Wednesday, February 2, 2011

personal growth.

the only way i can aptly describe the driving in india is this:
it's like some ma thought it would be a good idea to give every child at her ten-year-old son's birthday party keys to a vehicle & no instruction on how to operate it.
& as i've been told numerous times, human life has no value here. you are the only person responsible for your life.

so the other day i was walking along the side of the road with a diet coke in my hand. i turned my head to spit out my gum for just a second, & upon looking up i saw a big ol' bus heading right for me. i didn't wince, i just took a step to the right & let it pass, with less than a foot between it & me.

as i continued walking home, i started thinking about how i've grown this past month i've been in india.

maybe it just sounds like i'm getting stupider. i'm certainly more likely to walk in front of traffic (the only way you can cross a street is to start walking. no, cars won't stop for you, but they will go around you. no such thing as street lights or crosswalks..) but what i'm learning is, if i were to panic every time i almost get hit by a bus, or a scooter, or if i were to freak out every time my rickshaw taxi driver almost gets in a head-on collision, well,
i would almost never leave my house.

i consider it comparable to the evolution of my relationships with cockroaches as i've lived in hawaii the past two years. there was a time when, if one appeared in my home, & whatever male ordered to kill it let it get away, i literally could not sleep that night. i would rather camp on the beach than stay in the house, knowing it could come & terrorize me at night (because cockroaches kill? much less bite? and they live exclusively indoors? i guess the point is, spotting a roach would make me hysterical. logic went out the window.)

and then there was the day when i came home positively beat, flipped on my light, counted 13 baby roaches lining the walls of my bedroom, turned the light off again, & passed out in bed.

no, i still don't pick up cockroaches by the antennas, or treat them like pets, like my roomies hannah & lindsey would. but still. progress.

sorry ma, i promise not to throw myself in front of any more busses. i'm only trying to stop stressing about the likelihood that i die a horrendous death in a traffic accident while i'm here.
(it's 6 out of 7)

but on a serious note-- a woman in my ward was just hit & is still in the hospital. & i forfeit reading the newspaper altogether.. seeing a photo of twenty corpses after a bus accident last week nearly undid all my progress & made me want to shut myself indoors for the next two months.

now, if my taste buds could start growing with me.. i really want to get to the point of tolerating spicy food without my eyes tearing up, my nose dripping onto my plate, & every indian in the room rolling on the floor laughing at me. that'd be SUPER.

p.s.-- here's a couple photos from the village i'm working in, peda jalaripeta. more on that later.


Alyssa Brooke said...

amy this is awesome <3 I LOVE reading your blog. You are too cute and so funny and interesting! Hope everything is amazing! miss you!

brennan said...

HEY. Don't die. I'd really hate that. I love your pictures! You should work for national geographic as a blogger/picture-taker extraordinaire. I miss you! Has anyone tried to steal your hair? Apparently that's how they make weaves...stealing hair from women in India. Yours would be especially desireable, haHA. Love you! said...

amy, this is amazing. don't worry, your taste buds will learn how to tolerate (just don't get your hopes up for growth).

Clark said...

I really enjoyed this post. Let's get you more off the road and less in front of buses. yeah? Okay good. Also... your pictures look great.

savor. said...

Amy.. your blog speaks to me. i love your voice wafting through cyber space and consoling my aching "i miss amy pains" are those your indian friends in the bus with you??? ... do they make eggs spicy too?

Amy Hanson said...

thanks friends :) i dono about my taste buds evolving tho anna.. i think i'm jus torturing myself for no reason. freak catharine you're blogging? i'm stoked