for the same book
Waiting for a friend to have drinks (He's one of those silly people who don't have Cell Phones, couldn't tell me he couldn't get out)

Bad lines used on me through the day:
Where are you from?
I know someone who is just about your size.
What's the time?
*Just following me around*

The best part was the new Pride and Prejudice, mainly because I didn't know it was in town and just fun.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Becoming a Regular

So I go to the small corner convenient store, walk up to the guy and ask him for 2 rolls of TP (everything is behind the counter). He smiles grabs them hands them over and asks if that is all. I say yes, he looks confused and says "No Chocolate biscuits?" Yes my friends I have become a regular.

I love becoming a regular. It means you give one place enough of your service, and they like you enough to remember your order. This has only happened to me in two other places: Nando's in Namibia, (where they remembered I don't like mayonnaise on my chicken burgers) and Atlanta Dinner. Becoming a regular at Atlanta Dinner was really one of my proudest moments. Walking in and having someone bring my hot water with lemon and honey and a glass of cold without even asking, was brilliant and took many episodes of late night studying and Saturday afternoons.

Being a regular is apart of really making someplace home. I wonder where I'll become a regular next.

No One Should Be Surpised by This One

You Are Kermit

Hi, ho! Lovable and friendly, you get along well with everyone you know.
You're a big thinker, and sometimes you over think life's problems.
Don't worry - everyone know's it's not easy being green.
Just remember, time's fun when you're having flies!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Work Stuff

So I once again have taken the patience to put up pictures, and since I've recently talked about work so much I'd figure it'd make sense for you to see a bit of where I do, what I do.

CINI-ARC and one of the many guard guys that work there.

Because space is pretty scarce most times, I had set myself up in my nook (when my laptop was working properly anyway). So here is where I do all my writing and spend 5 out of 7 days.

This is the computer room, pretty much where every one else works, and me too now that my laptop is in the shop. The upside is that I've been able to have some fun online conversations. I'm usually in the seat that the woman in yellow is sitting in.

This is actually at work too. At the end of each month everyone (fieldworkers, directors, program managers, resource staff etc) get together to give updates on how each project is going. This particular time also happened to be CINI-ARC's anniversary too. This is Chandreyee, we work together on the youth participation evaluation and she's generally pretty cool. She's also my partner for forming Harry Potter Theories. . . Did I mention she also dances?

So the few times I'm not in the office I'm in the field. Back in December I wrote about the Youth Melas(Fairs) Here are some pictures from them. This is just a typical booth. The woman on the Left is Tulika an Outreach worker for this program.

The guys had a slow bike race which I've only seen/participated in once before at a Jack and Jill event. Still pretty fun.

After the guys had their race, the girls gathered to play "Pass the Ball" (Hot Potato) They made me play too and I ended up winning.

Here I am embarrassedly accepting my prize which turned out to be a VCD of Song clips from Bengali films, and a strange plug-in scene which I re-gifted at our Non-denominational Festival of Good Tidings. Not the VCD though. That I actually find pretty entertaining.

Oh and this is just a really pretty area in one of the villages. It makes me miss living in the rural land. You don't get this in the city.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Desultory in Cal

I don’t think I can live without my Ipod Shuffle. I generally have it on me all the time: when I’m doing yoga, walking down the street, taking a taxi. It’s so little and light. The other day I left it at home (in an effort to be cute) and it was a definite loss (for the one taxi ride I had alone). I also think I’ve become a bit preoccupied by my Itunes most played list. The other day while listening to a tape (yes I still have tapes and a walkman) I thought to myself. “I should let this song go to the end before I rewind it so that this play gets counted”

There are few things as depressing to a single girl than being surrounded by happy gay couples like I was last Friday. You just keep thinking, “They found each other, why can’t I find someone.”

So I’ve been declared an honorary Brit by my friends Aneruit and Patrick. It all started when I was having a conversation with Aneruit and he suddenly stops and says:
“Wait you’re from America, right?”
“But you said trousers?”
“Well, I haven’t lived there much in the last 4 years”
“I knew there was something wrong with this conversation”
So between all my little British-isms (which seem to be growing the more time I spend with those two) and the fact that the last time I was home (in the US) people kept asking me where I was from, I’ve been dubbed honorary British. Though I still don’t get cricket and the guys say they will explain it to me, I have sat through some long cricket discussions.

I got a bunch of Bendis (the dot people wear) when I first got here which have just been sitting in my cabinet. I figured I should start wearing them so I don’t just drag them home with me. Everyone tends to like the way they look, but generally at some point during the day they will either migrate or fall off entirely. While doing my sit-ups the other day I found one at the bottom of a random shirt, how it got there. . .?

The kids at the end of my block are special. Other than directing people to my flat when we have parties they also: greet me daily, ask me if I’m speaking to a friend (if I’m on the phone), make a comment on my clothes (especially if I’m wearing a sari or western wear), ask what music I am listening to (sometimes I let them listen too), invite me to play badminton for a while (I’m really bad), or say something else to me that in my poor Bengali I still don’t understand. They are pretty fun.

So there’s a huge train station by my house and you can hear the trains at all times of the day and night. It’s a random slice of life living next door. Only the 3am express and when people on the platform peep over the stone wall separating us to watch me skip rope in the morning annoys me.

I'm starting to think that Black Americans outside of the US are pretty exotic. In all my time here I only ever met 2 other Black People from the States and one was actually Nigerian studying in the states and the other was ½ Senegalese ½ Florida white person. Though our media and music has gone almost everywhere it seems that most Black Americans (Those of us who for generations have been born and raised in the states- Homegrown Ashley would say) don't leave the US. Even while traveling I met only a few and they were all Peace Corps Volunteers in Africa. Now that I think about it even in Germany people were surpised to hear I was from the US. (Though they accepted it and never tried to tell me I was really Cuban or from the West Indies). I guess I'll be plain again when I get back. . . We'll as plain as I ever can be.

The best and worst thing about Cal/Kolkata is that you get to meet a lot of people. It’s not the typical tourist town (most people hit Delhi Bombay, the Himalayan area or the south), so you get a unique collection of people working or studying here. I’ve met designers, exporters, PHD candidates, one guy who was here to teach rugby to street kids, etc. The bad thing is people are always leaving. Karan and Avo (their picture was up here somewhere) are moving back to Delhi after fashion week. Aneruit’s leaving after he finishes his book in April-ish. I’ve been to countless goodbye parties. But I guess since I’m leaving too (at some point) I can’t complain too much . . . can I? It would just be nice if everyone left after I did.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Question of the Month March

This one came as a suggestion.

"If you could live one day over again, what day would it be and why??"

A New Player Enters the Game

I've been accepted to UMich School of Public Health too :-)

Decisions decisions. . . have I always vacillated so much or have my big decisions been fewer and farther between, or have I not really had options before?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

My Happy Holiday-Answer to Feb's Question.

For all of you who participated thanks. I particularly liked Julia's Forcemas and the cubicle monkey day. For Details

Bed Day/24hrs off-

This holiday would be celebrated 4 times a year, once per season, and can be taken at anytime within that quarter.

Bedday/24hrs off- Requires the shutting off of all communication devises, Cell phones, Computers, Blackberries etc. for 24hrs. Each person is allowed to do whatever they like for 24hr, as long as it returns to thier bed.

Activities may include, watching movies in bed, reading, sleeping, doing other things, having a long leisurly breakfast or lunch (and returning to bed or you can eat in bed if you are good about crumbs). Anything else you wish to do, taking leasuirly walks, skiing etc, is allowed as long as you go back to bed and rest afterward. This day should be one of complete relaxation as well as fufilling the desires of self, not work, or others. (Of course restrictions are placed if your desires are to harm others or restrict thier freedoms)

This day is for 24hrs. So if it starts 5pm Friday you have until 5pm Sat to do as you wish. It is 24hrs off from the world.

The Best Possible Real Holiday

So I'd played it a couple times at Emory with the Indian Cultural Exchange, but this was my first Holi in India. This Holiday ROCKS!

It's basically the celebration of the coming of spring so everyone buys or wears white. Then you get colored powders, water with coloring, and go around throwing it on people. A usual greeting goes like this. You walk up put some colored powder on their cheek forehead or feet (if you want to be REALLY respectful) and say hi. You can also just squirt them with colored water, make sure they are good and wet and colorful and then say hello and happy Holi. This is called Playing Holi. It's great because you get to run around and act like kids, it's a supped up powder/water war. Water guns and balloons are all so used. Anyone in white is an open target.

Avo, Sohini, and I headed over to Neela's house around 10:30am, picking up Aditi on the way (who was already a bit colorful) and really excited. We get to Neelas Garden. Set up the powders on open flat baskets, get a huge tub and fill it with water and add the coloring. The biggest problem was that there are two kinds of water colors. The ones that wash off and the ones that don't. Though we tried to hide them, Aditi kept getting into them and covering her hands with them and then smearing them on you. It started with just the 4 of us Neela, Stan and another french woman staying with Neela at the moment, but by the end Patrick, Lily (both British journalist in Cal for a year) Andy and Ravi (his boyfriend visiting from Ghana)a bunch of Neela's family and and a few others. Aneruit refused staunchly to leave his house.

Notable Moments-
-Hearing Aditi yelling out "Chinky" whenever Avo did . . .anything (he's from Nagaland and looks more east Asian)

-Andy after being thoroughly doused in pink dye which got into his contacts (not a problem according to him, just rose colored glasses) but made the whites of his eyes pink and his contacts golden looking.

-Being doused by water as soon as you started to dry, or being told you look too clean.

-Using wet powder to paint designs on people.

-Throwing cups of colored water on people.

-Attacking and running away from the retaliation, I also enjoyed attacking those running by.

-Watching Ravi who managed to look calm and composed even when 1/2 of his face was green and the other 1/2 was yellow.

-When Neela's mom came out after lunch and started to join in.

-People apparently really liked putting powder in my hair (I had it in 2 french braids), so that I'm still washing pink out of it 2 days later.

of course the clean up was incredible, and the next day you can tell anyone who played. pictures to come :)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Turning Veggie

I've been happily flexitarian for the last 3 years. Going for months without eating meat and then having the occasional piece of chicken. This has been great, because I don't feel bad for ordering the veggie option, but I can find easier sources of protein. But recently (for the last month about) every time I have chicken I start thinking. . . "Why am I eating this? It doesn't really taste good." This is the exactly the same thought I have on those few occasions I've had red meat in the last 8 years or so. (I stopped eating red meat about 8 years ago). Even when I know it's really good mentally, my favorite dish at my favorite restaurant per se, it's just not that good.

I think I'm turning veggie. Which overall I don't mind that much except then you become one of those people. With their special meals and "There's nothing for me to eat" and here they always act extremely superior to everyone else. Granted I'd be in good company. Many of my friends are veggies. It's just scary that my taste buds are deciding for me.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Scary Tests and New Answers

Alright, So I'd figure I'd take some more of those random test thingys for your blog. Considered doing one per week, but they are just a little too real. They peg me scarily welll. . . I guess I'll show you what made me think this.

The Sonnet
Deliberate Gentle Love Dreamer (DGLDf)

Romantic, hopeful, and composed. You are the Sonnet. Get it? Composed?

Sonnets want Love and have high ideals about it. They're conscientious people, caring & careful. You yourself have deep convictions, and you devote a lot of thought to romance and what it should be. This will frighten away most potential mates, but that's okay, because you're very choosy with your affections anyway. You'd absolutely refuse to date someone dumber than you, for instance.

Your exact opposite:
Genghis Khunt

Random Brutal Sex Master
Lovers who share your idealized perspective, or who are at least willing to totally throw themselves into a relationship, will be very, very happy with you. And you with them. You're already selfless and compassionate, and with the right partner, there's no doubt you can be sensual, even adventurously so.

You probably have lots of female friends, and they have a special soft spot for you. Babies do, too, at the tippy-top of their baby skulls.

ALWAYS AVOID: The 5-Night Stand, The False Messiah, The Hornivore, The Last Man on Earth

CONSIDER: The Loverboy

Link: The 32-Type Dating Test by OkCupid - Free Online Dating.
My profile name: nomuhle

Scary isn't it. Anyway my newest addiction/distraction is Yahoo Answers. Real people asking and answering real questions. It's horribly addictive, and fun.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

CINI frustrations

Okay, So I'm working for this NGO who requested me to come. I work out a project and try to get to work.

1st Issue- Because my project is in someways an evaluation I of course have a difficult time obtaining the files and records I need to do an evaluation. So from Oct-Dec I spend time hounding the program directors for their files and end-up having to do things the old Namibian way and stand over people's shoulders to make sure I get what I need. Of the three programs I'm evaluating only one was really cooperative, and that's because one of the key workers is also in the Knowledge Management division (which is where I'm supposed to be)

2nd- So in order to do this evaluation of "Youth Friendliness" (YF) which CINI claims to be and "Youth Participation" I had to create some form of evaluation tool, which with some research and a meeting or two with all the program people I did get done. So I create this great evaluation tool and send it out to everyone. It will get modified some with the Focus Group Discussions (FGD) which I'll hold in a bit, but I thought it was great. Downside is that most people don't actually read the things I send them. I got a frantic call last Saturday from one of my co-workers asking for our YF protocol for a Proposal. Somehow she couldn't find the huge doc I had created. I'm glad it's getting used for something, but it seems like 9/10ths of the stuff I do just lies around in someones computer file.

3rd and the reason I took yesterday off- I had the most frustrating meeting ever. We the knowledge management (KM) dept, the outside consultant, and I were to meet on Reproductive Health manual I was working on. It was supposed to happen on Monday, was delayed until Tuesday. The woman who is more or less the head of the KM comes in and says the meeting will be held in a little while. I say okay ask her to call me when it starts and continue working. It wasn't until much later I discover that the meeting started and she didn't call me. They were 1/2 finished when I came in.

So on top of forgetting me we then start going through some of the changes I suggested. Understanding that some of it needed to be changed to be accepted by the community, but some things were just ridiculous. Like insisting to say "attracted to the opposite sex", instead of "attracted to others." They also were refusing to include all the female genitalia. Just because that's not what they have been doing in the villages. Who has ever heard of an NGO or similar organization up holding the status quo? You would think that they would want complete and accurate information in the manual. The current consultant did take my edited version and both will be sent to 3rd party technical guy. Either way I was really frustrated. Why have me here and ask me to do things if you aren't going to use what I have done?

My wednesday off was marvelous though.

Happy Birthday Brandon

Here he is as a tureg

And here is is normally

Monday, March 06, 2006

Current Happy things

Current Happy Music

“Sunday Morning” Maroon 5
“If You Could Only See” Everclear
“Find Him” Cassandra Wilson
“I’m Not a Fucking Drag Queen”- Peter Outerbridge
“Take a letter Maria”- R. B. Greaves
“Shining Star”-Roots, D’Angelo, Eryka Badu

Current Desktop
Satchel one of my dog Nando's puppies

Nice things about living in this particular brown country-

Upside-People can tell if I'm looking flushed or pale
Downside-People can also tell if I'm blushing (which I've tried to convince people for years I don't do, doesn't work here)

Upside-Plenty of fun hair oils, conditioners, and products
Downside-Still can't go to a salon, because my grade of curly hair confuses people

Last Week

To answer Feb's question of the month

For you all you aren't used to my question's I tend to alternate fun and serious. So let's get some more fun holidays

More Silly Blog Things

Not That Anyone should be surpised But I am in marvelous company. So is Ghandi :)
You are a

Social Liberal
(83% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(8% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

This is no surpise either, but also good company. He was my favorite charachter, but sometimes I think these particular quizes are too on target.

Your results:
You are Geordi LaForge

Geordi LaForge
Beverly Crusher
Deanna Troi
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
Mr. Scott
Jean-Luc Picard
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Mr. Sulu
Will Riker
You work well with others and often
fix problems quickly. Your romantic
relationships are often bungled.

Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character am I?" quiz...

River Dolphins and when Adults aren't

So in my ever continuing quest to get out of Kolkata. I went in on a hash trip to the Gadhiara, an area about 2 hours east of Cal closer to the Bay of Bengal. The cool thing about this place is that there are river dolphins.

6:00am- My phone alarm goes off and I call Sohini (friend of mine who I convinced to come out the day before in exchange for going out to The Underground [really cool club atmosphere, good music for about 40mins, slightly annoying showy crowd] and dancing when I was actually really sleepy. I kept yawning even on the dance floor)

6:05am- I fall a sleep thinking I had my snooze alarm on.

6:30am- I wake up realizing my alarm didn't go off. Make PB&J and throw some fruit and other lunch/snack food and water into a bag, take a shower, and head out to pick up Sonini and Emanelle on the way.

7:30am- We get to the bus, get on, Aneruit and I start a lively conversation (as we tend to do) and we wait for Neela and the others to get there.

7:50am-8:25- We all wait for that one guy who said he was going, and Neela woke up when she called at 7:45

9:30-10:30- We stop for food at a Dhaba (road-side eatery) that was really clean and have omelets and cheese Nan for breakfast.

12:00am-1:00pm- Arrive at the "Tourist Welcome Center" and hotel. The whole place was structurally nice but pretty old and run down. The hospitality isn't really so hospitable, but we tide ourselves over by swinging on the swings (or at least Sohini, Stan and I do). We drop our stuff in a room and head out to the pier to take a ferry to the island. When we get there about 1/2 of us get off while the others of us (confused when some people got back on the ferry) stayed on and went right back to where we started from. Apparently some of the older aunties were intimidated by the long thin plank people were using to go from the ferry to shore. The good thing is that we saw several dolphins leaping through the water on the way back. We think they were Eriwadi dolphins because they didn't look humpbacked.

1pm-2ish- Sohini, Aneruit, Stan, and one of the older ladies and I take a small boat out into the river. Much nicer than the enclosed ferry where we were right next to the engine. The little kid who arranged it was great. The older guy who was rowing was pretty sketchy. First he started telling us his life story. Then he decided to serenade us. . . badly. finally the kid told him to be quiet and let us sail in peace. About 15 mins after that he said that he needed to get back and was huffy for the rest of the ride. We think he was more than a little drunk.

2ish-4:45pm- We get back and meet up with the island group. Aneruit, Neela, Deep(a 10 yr old who decided to join us) and I sit down to the scrabble tournament. The first game I lose miserably. Probably from always playing for cool words and good plays with my family and friends and not caring about the points. The second game I re new my scrabble name by wining.
Lilly grabs one of the aunties and buys 2kg of either small lobsters or huge prawns. They end up having to de-claw them all before they put them in the crate on the bus because they were fighting each other and breaking the bag they were in.
There's a bunch of drama with the servers who fist bring out the tea, pour it, spill it on me and have to come back with another cup. When he brings it out it has already been poured and slopped all over the saucer and tray. The auntie demands another small pot of tea that we would mix the milk and sugar ourselves. This worked out well except for the fact that milk pitcher was really dirty on the outside (only we hoped) and there were ants in the sugar.
Since we were planing to head out at 5 we get ready to go.

5:00pm- Neela gets a call that the 6 people who decided to go over to the island late (around 3) missed the ferry and the next one isn't until 6:10pm.

5pm-6:25- We all sit around and complain about those who went to the other island and how we should leave them. Apparently they asked if they should go and were told that they shouldn't because it was so late and we were going to leave at 5pm. Neela and another auntie tried to call them but they refused to pick up the phone after the initial call. The aunties were really upset since they had planned to be home by 6 or 7. Neela, Sohini, Deep and I end up playing an unending game of crazy 8's until they arrived.

6:30- The other crew finally arrives with a lot of dirty looks from everyone. One of the crew happened to be a school teacher (which surprised me). Sohini gets concerned because Sunday is usually her day to be with her parents and they would be upset with her and worried.

6:45-9pm- We get on the bus and one of the aunties who was waiting makes a small speech about the disrespect an irresponsibility of others. One of the guys who was with the group says "lets not start a shouting match." Thus showing how sorry the crew was that they held up everyone. It is obvious that some people had never been left behind before or left Jr. High apparently. Their entire behavior was pretty juvenile. Sohini and I talk about family and men until we get back.

9:35pm- I finally roll into my flat, check to see that all of Andy's stuff is in place since he came back last night, and fell asleep not soon enough.

Fun though it was, I would've it rather been more of the crew I hang out with than the others. It was a lovely day trip and nice to have some time in the country side. Though you would think adults would behave like they are. It seemed funny to me that the youngest people there (Aneruit, Sohini, Stan, Lily, Me) had the most mature attitudes. . . or were at least more mature than those who left and held us up. Talk about school field-trip flashbacks.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


I have come to realize that most of the time I’m speaking only ½ of the people get what I’m saying. This is partly because I have now lived in so many places and have so many random references to things other people don’t get. (The other part is that I'm just random) So here is a quick translation of some of my most common phrases and where they come from. Of course there are probably a lot more and I probably haven’t caught half of them, but here are the ones I know about.

Namibia/Southern Africa-isms: These are basically things you’ll only hear in Southern Africa or when speaking Namlish. Some of the references come from traveling.

What-What- This is anything, an item, but most often an event. EG We’re having a what-what after we get done with classes today.

Is It or Izit- This is another all-purpose phrase, it more or less translates to “really”. It can be used as a question or statement. –We are going out of town tomorrow. Is it? Today was a pretty crappy day. Izit.

Somehow- Also used at anytime, it’s generally response of ambiguity. –Did you have a good time at the party? Somehow.

Shitenge- A two meter piece of cloth that can be used as a skirt, towel, shirt, pillow, sheet, thrown over your head to block the sun, to tie children onto your back etc. Possibly the best thing a traveler can have. This word is Slozi as far as we found out in Zambia, more commonly known as a sarong in the west.

Piss Attendant- Anyone who has very little power in real life, but has been put in-charge of some minor but very important task, and feels the need to wield his/her power. While waiting for the last transport to take us from some town in South Africa to Swaziland, Kate and I went to the restroom. As there so often is there was an attendant taking the 1Rand it cost to use the toilet. He wanted Kate to leave her bag with him, which had her passport, plane tickets etc. Naturally she left her bag with me instead and when she came out I handed him my Rand to go in. He refused to take it and told me I couldn’t go in. I said why am I not permitted when it was Kate who offended him. I really had to go and it would be about 2 hours before we hit Swaziland, so I placed my Rand on his table and ran in. This guy followed me into the toilet forced his way into the stall and tried to forcibly remove me. By this point I was shouting my token “DON’T TOUCH ME,” Kate had come in and at least one other person. I ended up leaving with my bladder still full and really REALY angry. Kate tried to convince me just to urinate on the building in the back, but I held it all the way to Swaziland. At some point during that very long ride Kate turned to me and said. “Remember this you have a degree, just finished Peace Corps and will go to places and do things this guy has never even dreamed of. He’s just a Piss Attendant." Usage- Don't get to upset, she's just a piss attendant.

Oshiwambo-isms: I don’t use them much but sometimes when I’m sleepy . . . or trying to speak in Bengali
Ondasa onjala- I’m hungry
Owuna- Do you have?
Ondeya- I’m coming

Indian-isms: I don’t think I have much and will probably find out a lot more when I get home.

Take Rest- Said to anyone who is looking a bit sick or feels kinda tired.
Tike or Tik Ache- Literally It’s okay
I’ve also got the Indian head wobble that means okay or I understand.

British-isms: True I have never been to the UK but they were colonizers that left their mark on the countries they colonized. It’s kinda fun now that I’m actually in contact with more British people.
Flat- Apartment
Rubbish- Trash
Mate- Friend
Cheers- A benediction in the most literal sense. It can be said whenever you are in agreement or when leaving.
Sorry- Excuse me. (It’s true that we say it in the US too, but not in the same way. It’s said when you don’t understand someone, or if someone is blocking your way too.)

Other random things that will not be discused here are "Living life with Flare" "Being Ovambo" "Mr. Taxi Man" "Nandos and Channel O" "Punjabi beats" Work Ethics of culture.

My Humor of the Day

So I have the Boondocks on My Yahoo web page and I thought this was great. Especially had a dream last night where my own personal fabulous four dressed up as characters from (of which only 3 were actually gay) dressed up as characters from "Are You Being Served". Okay the two are completely unrelated, but both are still pretty funny. . . Does it count that Naima and I have continuing conversations about Sex and the City?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Fun Reproductive Fact of the Day

Vasectomies are not immediately effective. Because of the possibility of sperm still in the vas deferens below the ligation a man may still have sperm in his semen for 10-30 ejaculations. They suggest using a condom for the first month. I guess that depends on how much you ejaculate per month.