Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Movie Watching in India

As we all know I love movies . . . I LOVE movies. I will go to the movies alone several times a week (when I can afford it) otherwise I’m always on the look out for the cheepies or student tickets. And lets not even get started about DVDs and Tapes.

So naturally I was excited to watch movies in a country that has the largest movie making industry. Each region of India has their own mini-Bollywood with movies playing in the local languages. This is in addition to all of the major Bollywood films and the few Hollywood films that come in.

Watching movies in some of the cheaper theaters is much like watching movies with predominantly Black American audiences. For example yesterday when we were watching X-Men III the crowed ohh-ed and cheered when kitty runs through walls and sinks the juggernaut.

There are the same silly commercials and previews, although you do get to see the India Cinema Board sticker before each.

The biggest things that irk me are: 1) the lack of cell phone etiquette (so many cells go off during a good movie and people actually talk to them).

2) Indian Censor Boar- There are some cuts that are just too obvious, especially in movies like Broke Back and Capote where I think they almost wanted to punish the audience for seeing such movies.

3) Most houses don’t show the credits, and actually people will stand up and leave in the last 5 minutes of a movie. I personally (as one who will watch the credits through to the end, especially on good movies) consider this near sacrilege. Though I did manage to see all of the credits to Broke Back Mountain by just refusing to leave the theater (even though there was an usher standing right next to me, people with vacuums cleaning up all around me, and I had to continue to move slowly toward the door so some I didn’t get to see so clearly.)

Still it’s nice to see things like X-Men and Harry Potter on the big screen. And some of the movie houses are just that. Proper old -school movie houses where they still have floor, balcony, and rafter seating. After all the fun part of going to the movies is the experience.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Dreaming in Bangla

My father always said you really know a language when you start to dream in that language. I have never had this experience. I definitely never dreamed in Oshiwambo (though I still slip and throw random words in when I get tired). The closest I probably ever came was the summer I was in Germany and was honestly studying and trying to learn German.

Though I had Bengali lessons. I still don't speak much at all other than to argue with taxi drivers or fruit and veggie-wallas in the market. I know less Bengali than I know Oshiwambo. Though I can understand a fair amount when people are speaking around me and I listen carefully.

Well about a week ago it happened. I had an entire dream in Bengali. The funny thing is, even in my dream I didn't understand it. I just caught the random bits a pieces like I always do. There went Dad's theory.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The longest week since PC training (I think)

When I looked at the schedule for this week I didn't think it was that bad. Bad yes but not that bad.

Monday: Focus Group Discussion (FGD) with Young people in the Poilan area(1 hr travel both ways by bus and auto-rickshaw)

Tuesday: FGD with with Field Workers and Peer Educators at the Poilan CINI office

Wednesday: Evaluation of Outreach workers at the Falta CINI office (1 1/2 hr travel both ways) to test my new evaluation tools for Youth Friendly Services

Thursday: Last *yea* FGD with young people around Falta.

How little did I know that the travel (Calcutta public transport, save the underground/subway system, leaves much to be desired), weather (there's been storms brewing all week that haven't broken & temperatures of around 37 degrees that leave me pretty sleepless & with sinus headaches all week), not to mention the stress of dealing with other people and trying to do work(misunderstandings, miscommunication, poorly planned meetings, and fussy field workers) would leave me exhausted by Tuesday night.

It took all my energy to make myself get up today. I ended up just lying down 1/2 through my 1st sun salutaion (yoga) and dragging my obviously tired behind back to bed. Good thing it's nothing that a good dinner with friends, a pint, and sleep can't fix.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Shower Thoughts

I find the strangest and most profound thoughts tend to occur to me in the shower. The one from yesterday is that I am 10 year older (or will be soon) than I was when I was 16. This is a slightly distressing thought. 10 Years older than 15 or 14, isn't bad. I was just a kid then. But at 16, I was doing things, starting to drive etc. And it's just going to get worse, before I know it I'll be 10 years older than 17, 18 (voting age), 20, soon I'll have been legal for 10 years.

The one redeeming thought is that I'm still 24 years away from being 50.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Random Picture Time

Me leaving the African Continent for the first time in years. About a Year and 2 months ago now.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Stop the Presses. . . or not

So yesterday the major part of my project almost came to a complete stop. Realizing that the translator we got would not be able to conduct the Focus Group Discussions (FGD) and Chandereyee (one of my co-workers) who normally goes out with me would not be able to go, (and maybe not to the others as well) I finally had a meeting with my boss, Laboni, to figure out how these were going to get done.

It started well enough. I explained why the translator we got could not conduct the FGD and asked if this was still important enough to proceed with, and gave my suggestion of what should happen next.

Laboni then proceeded to virtually blow up that after 5 months we could not get 10 FGD completed.

I informed her that those she had placed me to work with did know about this for the last 5 months, however no one did anything until Chandereyee went out with me.

At which she continued to blow up about how this wasn’t a group project, there should be more than 2 people involved, we haven’t made it a priority, where the blame should be placed, yadda, yadda, yadda. And since they hadn’t made it a priority or supported me in a group like fashion the whole thing should be canceled.

This sent Chandereyee, already suffering from laryngitis into a coughing fit. And while Laboni extolled a while longer on CINI deficiencies and how they only do something if it’s connected to a donor or funding (which is pretty true), I tried to calmly remind her that 3 FGD were already scheduled for the next week.

It took about 15 mins to get her to see reason and allow us to continue on with my evaluation as planned. But talk about a stressful 1/2 hour. The major part of all of the stuff I've been working on for the last 9 months almost got permantly shelved. OY!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

April Question Answered

Great answers people. Unfortunately I'm pretty out of touch and all of the songs go on my "to listen to and get" list. I also asked Yahoo Answers and got these

So far mine are:
Best of What's Around- DMB
You Learn- Alanis Morisette
Sunday Kind of Love- Etta James
Everyday- Angie Stone & D' Angelo
Find Him- Cassandra Wilson

But I'm sure I'll have more by the end of the year :) Any Suggestions for the next question?

Plans and Preps

After my first 3 months as a PCV I asked one of the older volunteers if one ever stops planning about what they are going to do afterward. She said “No but the plans do get a lot more concrete and closer.”

Similarly it seems like a significant portion of my time here has been spent planning for the next year. From Med and Grad School applications, to acceptances, and of course getting fun things from here for all of my people in the States, the last 9 months (along with having fun in Cal), have been about prepping for the next year.

Now with only about 6 weeks left in country (only about 4 ½ in Cal *eep*). I’ve already planned my first week in the US in so much detail that I’ve asked Mom to meet me at the airport July 2nd Cincy airport at 9:15pm (I have a 3 hour layover in JFK from 3:30-6:50 NY people) with my cell phone so I can let people know I’m back in town.

Yet life in Cal is proceeding as normal; finding gifts, trying to finish my projects, getting pints, dancing, and watching movies. I could probably forget I’m leaving so soon, if people didn’t keep reminding me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What Did You Say?

Wow, just look at you! Your body is all glistening and there's such a shine to it.
Me: I'm sweaty!
-Chiru to me as I was leaving the dance floor where DD (DJ and alleged choreographer and I had another dance of. I'm pretty sure I won)

I amble with the shuffling gate of an aged clergyman
-Anirudh on walking.

I mean sex is just capitalism of the body.
Me: What?
Nothing ventured nothing gained.
Anirudh: What if she proposes?
I guess that's communism then
Me: More like socialism.
- Patrick over pints on how one of his mates needs to pluck up his courage and approach a bird.

You could do that. No listen we should get someone to paint your body and then you can dance.
-Chiru commenting on a Japanese dance program I missed.

Maybe he was just admiring your form,
Dirty old man?
Me and Sujit:Yes
- Sujit commenting on Chiru's comments.

Friday, May 12, 2006

You Have to Take This One

Random Questions but Spot on (Sans the second comment)
The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to good manners and elegance.

In love, you feel the most alive when everything is uncertain, one moment heaven... the next moment hell.

You'd like to your lover to think you are stylish and alluring.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was ruthless, cold-blooded, and sarcastic.

Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage as something precious. You'll treasure marriage and treat it as sacred.

In this moment, you think of love as something you thirst for. You'll do anything for love, but you won't fall for it easily.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Scary and Home

So they finally brought back my laptop from the shop, and it appears to be fixed. But they left my dongle (yes my laptop is that old). And I caught myself telling the delivery guy "I'm not asking you I'm telling you that I put it in there." Which sounds exactly like something my father would say. Isn't it scary when we start sounding like our parents.

Since I'm leaving soon people keep asking me if I'm excited to go home and what I've thought of Kolkata. I've also caught myself referring to Namibia as home recently. Which made me think "What is/where is home?"

Though my HOR (Home of Record) is 6923 Noble Ave. Cincy. That is definitely what I think of when I think of home. I know I felt like home when Kate, Nate, Naima and I all met up in Whitefish last year. Cal is comfortable. I'm comfortable here, but is it home?

Maybe I've elevated to the point that I am at home within myself so I carry home wherever I go. But somehow I feel like I shouldn't get stared-at at home, and I definitely get stared at home (They did eventually stop in Namibia after a few months). Though I'm definitely becoming a regular at my pizzeria and local Pub/Club. I know the DJ's and waiters, and people are starting to recognize me.

I think that's the scary thin about moving to Columbus for me. This is the first city I'll move to where I already feel at home. There will be no adjustment period (other than finding a flat), I know the area, some cool people in the city, and some places to chill. Never before have I moved to a place where I've already felt at home.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Forgotten Question or

Just less chatter. Hey people, lets hear some chatter on April's Question. There's only about a week less and I have to admit the number of ansers are kinda depressing. Just to make it interesting I'm going to ask the same question to Yahoo Questions in a bit, and we can compare answers. But I'd like to have a few more answers to compare to.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Singing in the . . . Sun

So, after it didn't happen though my 2 years in Namibia, I've finally done it. I've become one of those people. I now carry an umbrella everywhere.

At first I was against such people, thinking that they were too conscious of their complexion. Then I walked around with an umbrella one day and the decrease in the heat I felt was immediate. It's a portable shade. Though walking with one does require a bit of practice. Knowing which way to tilt it to get the full benefit of it's shade, how high to raise it when on a busy street so that others can pass by or so you don't hit displays, getting used to the gusts of wind and how to keep your umbrella in control, switching hands so that one hand doesn't get too tired all of this takes some practice.

I of course find additional benefit from my umbrella.
1-I can use it to shade/hide my face when I'm feeling too stared at. You should see how far down guys have stooped to try and see under my umbrella

2-I specifically use it to block the view of people who are already staring too hard.

3-It enforces my personal space so that men find it harder to "brush by" me.

4-And even when they try to the metal ends and getting hit by my umbrella (because I will hit them with my umbrella if they are crowding me on my little patch of the sidewalk, as I did to two guys this morning) makes me feel a bit more vindicated.

Of course it has come in handy on those few occasions I've been caught in the rain too.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

These Things are Quite Scary

I think this is what kate has been trying to tell me for years
You Are 70% Weird

You're so weird, you think you're *totally* normal. Right?
But you wig out even the biggest of circus freaks!