Sunday, May 25, 2008

I really hope cricket is like baseball!

It's been another busy week and tomorrow is Memorial day in the USA so I have a sort of day off. Our group is going to a resort which has swimming, massages, sports and other activities. We are having a cricket tournament, and if I were any normal person and not the athletic and ridiculously competitive person I am, I wouldn't be at all worried about playing a sport I have have NO IDEA ABOUT! Ok, there is a fat bat and a small ball and a lot of players who wear white. I figure my chances of hitting the ball are better than in actual baseball because the bat is super wide. The guys at work asked me if I can catch - I rolled my eyes and told them I had played baseball for aobut 20 years if not longer. However, now I am regretting the decision to pump myself up as this athlete. I'd rather have kept my mouth shut and then if I rocked it, then they would be surprised. But now they are expecting me to be good. But there are a few factors in play here that will affect my play.

1. I don't even know the rules. I tried to find a game on tv today, and when I did I got bored within 2 minutes. Watching cricket is like watching golf. Boring. I am sure playing is another matter all together (rolling my eyes).

2. It's effing hot out. How many of you would be good in 40 degree heat?Best case scenario is I will get a tan. Indians bitch about the heat and they've lived here all their lives. I've adjusted very well as I have no air con in my flat (Tim has some in his room whihc is kept at meat locker temp) so I have managed to acclimatize somewhat, and it's not like I can wear a tank top and shorts. I get starred at enough as it is. So I have to wear capris and a t-shirt.
**Ok, update I checked the weather for tomorrow-it's only going to be 38 degrees!! Lucky me!

3. I hate to look bad when I play sports. This kind of pressure is bound to either make me suck really bad, or turn me into a Canadian cricket playing GOD!

4. Did I mention I have never even held a cricket bat and I DON'T KNOW THE FIRST THING ABOUT CRICKET?

5. The pitcher bowls the ball, he does not pitch it. I'm already confused. Bowling?? Which sport am I freaking playing??

Man, I hope I can get some sleep tonight!!! Tomorrow is supposed to be a FUN DAY!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pics of me in a saree

Well I did it. I got into and out of a saree successfully without coming unravelled. A saree is one piece of material that is draped, there are no zippers or buttons to keep the thing in place. Just an under petticoat skirt that needs to be tied so tight you can barely breath. I have to say I felt completely glamourous in it, and I got a lot of compliments and looks. The cab driver actually told me in his limited English that "Indian culture, saree, THANK YOU!"

So here are some pictures of the event. Enjoy!

My friend Shimul and me

The happy couple and me and M.

Martha, my personal shopper and dear friend

My dear friends and one of the loveliest couples I have ever met, Sreeram and Shimul

I've hired me a cook!

Things have improved considerably since I have moved in with Timothy. Although it still isn't my own place, it is 100 times better than living in a guesthouse. I've actually unpacked my clothes! So the situation is improving.
Yesterday we get a knock at the door and when I answered it I found two Indian women trying to speak to me in Telegu (the state language). Timothy calls up his landlord and she translates for us that one of the women is looking for a job as a cook. I have been told that most working people have cooks in India and that is is economical to hire one. I think it would be a good way to learn how to cook Indian food. So I decided to hire her. She will come over everyday around 4pm and cook one dish that is enough for lunch and dinner(remember I am working nights) and she will make roti's or chapati's with that instead of rice. Indians can't believe how little rice I eat. The stuff makes me blow up! Anyway, the roti's are made with 100% whole wheat flour, water and a touch of salt, rolled out and cooked on a hot flat iron pan. I have also asked her to teach me to make Indian chai (tea). So she will cook me chicken curries, fish curries, aloo curries (potato), brinjal curries, which by the way has become my new favourite vegetable here. Brinjal cooked in a peanut curry is amazing!! Brinjal for those who don't know (and I admit I didn't know) is an Indian tropical fruit, which is cooked and eaten as a vegetable and related to the eggplant family (although much smaller in size but still purple in colour).

So my new cook starts on Monday, and so we will go to the market together and purchase the food and spices she will need. Timothy prefers Western food so he just cooks for himself. Now you are probably wondering, how much is this extravagance costing me (and most people in Canada would think having a cook is extravagant). Well folks, she's all mine for a cool 800 rupees a month. That in Canadian dollars is approximately $19 a month, or $18.84 if you want to get specific. How wrong does that feel????? I asked my Indian friends and they said that is a good and fair price. Timothy has a maid that comes in everyday to clean and do his laundry (she'll do mine as well) and he is paying about the same for her. So him and I both feel like we are running a sweatshop here. If this keeps up, I may never come home, or when I do come home, I am going to be one lazy girl. A maid and a cook. La vie est belle!

Friday, May 16, 2008

I can't believe I am going to be wearing a saree

On Sunday I have been invited to an engagement for a girl and guy I work with. It will be a Hindu ceremony and a real cultural learning experience. Now what to wear?? I asked a few of my friends what I could wear and they all said you should wear a Saree or something western that is dressy. I didn't bring any dressy clothes with me, and thought this would be an awesome opportunity to wear traditional Indian clothes and not feel so out of place.

So yesterday my friend Martha took me Saree shopping. And I bought a gorgeous ash coloured Saree with gold work through it. it's gorgeous. The blouse is being stitched as we speak and luckily we are using M's Tailor so he will complete it in time for Sunday. Now if you have never seen a saree this is what it looks like (or at least a rough idea, there are tons of different varieties and styles). Bearing the mid-driff is an essential part of the look and I am quite nervous to do that, as I have never bared my mid-driff before- well unless you count when I was 10 years old!! Saree's are gorgeous if you buy the right material and tie it properly. I have no idea how to tie it, so I will be going to M's on Sunday to spend the day with her family and then get ready from her place to go to the engagement party.
I'm really quite nervous to wear this thing, although everyone assures me I will look amazing!!! We'll see. I have to do about 200 sit-ups a day in order to feel at all confident on Sunday. I will take a lot of pictures, but know that it will take a lot of courage to put these pictures up on this site!

I'm off now to do my first batch of sit-ups for the day.....

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's been a while

I know, I know, I'm sorry it's been a while since I last posted. Things have been crazy here, in that I STILL DON'T have a place of my own!!! I have moved in with T, the other expat trainer who has a 3 bedroom apartment in a Township that is really nice. It has 3 swimming pools, 3 gyms, 2 tennis courts, filtered water and a restaurant. So they have put me here, because they are tired of hearing me bitch and moan about living in a guesthouse, which has been very inconvenient. So although I am still not settled into my own place, it is a step up in that there is a kitchen so I can at least cook my own food. And T is a really easy going and a nice guy so I was happy that he had no problem with my moving in. The company is hoping to find me my own flat within this township, probably by June 1st. It is absolutely ridiculous that this had not been done before I got here. They knew I was coming since the end of March. It has not made my transition here very easy.

That is why this post is going to end here. I want this to be a somewhat positive place to detail my thoughts, and right now I don't have too many good things to say. So just wanted to let you all know I am alive, and fine. Hopefully I will have some good things to report soon.

And it's still hot. It's 44 degrees here. And guess what I don't have AC in my room. T does, but they are waiting until I get my own place to get me everything I need (which is again ridiculous). But I am getting used to the heat and actually doing OK with it now.
I have to email this company everyday to get them to move their ASS!!!

I'll sign out on that positive note.....

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Heat

It's so hot here, my eyelids are sweating!

Luckily summer is halfway over, it lasts through April and May, and things should cool down by mid-June. I was told that by August it would get to a nice comfortable 30 degrees.

Believe me, that will be a relief. Today it feels like 42C. And every time I tell people I am going out or that I went out during the day, they really are concerned about heat stroke. I do try and get out a little everyday to somewhat acclimatize myself to the weather.

Nothing really new to report, other than I am leaving today to spend the weekend in Hampi. It's just as hot there and with all the rocks, I am sure it will be steaming. But it will be nice to see many familiar faces. I just have to get through the 12 hour bus ride which is still yet to be determined whether it will be air conditioned or not. As long as there are some open windows, I'll be fine.
Hope everyone at home has a great weekend too!!