lessons learned early in 2007

I've mentioned before how life in South Asia is starting to seem quite normal to me. I used to blog all the time about the big and small differences I noticed between South Asia and America, but the longer I live over here, the more normal everything seems. Just yesterday, as husband and I sat at a red light and saw at least 20 bicycle riders at this major freeway-like intersection with us and other cars, trucks, mopeds, and rickshaws, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It wasn't until a horse galloped by, with no rider, that we noticed how weird it was that we represented several centuries worth of transportation all at one intersection.

But I am still experiencing new things here and there that make me remember that this place is a lot different than the country I am from. So with that, I'm doing a new top 10. In no particular order, Top 10 things I have learned in the past 6 weeks:

1. Bubble baths take ingenuity, but nothing 2 geysers, a bucket, a tub, and water boiling on the stove can't handle.
2. Even if your electrical box is sparking like an invisible man is welding it, you will not die.
3. As sad as it is, beggars will apply fake blood to different appendages to gain mercy-money.
4. Super Bowl game day takes a lot less effort when it comes on live at 4:30am.
5. Mail comes a lot slower when you didn't tip the mailman at Christmas.
6. Even florists in South Asia don't miss an opportunity to mark up roses 150% on Valentine's Day.
7. The FCC looks like Howard Stern compared to this government's communications watchdog. They completely shut down an entire TV channel because of an afterhours raunchy show, World's Sexiest Commercials, which happens to be the channel that the Amazing Race comes on.
8. Ordering groceries over the phone just isn't worth it when you have to spell out every item. C for cricket, H for Himalayas, E for England...
9. Playing a tuba and riding a camel can be done at the same time.
10. Explaining why I have freckles is hard to do in another language.


there's no substitute

Today in language class, our regular teacher, Teacher-ji, was sick and so we had a sub. Substitute-ji made class...interesting. I did learn the equivalent for "y'all", so that was great. And he really helped out with some work words that we had never learned before, so even better. But he went off on the craziest tangents. At one point, he started telling us, in Greek, the different types of love! Not that knowing the difference between eros, philia, and agape isn't important, but I wasn't quite sure how that fit in with language learning. To describe eros, he said he would draw us a picture. He drew a wavy line, then said, No, that's not it, and erased it. Then he repeated that wavy line/erasure step 4 times before he finished what he was drawing. I thought surely this must be some intricate and detailed picture he is trying to draw, what with all the erasing and re-dos. After close inspection, we realized Substitute-ji had drawn that oh-so intricate and detailed symbol - a heart. I could only tell it was a heart because of the arrow going through it.

Substitute-ji is as nice as he can be, but when he started singing a song in English in the middle of class, I found myself wishing for a miraculous healing for Teacher-ji. About halfway through the song, Substitute-ji must've come to his senses, because he stopped abruptly with this What am I doing? look on his face. I've never had that happen in a class setting before, so it was pretty entertaining. I hope Teacher-ji is back tomorrow for class.

the newest Texan...

Welcome to the world, Micah! My best friend just had a baby yesterday, and I'm so sad I missed out on that. But Auntie Lindsey did email me pics so I get to see him. Isn't he so cute, with his chubby red cheeks and fuzzy blonde hair?? I am so proud of Sarah and Terry for making such a beautiful baby boy!