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Oct. 26th, 2006

tauch_to_me

New Picture Site

So I don't really think anyone reads or posts on this anymore, but I did get a new picture hosting site because Google has taken over my world: http://picasaweb.google.com/Alex.Tauchman

Hope you like them.

Xs and Os,

Alex

Sep. 22nd, 2006

amyeberg

(no subject)

We went to the Habitat Centre Tuesday night to hear a presentation about the Right to Information Act. It's basically the same thing as the US Freedom of Information Act, but in a country where bribery of government officials alone costs Rs. 21 million per year ($456,251, and their economy is smaller than ours), it's a big deal. People at the meeting use RTI to find out why, say, road construction in their neighborhood was allotted twice as much money as needed but it's still only half done. The discussion was a little hard to follow because it switched between Hindi and English, I think maybe because the audience was relatively old. The best part, though, was hearing one elderly gentleman use "chaps," "fellows," "jokers," and "bum chums" to describe bureaucrats, and "poppycock" and "waffle" for their nonsense. On the way home, my rickshaw driver used his horn 21 times in my neighborhood alone (yes I counted), but he complimented me on my Hindi so I guess it's ok.
One of the big issues in Delhi these days has been sealing. There are lots of shops, businesses, and so on in residential neighborhoods, in violation of zoning laws, but the government has always been lax on enforcing those rules. Now the Commonwealth Games are in Delhi in 2010 (there are banners all over the place reading "1500 DAYS"), and one of Delhi's goals is to clean up these technically illegal businesses before other countries get here. One of these is our very own language school, so we don't have class this Thursday, and maybe for a while. Ooh darn. But it's a big deal for many people, because it happened quite suddenly, and people's whole businesses are ruined now. Today, when I was coming home from school, there were two truckfuls of men and boys with megaphones yelling in Hindi, and the trucks were covered with banners with sayings like "Hitler and Delhi Government: Which Is Worse?" And when I went to M-Block today to get milk, all the stores (which are legal, since it's a market) were closed, because the owners were on strike. There were riots in the northeastern part of the city, and three people died, but that area is far away from us and across the river from the Stephens kids, so don't worry. According to the newspaper, 5 lakh (a lakh is 10,000) businesses will be sealed, and 25 lakh people depend on those businesses, so it really is an issue. The riots forced the Delhi government to rethink its position, so I think it's working on discussions with the Supreme Court now.
In Indian Political Thought, we had our first tutorial (ever. Remember, this is the teacher who canceled class for a week and a half because she had a cold) on Wednesday. The teacher spent most of the class telling the girls about the differences between primary and secondary sources, citation, and thesis statements. She doesn't want colors or fancy fonts on papers. Since these are first-year girls, I guess they just don't know how to write essays: all they've had to do throughout school is take yearly exams.

SNAKES ON A PLANE COMES OUT IN INDIA ON SEPTEMBER 29TH.

Sep. 19th, 2006

amyeberg

(no subject)

SNAKES ON A PLANE COMES OUT IN INDIA IN TEN DAYS

ps Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day, mateys and landlubbers! Arr.

amyeberg

(no subject)

OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS HIPPIES. If you don't read all of the entry, at least read the last third or so. Then go look at the pictures of real hippies on Facebook. Seriously, they make me look like a manager at Goldman Sachs.

Everything I've read says that eighty percent of India's population is Hindu, which is surprising because Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism also started here. But Buddhists, for one, were persecuted, so most of them went east. Some of them came back, though, when the Chinese invaded Tibet in the 1950s. They mostly settled in North and North-East India, and their government-in-exile is in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, which is in the far north of India, close to Pakistan and Kashmir. Dharamsala is where Lisa and I headed this weekend for a trip...and it was awesome.
Fortunately, our bus was deluxe (read: no AC, but the seats leaned back, and it was quite clean). Unfortunately, we were on that bus for 16 hours. Each way. To catch it, we had to go to a Tibetan neighborhood in far-North Delhi, which turned out to be a maze of tiny dark alleyways with no buses in sight. Our bus was supposed to leave at 6:30, but it wasn't until 6:35 that we finally found a travel agency with a man who offered to show us the bus. So that's how we wound up sprinting through the alleys of Tibetan Delhi knocking monks out of our way. Luckily, our bus hadn't left yet (I think they held it up just for us), and soon we were really on our way.
Um...kind of. We traveled for about an hour, but then some police stopped us. Apparently the bus service hadn't paid tax on the bus...so we had to wait in a vacant lot for about an hour, and when Lisa and I wandered off for food, the bus almost left us again. I'm sure the other people hated the stupid American girls for making them wait, but we kind of deserved it.
Anyway, we chatted/dozed/played cell phone Snake/read (for the approximately 30 seconds it was light outside) for a while, and then just as it was time for serious REM cycles, the bus hit the Himalayas. Between the bouncing, turning, and gravelly roads, it was impossible to get sleep. But when we got to Dharamsala, the first hotel we found (the OM Guesthouse) was very reasonably priced, and we celebrated our bargain by taking a nice long nap.
When we felt a little less exhausted, we went out to explore Dharamsala. It was quite a trip. The town itself was basically the same setting as Mussoorie, except instead of regular middle-class Indians in the streets, Dharamsala was full of monks. Lots of monks (who, by the way, dress exactly like Tintin in Tibet. No, I'm not ashamed that all my cultural knowledge comes from a racist comic-book writer) ...and hippies all over the place. It felt just like Oregon! It even rained!
So then we made the Dharamsala circuit. First we went to the Thekchen Choling Temple, which has the Dalai Lama's residence attached to it. Unfortunately, the Dalai Lama wasn't in town (in a touch of cruel irony, I think he was in California), but the monastery was lovely. I really like Buddhist art--it's so colorful, but it doesn't seem gaudy to me. So we walked around the temple and then dodged the rain to the Tibet Museum just outside it. It was a good museum--lots of eyewitness accounts and interesting visuals, including donor plaques from the Tibetan communities in Mussoorie and Portland, OR. The most shocking was a Tibetan prisoner's bloodstained shirt. It really is sad, to see all these people who can't live in their own country because its occupier has cracked down so harshly on their culture, religion, etc.
After that, we needed something pleasanter to do to take our minds off Tibet. Luckily, we were walking around admiring the hippie kitsch in the Dharamsala windows when two hippies came up to us and handed us a map to a place just up the road which was having a concert that night, and it was going to be "like, really good, man...totally groovy." We didn't really have anything else to do, so that evening we headed up to OneNest. I'm not sure if it's a pun on "oneness" or not, but I really hope so. The performance hall was filled with genuine, grade-A hippies. Seriously, I thought I had walked into the 1970s--even in Oregon, I've never seen so many stereotypical flower children. I don't think many were Americans: a lot seemed to be speaking Hebrew, and I'm sure there were some French, Germans, and Australians there too. And the concert was...totally groovy, man. Asaf (an Israeli) and Carlie (an Australian, I think) and their band of mostly Israelis plus an Indian tabla (Indian drums) player jammed for a couple of hours. They played the Beatles, the Doors, and, um, the Red Hot Chili Peppers? and Coldplay? Honestly, until you've heard a thirty-something hippie play the guitar, sway back and forth with his eyes closed, and sing "Yellow" in an Israeli accent, you haven't lived. There was also an Iranian man who played a song on a traditional Persian stringed instrument called a kamancheh, but he was genuinely good. Halfway through the show, a butterfly flew past the light (one of the exterior walls was made of curtains), and it was so beautiful they stopped the show for about five minutes until someone took a picture of it. Man, I, like, love hippies, you know?
Sunday morning, we took a nice walk down a hill near Dharamasala past some pretty views and Dal Lake, which could have been prettier (my Fodor's snarkily says that it's "a muddy apology to the real Dal Lake in Kashmir"). Then we walked through the Church of St. John in the Wilderness, which is a lovely old Gothic church from the days of the British. After that, we were pretty hungry, so we went for some Tibetan food. This is mostly noodles, and of course they had tofu for the hippies, and it was delicious. Indian cooking doesn't use tofu, and I kind of miss it. And then we shopped some more, and then we went to Richard Gere's favorite restaurant and ate his favorite lemon cheescake. Unfortunately he wasn't in town. Then we boarded the bus (on time this time), and, less a 4:00 am stop for chai--the chai-walla felt the need to come on board the bus to advertise his wares by yelling CHAI CHAI CHAI--we made it back to Delhi safe and sound.
I even got to take a nap before Hindi, and on the way to it my rickshaw driver asked if I spoke Hindi. I said "thori-si" ("a little") and then he started speaking rapidly in Hindi, but I wasn't able to follow. I did catch the phrase "love marriage" a couple of times, and he asked me if I was married. So, Mom and Dad...I think I got engaged today.

Sep. 18th, 2006

tauch_to_me

(no subject)

I guess this about sums up my weekend excursion to San Antonio de Areco...

I awoke at about 10:30 AM in a shitty hotel room to the owner banging on the door and yelling in Spanish because it was past checkout time, with the worst hangover in the world, wondering where I was, completely naked.

The point is, San Antonio de Areco is boring. You probably shouldn't go there. If you do, don't start drinking at 4 PM. And especially don't do tequila shots, even if they are only US$1.75 each.

Sep. 12th, 2006

amyeberg

(no subject)

Whenever I make a new quasi-friend at LSR, one of the first things she asks me is what I've seen in Delhi, and I always have to say that I haven't seen much. The thing is, most weekends we've been traveling, and when we don't travel we give ourselves a weekend off from traveling. I've been living in this city for almost two months now, but I've barely done any touristing in it. Luckily, our teachers are striking all this week, so I have plenty of time to see the city. So this weekend, to try to change that, Lisa, Mary, Andrea, Kate, and I headed up to Old Delhi. Technically, everyone but me didn't have to "head" anywhere, since the neighborhood they live in is in Old Delhi. For the real experience, though, you have to go to Chandni Chowk, which is the main street in that part of town. It's a crazy experience. Old Delhi is falling apart at the seams and everywhere else, and it's completely packed with people and noise. It's a lot different from the wide clean roads, trees, and glitzy shops of South Delhi.
My travel guide (thanks Carl) outlined a walk that hits most of Old Delhi's main sights, so we basically followed that path. We started out at the Jain temple, but then it turned out it didn't open until 6 pm, oops. Travel guides aren't perfect. So we headed down Chandni Chowk, avoiding hawkers and cycle rickshaws, until we got to Sisganj Gurdwara, which is a Sikh temple and shrine. I think it commemorates the martyrdom of an important figure in the Sikh religion. In order to enter their gurdwaras, you have to have your head covered, so I reminded everyone to bring scarves. Of course I left mine at home because I was too busy reminding everyone else, I rule. While I was waiting outside, a man gave me a small piece of cloth; if you forgot to bring your own, they have head coverings ready for you, it turns out. I went in but didn't stay for long. It was very ornate, with lots of marble and chandeliers and fancy furniture.
After the Sikh temple, we walked a little further down Chandni Chowk to Gali Paranthe Wali. A gali is a lane or an alley (very narrow, crowded, and windy, but people still try to ride motorcycles through them), a parantha is a delicious filled pancake, and a wali basically means someone who sells something. All together, it means heaven. The parantha shop we chose has been open in this spot in Chandni Chowk for five generations and 100 years--there's a reason it's called "Old Delhi." We ate our paranthas (cheese, onion, or banana) and then kept walking in the galis. We went into Kinari Bazaar, which is a gali with all the trimmings needed for fancy weddings. This means about a million different kinds of sequins, beads, tinsel, and bangles, as well as ornately decorated sarees. There was a tiny cul-de-sac off this gali that had a (closed) Jain temple and beautifully painted homes. We hit the gems and silver area and then made it back out onto Chandni Chowk. The galis are quite the maze, and it can get a little claustrophobic after a while.
Lisa and I hadn't had our fill of Old Delhi yet, so we headed toward the Jama Masjid. Fodor's tells me that this is India's largest mosque and that it was completed in 1656 under Shah Jahan. That means it's roughly contemporary with the Taj Mahal. It was beautiful--essentially a giant courtyard with lovely gates and a prayer hall--but the most striking thing about it was how peaceful it was, especially with Chandni Chowk right outside. It was full of people, but at the same time it was an incredibly calm place. We walked around the circumference for a while. There's a tall tower that you can go up, but since you have to be accompanied by a man, we'll have to save that for another time. After we left the Jama Masjid, we realized it was getting late.
In fact, it was past 6:00, so we made our way back to the Jain temple. The Jain religion is notable for its strict adherence to nonviolence, so the most remarkable thing about this temple is that it has a hospital. It's an unusual hospital, though--its name is the Charity Birds Hospital, and the name says exactly what it means. It's a hospital for birds and small animals. There are only a few cages, but it's just precious. After touring the hospital, we went into the Jain temple proper, which was beautiful. Since Jains are restricted from any lines of work that might cause them to harm animals, a lot of them have done very well for themselves as merchants and in other similar jobs. They can afford to make their temples very nice, and this one was full of statues of the tirthankaras and brightly colored, gold outlined paintings. After our adventures, we were starving, so we took the Metro to Connaught Place for some South Indian food. It's a lot different from North Indian food, but just as delicious.
Sunday was another day for seeing more of Delhi, so Andrea, Mary, and I went to the National Museum. It mostly has collections of artifacts from ancient Indian civilizations as well as lots of Hindu and Buddhist statues and paintings. While we were in the Buddhist art room, some Buddhist nuns were chanting and paying respect to the relics of the Buddha that the museum has. Then we went to Big Chill with Lisa and ate spinach lasagna and cheescake.
I'm on the American Embassy's mailing list, and one of their events was a ceremony to remember September 11. I was curious, so Lisa, Mary, Aaina (from Rutgers program) and I went to the embassy last night to see. Security was tight, and they only let in American citizens--even spouses of Americans couldn't get in. It was quite a short ceremony, but I thought it was very nice, although some may disagree. The ambassador to India talked for a few minutes about how lots of Americans died, but people from foreign countries also died too, and how we shouldn't let our determination turn into hate for other people. Of course there was some rhetoric about terrorism and evil too, but it was a lot more moderate than some of the usual speeches.
Um...then Aaina and I went to Big Chill again and had fettuccine. Man I love Big Chill.

Sep. 10th, 2006

amyeberg

(no subject)

After being in this country for two and a half months, we finally made it to church. Um, kind of. We got a late start out of the apartment, and our rickshaw driver didn't know where it was (they always say they know, even if they don't, and then sometimes the mean ones will charge you extra if they get lost), so we were late. We did get to take Communion and sing one hymn, though, and we'll be back. The church was beautiful on the inside, even though it wasn't much to look at from the outside. I think it dates to the early 20th century. Afterwards we went to brunch at the India Habitat Center, which was very American (eggs and pancakes) and very delicious.
I killed a cockroach Monday in our kitchen...eww. That night, on an even more cheerful note, some of us went to a lecture at the India International Centre on sati, which is the practice of widow immolation on husbands' funeral pyres. It's been outlawed ever since the British Raj, but it still occurs, although rarely. Outlawing it is sort of problematic, though, because it was linked in the past to some interpretations of Hinduism, and because the British outlawed it because they viewed the Indians as mostly savages. This discussion was about a couple of books that looked at sati, and since the panel was made of historians, it was academic, but still compelling.
On Friday night, we went to a performance of classical Indian dance. A woman who is 19 and already a famous dancer (didn't this make me feel like a slacker) performed several odissi dances, which are very stylized stories and dances. Each hand and eye movement was absolutely precise, and her fingers were dyed red and eyes were heavily made up for emphasis. Then a man performed kathak, which is vaguely reminiscent of flamenco. In fact, he has also performed with flamenco dancers in Spain. There was a lot of spinning and foot stomping involved. The musicians for these dances were sitting on the stage playing, and so the kathak dancer would tell them a rhythym, they would play it, and he would dance. This went on for a little too long, maybe, but it was still neat.

Sep. 6th, 2006

tauch_to_me

BUENOS AIRES: CREATING JOBS AT THE EXPENSE OF EFFICIENCY AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

Trickle-down in practice: rich, lazy people creating jobs all over Buenos Aires!!
1. Many people are unemployed.
2. Rich, lazy people have dogs.
3. Rich, lazy people do not want to walk their dogs.
4. Unemployed people are paid by the rich, lazy people to walk their dogs.
5. Unemployed people walk as many dogs as possible at one time so as to maximize efficiency and profit.
6. Dogs shit on sidewalk because the dog-walkers are walking too many dogs and couldn't possibly pick it all up.
7. The general population does not appreciate the shit on the sidewalk.
8. Landlords and business owners pay other unemployed people to clean the sidewalk in front of their building every morning.
10. Go back to step 4. Repeat ad infinitum.

Distribution of labor actually means less efficiency!
1. Customer walks into electronics store.
2. Employee 1 asks if he can help.
3. Customer asks for the item that she is looking for.
4. Employee 1 looks it up on the computer and confirms the price.
5. Customer asks if she can take a look at it first.
6. Employee 1 disappears for approximately 7 minutes and returns with the item (in this case, a cheap microphone headset for computers).
7. Customer agrees to buy it.
8. Employee 1 directs customer to computer, where he types in the item.
9. Employee 1 directs customer to cashier, where she will eventually be rung up, but not by Employee 1
10. Employee 1 tells customer that he will be waiting with the headset after she pays.
11. Customer waits for approximately 12 minutes while Employees 2 and 3 at the cashier fuck around with something else and then attend the woman in line in front of her.
12. Customer pays 15 pesos (US$5) for the item and receives receipt.
13. Customer returns to Employee 1 who does not have the item anymore and is attending a new customer.
14. Customer presents the receipt at the store room desk.
15. Customer waits for approximately 6 minutes while the only store room desk attendant wheels a large appliance outside.
16. Customer gives receipt to store room desk attendant.
17. Store room desk attendant disappears for approximately 4 minutes into the store room, which includes taking an elevator.
18. Store room desk attendant returns, puts headset in a bag, and hands it to customer.
19. Customer exits the store.
TOTAL TIME: 20-30 minutes
TOTAL EMPLOYEES REQUIRED: At least 4

[For comparison purposes, in the United States:
1. Customer walks into Best Buy.
2. Customer walks to the appropriate section of Best Buy.
2a. IF customer cannot find appropriate section, customer asks employee.
2b. Customer is then directed to the appropriate section.
3. Customer locates product she wishes to buy.
4. Customer takes product off the shelf and walks to the cashier.
5. Customer may wait in line, usually for less than 5 minutes.
6. Customer pays.
7. Customer exits the store.
TOTAL TIME: Less than 10 minutes
TOTAL EMPLOYEES REQUIRED: No more than 2]

Also, the Raconteurs album is amazing.

Also, Steve Irwin is dead?!?! Killed by a venomous stingray that pierced his heart?!

Also, Skype me! username: alex.tauchman

Sep. 5th, 2006

katexmachina

6:01? More like, Six-NO-one!

So, I feel it is my duty to describe the events of 6:01, the first party of the year, the end of dry week, 2006. If you don't want to read a somewhat longer description, then here's a condensed version: It sucked.

About a week before 6:01, the RA of Berger told us that it was going to be a CMC-only event, and that people couldn't get in or get beer without a CMC ID. Though I'm fine with 5C students being at our parties, I have felt that CMC students alone should be able to get our alcohol due to how the other schools treat us when it comes to parties, so I wasn't too worried. Then, I was told that a cage would be constructed in NQ, inside of which would be the party, and that we wouldn't be allowed to bring drinks in or out of the cage. "Whaaaa?" I seemed to say. Anyway, that was true. Also, Capus Security was out in force. A little before 6pm, Jamie, Elissa, Steph, and I were gathered in Brooke and Ayana's room in Wohlford. We saw the tiny cage, with a keg of cheap beer, and a turntable (only one, and no microphone) inside. We saw campus security officers stopping students walking around outside of the cage and making them empty their beer bottles. It was so lame. Also, not only did you have to be a CMC student to get into the cage, but once inside, you had to be 21 to get cheap beer. Ew.

So we had to, as we usually do, make our own fun, which was fine. But I really felt bad for the freshmen, who on top of living in triples or Stark lounges with motion-sensor lights, are now at CMC, the anti-party school. It was a real shame. I think the last three or so classes have seen a side of CMC that is no longer. So, one of the last few reasons why I didn't end up transferring out of here: gone.

To add insult to the twisted alcohol policy of the evening, one of the Camp Sec officers ($5 if you can guess which one) actually wrote up some students using a tobacco water pipe in the Tea Garden, and confiscated their instrument. The TEA GARDEN!!! I know that a number of us have been observed by these same authorities using such instruments in the tea garden, and until now, haven't the authorities always just wanted to know that we were 5C students? I guess now they're actually giving people citations. Harrumph, I say!

So, I had a good time with my friends, but I must say that 6:01 was a sorry sight indeed. I'm told the SAC quit and that DAC was in charge, which explains some of it, but still...bah.

Sep. 1st, 2006

amyeberg

(no subject)

In an unexpected twist to my life in India, this week I became a model. So here's what happened: Brinda's cousin was looking for people to impersonate Madonna and Marilyn Monroe at the opening of some lounge, so Mary and I volunteered. Then when we met the cousin, it turned out he'd already filled the slots, but he's always looking for Western women to model, since there are so few in Delhi. So...all of a sudden I am going to become a big famous supermodel. This Sunday I went to Platinum Supermodels and made a portfolio. It was kind of fun, but somehow I don't think modeling is the life for me. Also, I probably can't swing it with my student visa, and I don't want to get involved in the Indian black market, which by most accounts makes up about thirty percent of the Indian economy. Still, it's a good story...remember that time I went to India and became a model?
Other big news: the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, came to LSR to speak yesterday morning. It's LSR's 50th anniversary, so this was the capstone to their Golden Jubilee. It was very nice. We had to wait in line a long time to go through two metal detectors and get frisked twice; there were Delhi police with bomb-sniffing dogs all over the place. Our Australian friends who stay in the college hostel (dorm) told us they had to be back to college by the afternoon yesterday, and they couldn't leave in the evening, because the grounds closed that early. Some dignitaries from the college spoke, and then the choir sang a song, and then Singh spoke. His talk was mostly about how LSR is helping and has helped to improve the quality of higher education for women in India, but he also made a few remarks on reservations (Indian affirmative action). Then some girls asked questions and the president of the Students' Union gave Singh some books, a painting, bookends, etc. When you are a prime minister, you get a lot of stuff. The book, I'm sure, frequently mentions LSR's most famous alumna, who happens to be none other than Aung San Suu Kyi. Then we all went out into the garden and drank nimbu pani (sweetsweetsweet lemonade) and had sandwiches. Yesterday, during assembly, the principal made a lot of speeches thanking everyone for her hard work, and she talked a lot about LSR's goals for moving ahead. I know it's a big deal when the PM visits, but I didn't realize LSR viewed it as such a turning point in the life of the college. It's so important, in fact, that they gave us Monday off of school. That's nice since we have Saturday class tomorrow to make up for all the classes we've missed in Indian Government and Politics. I guess having class canceled so much has consequences eventually.
Besides that, things have been pretty normal around here. I've joined a gym, which has been really nice. It's not like running in Corvallis, or even in Claremont, but the exercise feels good. The gym is pretty clean, I thought, but then I saw a mouse in the women's changing room today. Oh. Our Internet went out this weekend because we forgot to pay the bill (wooopsie giggles), so it is nice to have it back, but at the same time strange to read all the CMC emails without being at school. A couple of days ago, Lea, Lisa (from Stephens), and I went to the Indian Habitat Center, a posh convention center-type complex close to our apartment, to hear a presentation on homosexuality in India. There's this group called the Youth Parliament that organizes fora, movie showings, and so on for teenagers and twenty-somethings in Delhi. Their events are very professional, and a lot of the third-year political science girls at LSR work with YP. Anyway, this event was interesting. They showed a film made by an Indian man who graduated from Harvard in 1998 and then struggled with coming out to his family. He's dead now--I think from a car accident--and so his mother was there to present the film. Afterwards, a gay Indian man led the YP in a discussion. The thing is, homosexual activity between men is illegal in India, so the perspectives here are very different from in the US. The demographic that attends YP-type events is the same as the type of people you would expect in the US--young, wealthy, well-educated, socially progressive--but they have different ideas about what is and isn't acceptable. They said things people of this social class in the US would probably not say, like "If I found out my friend was gay it would totally change my opinion of him." It was interesting to see what such a contentious social issue was like in a different culture.
Besides that, the only other story I have recently is from Hindi class. We have to go to Hindi twice a week now that we're back in Delhi, which keeps us up on our language skills but isn't as demanding as Landour. The Delhi school is run by Christian missionaries (I think American). Our teacher there is named Rajni, and, although she's from a Hindu background, she's a Christian. Her mother and some siblings are as well, but her father and some other siblings are not. She lives in a house with 22 family members (nuclear and extended), but according to her they all get along well. But now it's time for her to get married, so her father is working on finding her a "good" (read: Hindu) husband. Her father respects her faith and doesn't object when she goes to church, but since he's in charge of finding her a husband, he naturally prefers Hindus. She wants a Christian husband, but she wants even more to do what her father wants so that he doesn't lose the community's respect. Also, she's worried that people at the language school won't want to work with her anymore if she marries someone who's not a Christian. I guess this kind of thing goes on all the time, but it's so difficult to imagine.
Also, a cow hit me with its horn today, and now I have a bruise on my thigh. Cows can be mean.

I like to write postcards, so send me your address if you want one!

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