Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Staying Busy

Hello there! Today I have been here two whole weeks! Feels more like two years. I think I'm settling in well and, no surprise, I'm keeping busy. I work from 9 - 6, but often have meetings or school assemblies before that so I'm usually at school around 8. There' s a nice tea/coffee break at 10:30 for all the high school staff and we trade off bringing treats -- anything from fresh samosas to oreo cookies! There's more tea at 4:10, just as school gets out. It's all very British. We show up at the all-staff lounge and the school's cook staff has made tea and put out little snacks and we all sit around on the "tea terrace" sipping genteelly for a bit. I have to go back to work after that, which is sad, since most of the others are done for the day. Oh well. Monday evenings I go to a sort of stitch and bitch party at one woman's house. I'm learning to crazy quilt, and others bring knitting, sewing, crochet, whatever. So we sit around and work and chat for a couple hours and it's wonderful. Very relaxing. Tuesday nights are Book Group with about 15 people. We're reading something called "Being Indian" which should be interesting.

Let's see, weekends are generally pretty busy too. Saturdays I go into the "Bazaar" to do my shopping. Now, the word bazaar brings to my mind quaint shops and stalls, preferably with home-made crafty objects from the region. Not at all what the bazaar really is. It is several miles of road JAM PACKED with tiny little store-fronts selling a crazy mishmash of everything from groceries to fabric to televisions. There are no major/chain stores, all individual retailers, and you wander from store to store collecting everything you need. It's actually kinda fun, but it takes several hours to do all your shopping, once you factor in how long it takes to walk down and back up. Plus, I have to get used to the fact that what you see is NOT what you get in these stores. They have very little display room, so you have to ask for most things. And since they tend to have very eclectic inventories, you're never sure if you're asking at the right "type" of store for what you need. For example, on Saturday, I bought a pack of candles from a man running a game booth where you shot balloons with a bb gun. Go figure.

Speaking of candles, they're very much a necessity as we lose power at least 4 evenings a week. Not usually for very long, may be half an hour, but it still makes alternate power options important! My housemates tend to hang out together when the power goes out to conserve candles, and it's kinda fun to sit around in the quasi-dark and play cards or just talk. We share a sunroom on the back of the house, three walls of which are windows. We're making a joint trip to the bazaar this weekend to pick up some pillows and throws and whatnot to make the place a bit more homey. Good times!

That's about it from here. I start Hindi lessons on Tuesday which will be very cool! I get private lessons twice a week. Feels wildly decadent, but they cost about $2 a lesson so I thought, why not? Then I'll be able to tell when the people in the bazaar are talking about the crazy Americans. :-)


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