Wednesday, July 29, 2009

namaste! (the post without many pics)

First and foremost, shout out to Courtney Power! Lol

In no particular order because I forgot the order of events already, the other day, I went to watch Harry Potter – which was awesome by the way! But watching it in a foreign theater is way cooler. In essence of course. I still prefer American movie theaters but it was still an experience to be had. I’ve come to realize everywhere I go, be it the theater or the market or anything, there are metal detectors and security guards and I get scanned and felt up everywhere. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to feel safe or unsafe or what – terrorist bombing may occur at any moment? It never really crosses my mind when I go anywhere but I guess for this part of the world, it’s an actual reality. Let’s just hope nothing happens within the next two months and then I’m in the clear. So anyway, movie theater… it’s an interesting system that they have, makes a lot of sense, but at the same time, promotes socioeconomic segregation (?) Basically when you go to the theater, there is an array of ticket prices depending on where you sit – much like Broadway. The prime seats which are middle and middle obviously cost the most, with the cheapest seats being front and side. It makes a lot of sense that better seats means higher prices but I don’t know… I still like the American same-price first-come-first-serve system. Anyway, I got there pretty late and didn’t preorder my ticket so I ended up sitting pretty in the front but luckily still middle. A good thing was that the seats reclined so it wasn’t so bad – still had the entire screen in my view. Another culturally different part of the theater was the moderate noise level that was pretty constant throughout the movie – little conversations were going on here and there, loud whispering and laughing, and phones rang every so often. The person next to me actually engaged in a phone conversation in the middle of the movie. I finally, truly understand the meaning of “silence is golden” because all I wanted was quiet during the movie. But I guess people don’t understand how to not talk during a movie so oh well. Lastly, there was an intermission. I mean seriously, it’s only like 3 hours tops – you can totally hold it. It’s cool and all if you really actually had to go to the restroom – then an intermission is a godsend but I thought it was still funny, never thought a movie would have an intermission. When I asked my friend, he said pretty much all movies had intermissions and that it’s kinda part of the culture now… weird. Well now I wish that Harry Potter 7 weren’t a two-part movie but rather, a full-length 7 hour movie that had maybe two intermissions. I would totally sit in the theater for 7 hours for Harry Potter.

The other day, I also drove my first stick-shift right-side steering wheel car – awesome! What wasn’t awesome was my poor performance but give me a break, stick shift is hard – the whole foot pedal changing gears thing and stepping or releasing with the right force and all… one day I will learn it and save tons of money when purchasing a car. One day…

Trying new beers! Well they’re not terribly unique or local but I guess it’s still beers I’ve never had in the states? Tiger and Carlsberg. Maybe I have tried Carlsberg but I guess I don’t remember? Anyway, as Jamie, Vivi, Andrew So, Jess Lee, and Eileen can attest – never drink after eating spicy food. I learned my lesson in Chicago but I guess I was cornered this time? Luckily I took it easy so it wasn’t too bad this time but yeah, life lesson #1, don’t drink and eat spicy food – you won’t like the outcome.
So in my spare time, I’m reading Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, which by the way is very, very good; totally recommend it. It’s a very capitalistic, individualistic, and very may-the-best-man-win kinda book – which I totally agree with. I believe in potential and ability, action over words, whatever. The poor shouldn’t leech off of the rich, many of whom rightfully worked very hard to earn their money. Many of the poor deserve to be poor because they are lazy and don’t work hard when others are. But at the same time, I’m terribly torn, especially now that I’ve seen India. The poor here really are poor. Like not your hobo sitting on the sidewalks of New York City who didn’t care to get an education and started using drugs and can only blame himself for his position poor. But like children sleeping on a piece of cardboard under a bridge 10 feet away from traffic with only a small dirty ragged article of clothing barely covering their genitals, some even without clothes at all poor. Do we act democratically? Do we help the poor? Sometimes I think we should, which is partially why I’m going in the direction I am going. But other times, when I read the newspaper of Bill Gates donating another 100 million dollars to fund cancer or aids research or polio vaccines, I think, “maybe making money is a good thing because in the future, you can use it to help others”. But then again, through the many channels of foundations and groups and, of course greed of the world, much of the money never actually reaches those who are desperately in need of help. So maybe money isn’t so great after all, and that it’s better to take actual action even if it means you can only save a couple of lives instead of impacting millions. But that’s all we really can do in the world isn’t it? If we can even help one or two children, then we’ve impacted someone’s life and made a difference. It’s the little things that count… maybe…

Ok that was terribly depressing. I just remembered that I never really described the place I’m currently staying. Not much worth noting except that our sleeping quarters are communal. Think of dorm rooms but worse – I share a room with about 6-13 other people. And people like sleeping together here. Not cuddling but like squishing on the same bed. Which is cool I guess. 13 people, 6 beds - go figure. Yeah, privacy was out the door a long time ago. but here's some pics of the place i'm staying at, for now...
it's actually really nice (minus no AC, sometimes no electricity, terrible internet, terrible phone service, no hot water, no cable... yeah something like that)

Everyone says when you think of India, you think of dust, which is partially true. Bags of potato chips at the local deli are covered with dust… for some particularly evasive reason. Everything is covered in dust, but… the weird thing is I’m not getting any allergy symptoms. I’m usually pretty allergic to dust – I guess not Indian dust. What I now think of when I hear India are house flies. Like ridiculous amounts of house flies. Everywhere, all the time. Even right now as I’m typing, there are like 10 house flies just roaming about, sometimes landing on my arm or my leg, flying in my face. They’re quite annoying if nothing else. Well the whole puking every time they land isn’t quite appetizing either when they land on your plates and food. Sigh, I despise house flies. And I’m not sure what they mean either. After I shower, they’re on me. If I don’t shower, they’re on me. So are they attracted to dirty or clean? Or are they simply testing my patience? Totally running out… but not as much as I despise mosquitoes... ugh mosquitoes…

I don’t understand why I am constantly sticky. 10 minutes out of the shower and I feel gross again… what to do…

The other day I was reading the newspaper about people faking being in a relationship to get into discoteques (or clubs in our American terms). Apparently, discoteques only allow couples in, and not stags – aka people flying solo, or basically a group of guys. Which in my mind is preposterous. Well… let’s analyze. On first thought, it’s pretty sound because it prevents sausage fests and keeps the ratio of the club at pretty even. But then when you think about it, if only couples are allowed in, then doesn’t it kind of defeat the partial purpose of going to clubs? The whole meeting new people, making new friends, picking up chicks thing… if everyone’s in a relationship, then where’s the fun of going to a club? No one will dance with you because they’re already in a relationship. Right? I don’t know… it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. At least not right now. Which was why we didn’t go to the discoteque the other night – because I was traveling with a pack of dudes. It’s quite unfair really.
One morning, at 8am, we did Tai Chi and tea meditation. It was painstakingly ridiculous. Lol, that is all.

in about a week, i will be traveling for a bit - to gaya and bodhgaya, to parasnath, and the ganges river, and lokhshala, and of course the taj mahal. probably wont have internet so cant update much but im thinking i will post pictures on the 10th of september. im leaving india early i think (wanted to visit Darjeeling but i was told its quite similar to nepal so not worth a separate trip). have to pass through taiwan again to fly back to the states so i'll probably do a little exploring on my own in taiwan and stay a few days i know that trustworthy starbucks and it's fast internet is waiting for me so i guess i'll post my pics then... miss yall! and i'll my video when i get a chance too...


  1. i'm so confused, i've posted like a million times on a million different entries and they never show up

  2. oh NOWWW it works. now that i can no longer remember ANY of my other well thought out comments.

  3. yoo! we just got back from greece and funny storry about clubs and all..the people in europe dance so different from Americans hahahha..hope your asian adventure is going well!
    - SO

  4. miss you justin!! I would appreciate intermissions in some movies.. it draws the suspense. and gives me a chance to buy the popcorn that i never buy in the beginning of the movie- but always crave by the middle.
    that's really sad about the poverty :-\ its a vicious cycle.
    is it true the flies secrete some stuff everytime they land? i feel like that would be exhausting.. i remember learning that when i was little but are you sure it isn't just a rumor.. i think they just taste everything they touch and maybe rub something on you haha i dunno.. Post picutres asap!

  5. wtf. why is there a heart next to my name? i did not do that.. weird.

  6. what in the world? why are you traveling in the far corners of the world aka india?! that's ridic!/awesome/brave.