Friday, January 28, 2011

christmas lights.

yup. i can't complain.
family, old movies, hot chocolate, bananagrams, delicious meals, & yummy treats.

i got to meet our new dog, perry.
(he's a shorkie. half shitzu, half yorkie. a new friend for goliath, the chug. figure that one out on your own. jen & dave insist on only buying mixed breed dogs with ridiculous names.)

we even had a little southern snowfall.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

ne nu kottanu.

every monday, wednesday, & friday morning, i have telugu class.
it is mostly ineffective; but today something stuck with me.
our teacher decided to teach us verb conjugations.
and so on the chalkboard, she wrote:


and then the next ten minutes went something like this:

"if you are talking about yourself, you will say, ne nu kottanu, so, i will beat you.
me mu kottamu, if you say, we will beat you.
if you are beating someone now. . .
if somebody else beat you, in a group. . .
if a female person beat you, you say. . .
if she already beat you. . ."

i couldn't learn anything after those first ten minutes because i had to concentrate too hard on controlling my laughter.

only in india is the first verb you learn to beat.
never mind to eat, to go, to play; those are far too traditional.
we're learning the useful stuff first.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

as of late.

cuties at the jalari.

--saw my first tollywood movie, anaganaga o dheerudu. i don't know why i thought a telugu movie shown in vizag would have english subtitles.. but i was honestly surprised when there weren't any. good thing the majority of the film was in the universal language of dance. the speakers in the theater were BLARING & we all walked out of the theater shouting at each other. oh, & the main character was apparently blind? i missed that minor detail. i had to ask what was going on in the last five minutes when he was being healed.

--several of the students had unsavory interactions with our tailor here... i guess she stole one of the girl's fabric, charged her for it, & returned a couple blouses late that looked like she was plastered while sewing. (to be fair, it was a festival weekend.) she is also constantly hitting us up for u.s. dollars, & asking one of the boys to take her daughter with her when he returns to america.

i keep hearing talk of an impending intervention with the woman. she is now lovingly referred to as "the sketchy tailor." maybe it should have been a red flag when she asked us all for our full names & signatures when we had dinner at her home. at least i didn't give her my phone & address in the u.s., like jaci did... haha.

girlies with the sketchy tailor.

--realized i inevitably pay the white person's tax, no matter where i go. take the price of any unmarked item, multiply it by 8, & that's how much i'm charged. clothing, food, taxi rickshaws.. doesn't matter. i want to feel ripped off, but everything is still SO cheap.

--so i haggle. but it usually blows up in my face. my translator karuna taught me the shake your head & walk away method when trying to get a rickshaw for cheap. in theory, the driver then starts his engine, pulls up beside you, & motions for you to get in. each time i've tried it, no one has followed me, & i stand there embarrassed with no way to get where i'm going.

--found my favorite place in vizag. a pizza place in a resort called the park. wood fired pizza with pesto, feta, goat cheese, & sundried tomatoes? DIVINE. warm blondies with butterscotch ice cream & chocolate sauce? i honest to goodness, literally, licked my plate clean. it was the first non-indian food i've eaten in the last 3 weeks.. so good. AND they turned on britney spears, christina aguilera, justin timberlake, & spice girls for us. AND the bathroom had toilet paper. AND you could FLUSH it.

AMY POWER at the borra caves.

--me & my friend amy (yeah. she's rad.) went to church yesterday morning thinking we were going to be watching a CES fireside. we got home 11 hours later, & never saw the broadcast. instead we were put on an hour long bus ride to an area called "steel plant." half of this bus ride was spent covering our mouths and noses with handkerchiefs to avoid breathing in sulfur fumes. (everyone on the bus either had a surgical mask on or was doing the same thing we were). we then spent the day at a park, acting as the ward members' monkeys-- learning telugu words & repeating them for everyone's amusement. it gets old. fast.

--learned how to play cricket. kind of. two white girls team taught by 30 indian boys. mostly i just ran when they told me to. whenever we would catch or hit the ball, a profound "WOAH" was uttered in unison.

--tall bunny trash cans lined the park. i was stoked to find a public trash can in india.. until i dumped my trash in the bunny's mouth, and watched it slide onto the ground out the other end.
why. even. try.

and that's why you see this on every street.

--my friend pradeepa told me my feet look like an indian person's feet. as in filthy. bad news.

ps. i stole these photos from my friend's camera. thanks amy!
still no camera battery.. curse you, UPS.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

wasted paint.

not new but i never got around to putting these up last semester.

promise i won't make it a habit of putting up paintings of past boyfriends..
i just liked how it came out.

Monday, January 17, 2011

to the best of years.

happy birthday

to my gorgeous best friend.

nineteen really is the greatest.
i promise.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

it's a new day.

news from india:

--this weekend was pongal!
(that poor creature above is the wishing cow.. he comes by & we give him $. i'm certain it all goes directly into his bank account.)
we celebrated the new year with chalk art, fireworks, singing, & dancing. apparently being white & dancing in vizag is breaking news. our celebration ended with the arrival of the local news crew showing up at our house asking for interviews.

--woke up sunday morning only to throw up and go back to bed.
honestly, i'm impressed i lasted ten days in india with no stomach problems.

--found a place three minutes away that sells cold cans of diet coke!!
(going off soda was one of my new years resolutions.. until my sis told me she was instructed to drink a coke a day when she lived in the D.R. because it kills bad things in your tummy. switched my resolution to drink MORE diet coke than usual.. likely impossible, but what's the point of a resolution if not to challenge yourself?)

--agreed to practice english with a 19 year old boy named named srinivas from the village i am conducting my research in. turns out that won't be happening; he and his grandfather began spreading word that srinivas was going to drop out of college, study with me full time, & we would build him a house & find him a wife. miscommunication? or hallucinations?

--visited a doctor because i've had a cold.. and it'd been a week since i arrived and i felt like deaf woman because my left ear still hadn't popped from the airplane. paid the doctor 100 rupees and picked up 5 prescription drugs for another 350 rupees. felt poor until i remembered,
45 rupees = 1 dollar

--also got tempted to schedule dental work when i learned you can get a root canal for 1500 rupees. ($30? seriously?)

--visited the vizag zoo. best part was watching full grown adults crack up as they tossed bananas, popcorn, popsicles, candy, whatever, to the animals, despite dozens of signs reading DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS. oh and we caught chipmunks mating. they weren't actually zoo animals, but a highlight nonetheless.

--reminded, by the incredible smiles of the people i am surrounded by here, that happiness has nothing to do with where you are on the globe.

Friday, January 14, 2011

pretty sounds.

my lovely best friends catharine & maggie were constantly filling our apartment with their beautiful music last semester.
i miss it. slash them.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


welp, i'm in vishakhpatnam, india, where i'm gonna be spending the next three months completing a field study/study abroad through BYU provo.

i've been here about a week so far, & what i've learned is:

india is a whole other world from america. really. like different universe.

my itinerary was like this--
on 5 different airlines. absolute chaos.

everything went smoothly until i got to hyderabad.
i had trouble finding departures coming from international arrivals, but after a few minutes of wandering around i spotted some kids sneaking under a plastic rope & heading up an escalator so i followed suit & found my way. indian guards stood in front of the departures doors, however, demanding to see my ticket in order to get inside. but.. i had to get inside to get my boarding pass. they kept saying "TICKET!" and i kept pointing inside & after ten minutes of failed communication i think they were worn out enough to just let me in regardless.

once i got in, i had to find a way to kill six hours. i read my book, bought a toblerone, & walked into the bathroom... only to wimp out and turn around. an hour later, when my bladder was a little more insistent, i entered again.. and wimped out again. seeing the squatter with a bucket next to it in place of toilet paper made me realize i could hold it.

i decided to eat at mcdonalds, in hopes of feeling like i was home again.
(my roomies & i entirely subsisted off mickey d's for the month of october.. monopoly month).
it worked for a second. i got fries & a chocolate milkshake & it just wasn't the same.

finally i entered security, where i made an absolute fool of myself.

--first i entered the wrong line-- security in india is divided by males and females. who woulda known.
--after my backpack had gone through the x-ray belt, the worker kept shouting "BACKWARDS! BACKWARDS!" and i walked backwards a good ten feet.. it took a couple minutes to realize he wanted to run my backpack through again.
--upon complying, i was rewarded with a full body pat down.
--i had been reading at my gate for twenty minutes or so, when an indian man came up and asked me to check if i had my laptop.. nope. no i didn't. "follow me." i followed this security man up their employees only elevator, back to the x-ray line, where my hot pink laptop case sat on an empty table. when they ran my backpack through the second time, they took out my laptop because i forgot to.. and then i walked away happily without it.

walking back to my gate, i couldn't get this fat grin off my face.
all these airline workers must have felt so sorry for this stupid white girl who is never going to make it in the real world. the only comfort i had was that there were so many incidents that no one could have witnessed all of them, and therefore no one besides my stupid grinning self could possibly be aware of the gravity of my incompetence.

but... i made it. SURPRISE!!
but.. i forgot my camera battery at home. so fingers crossed that the ups man shows up at my door with a package real soon.

for now, check out this video my friend devin made of our trip to kauai for
SPRING BREAK 2010 thanksgiving break:

we hiked the nepali coast and explored the island a bit. it was gorgeous.

we also met some interesting hippies along the way, who imparted some of their wisdom to us & fed us a full out feast (3 turkeys cooked in the ground... really?) on thanksgiving night, which we ate off of leaves. charming.