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[personal profile] rhyll
I can't believe how quickly my time here has gone.I've done some useful research, but there are still a heap of people that I want to talk to. Even though I know Bangalore much better these days and am (hopefully!) a better research than I was, the kind of work I'm doing always goes slowly...it takes time to hear back from people, to get new contacts, to arrange interviews, to get a sense of what's happening and how it all fits together. And then I am trying to fit research in between Exciting New University Job and learning about this other project I've been blogging about (on my grownup blogs).

There are also a heap of friends, old and new, who I haven't seen or have hardly seen or really wish I could see more of. But most days, I basically wake up, open my computer, and then spend as many hours of concentration as I have available trying to fit in research work and new project work around full-time Australialand work. By the evening I'm exhausted and just want to sleep on my face.

I'm trying to make sure that I do some non-stressful stuff. I'm going to yoga when I can, and usually have dinner with nice people. I feel bad for being here and not going to nice places like the museum and Lalbagh, but I feel like my time here is so short and there's so much to do.

I should say exciting things about being in India.

Like, did you know that people mostly do not walk on the pavement here, and walk on the roads instead? It is not because they enjoy seeing me anxious, it is actually because the pavement is mostly not that pleasant - it is often slabs of rock laid over the drains, so it doesn't smell nice, and then there's rubbish and other unsavoury stuff. The roads have more cars, but apparently an Agreement is reached, and noone dies (mostly).

And, the other day I completely shocked my friend by handing him my plate as we were packing up the dinner things. Apparently that is Not Done. He recovered well and we had a nice chat about it, but I had a few moments feeling like an awfully rude foreigner. You know, just for a change.

And, today I was cycling to yoga and I stopped to let an old man on a scooter past, and he smiled at me, and it felt totally awesome. I don't get smiled at all that much here. I used to think it was because I was doing something wrong all the time, but now I think it is mostly because people here are just less smiley. Not that they're necessarily less happy, it's just a body language thing, I think. (Or maybe I am actually doing something so wrong all the time that I make everyone around me very serious, and then they start smiling once I leave?)

It feels odd sometimes to emphasise the foreignness of India, like I'm contributing to making it into a strange exotic other land. Many things are the same! Many of the subcultures (geek, activist, academic) that I move in here are pretty similar to (and overlap with) subcultures in Australialand! But then, perhaps it is more interesting to write about the things that are strange and new, given that most people who read this aren't in India? Or not?

Either way (or any other way) I should probably go sleep on my face now. Sorry for flooding you with words, internets! If you have read this far, I am surprised! Also, grateful! It was very nice of you, when I know you have so many other things to do.

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rhyll

July 2012

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