Friday, August 13, 2010

Up and Down

Without going into dull emotional details, I have to say when Rotary said that I would experience mood swings...good Lord were they right. In this day alone I've gone from overjoyed to inconsolable to pretty good to pretty bad to (right now) fairly contented.

Recent positives:
- It seems that the Rotary Club of Udhna realizes that it's school system is much less pleasant and accessible than that of the Western world, and that even though there are supposed to be tough adjustment parts of exchanges, their school system is just too much. So...I'm going to fill up my day with a bunch of different classes instead and only go to school when I feel like it. The deal is, of course, that I make sure I find things to do, to which I am only too happy to oblige. I want to find things to do. But...not so much school.

- Yoga is marvelous. Because of the feminine connotations associated with yoga in the states I was initially reluctant to do it, but it's a really terrific thing to do. It's good physically, for all parts of the body and it's emotionally calming. The latter is the main reason why I'm feeling pretty ok at the moment.

- The food is getting SO much better. I'm still struggling with no meat. In fact I don't there will ever be a moment where a big juicy hamburger isn't at the back of my mind. But I have still found a handful of dishes that rival anything I've ever eaten in the states. Firstly, there's Allo Puri. Puri, first of all, is tied with roti as their primary flatbread (there's no Naan to be found in Gujarat, despite Kurry Kabab and Chapati's insistence that Indian meals begin with them). Roti is the bread of choice in my house - I slightly prefer Puri. Allo Puri is...well now that it comes down to describing it I don't have a clue what the hell all goes into it. It's basically about a dozen pieces of puri with a bunch of stuff on it. It's delectable. Then there's Pani Puri. Pani means water (it's one of about 10 Gujarati words that I know). What they do is take puri and kind of blow it up into hollowed puffballs, but it's still mostly crunchy and hard on the outside. Anyways, you break a small hole into the puri puff and dip it in water, filling up the inside. It's a wonderful sensation, and it's not horribly hot/spicy like most of the foods here. Also they drink mango juice a lot and its tremendous. There's a dish my brothers call Manchurian and it is a Chinese dish. It's got kind of veggie meatballs all meshed together in a really tasty, thick Chinese sauce. This one is spicy, but I'm beginning to adjust to the spice. One final delicious food is something I don't know the name of. It's a breakfast food. So probably once a week or so Akshay and I venture into the Muslim part of town to look for this food item, which is a very hot and middlingly spicy soup. The broth is different from ours - it's not at all like chicken broth. The vendors heap a handful of ingredients (noodles, onions, small pieces of egg, CHICKEN!!!!!!!! and a bunch of other things I don't know) into the broth and mash it all together. It's very delicious. I'm happy to say that I could go on and on about things that I like here. But I will stop.


- Actually there's only one down. But it's a gigantic down. I dropped my Nook. I was just walking with it and I bumped into the desk in my room and it dropped and now the screen doesn't work. This is truly catastrophic. I brought like 2 actual books. My Nook is one of my primary sources of entertainment. I mean, it's still early on and my classes and stuff are still being sorted out, so I lead a fairly quiet life. I try and spend most of it reading. It's not all that healthy to be on the computer so much. So I've been using my Nook probably 2 or 3 hours a day. It's a great device.

I'm a huge idiot-face.


  1. i'm definitely experiencing lots of mood swings too...its the worst during school because the classes go from extremely overwhelming, when everyone is like shouting in portuguese in my face and trying to talk to me, to heart-stoppingly boring, when the teacher rambles on for an hour in portuguese. i'm generally in a pretty bad mood during school. but the times when i'm overjoyed about things are pretty great! that sucks about the nook, but hopefully you can find some english books or something. also, the food sounds amazing!

  2. haha I haven't even been here for a full week and I'm bored to tears my host family works seven days a week leaving me at home to dwindle and think by myself, hopefully school will some what of a highlight, what did you say to get out of going everyday

    p.s. I love yoga too

  3. Hi Ted - You have inspired me to get back into Yoga. It's the best form of exercise for those of us in the +50 world. Bummer about the nook. Can we Fed Ex you a new one? Sorry I missed your call on Friday. Let's try again soon. Talk to you soon. Tom