Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pack Back. BackPack.

The pack on my back is now ready to transition yet again. This could be a long story, but I’ll make it short because right now its too painful to spell it all out/impossible, AND because I have only 14 more minutes in this internet cafĂ© and I’m rupee BROKE.

I’m no longer frolicking about Europe. I’m exhausted—physically, mentally, emotionally beat and I can’t even begin to explain one bit of it here and right now. I can just give you those few adverbs and hope that that suffices for the time being. I mean, I’m coming home, so you shouldn’t be worried!

This last few week has been so draining and it seems like all the CIEE kids are well ready to come home. Some thoughts on this point of leaving thing:

And the trees are underneath my clothes

Somewhere it doesn’t hurt not to be a rose

This escape in dance

I can’t touch my toes

I don’t wait for you to hold me, so

I grab a hold of the world

Banisters that are crumbling

Landslides and catacombs

A waterfall that is skin

A forehead decay

I’m leaving India

You’ve gotten into my soul in so many a profound way.

Leaving I’m not really leaving

Part of my hates you when I’m walking down the streets, Part of me falls to my knees.

Their toes were dangling 50 miles above the earth

And then they trudged through mud

And then they waited till they wouldn’t have to wait anymore.

It’s not that we hate India, but its just that India is so demanding. India beats me up; we have black eyes and broken teeth; we’re sweating blood and tearing through our skin

Blahblahblahe.e.r…………………. didn’t get anyfurther.

I though Sophie (the most) might appreciate these thoughts. Perhaps other CIEE kids can understand.

SophieBess left me this morning at 5am. I woke up and was totally shocked. I didn’t know what to do without her. I didn’t know what to do with an Indian world all by myself.

Walking through the streets of the city solo today was ridiculously more difficult than walking through the street with one other tall white girl, which is saying a lot. I got harassed and looked at maybe much more than without her, which is completely strange to me. Why is it that Indian people constantly stare at me? Is it because I intriguingly look somewhat Indian and somewhat not. I still don’t get it, and I don’t think that last explanation explains it all away. Is it just cultural that people stare at other people? Is it because I don’t look like “a lady”? Is it because I don’t dress completely Indian (no, that can’t be, because there are some Indian women who dress western)? The other day Sophie and I noticed a new discovery: there are very few women our age out on the streets/out in public. Maybe this contributes to why we’re such museum displays (?). Maybe that’s why I’M such a speciman: cause I’m independent and strong and I’m not a little cooped up lady and no I don’t wear pink and I’m not already married and I will not break if you touch me and yes I can stand this heat and YES I can walk the 4 miles instead of falling into your rickshawrip off trap because you know that since I don’t speak Hindi, I’m an NRI (Non Residential Indian) and therefore you can overcharge me up the wazoo!.

Sorry, but I have to go—time’s up. I’ll get back to this soon…probably not until I arrive back in the STL.

I fly from delhi to kolkata, kolkata to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Chicago, raph and em pick me up, I hang w/ them for a few days, and then I take a train from Bloomington back to STL. I know, TELL me about it. And KILL me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thay it don't thpray it

It seems important to write a bit more in Phase Two. It's quite amazing how suddenly and drastically I change. It's a little unearthly at times.

Anyhow, you know how last post gave the impression that I was "settling down into myself" or something. Such a joke. I can't do that. I don't do that. Trying to be sane only make me more crazy. That's that. Jake and I talked about that tonight and I'm presently at peace with my insani-T.

Since that last post, Susan Popko from Oxy came to visit. It was wierd having someone from home here. It was also funny to see a 40yr old (or something) American woman in Hyderabad. She was totally shocked and out of her element. We were probably like that. It was also strange having to explain what my experience has been evaluate it.

I had a lovely weekend of time alone to myself. Everyone went away traveling. I couldn't because I had an exam on Saturday. I spent the time watching fabulous films, reading, writing, painting, doing CouchSurfing research, teaching myself the guitar, and I cleaned my room. And I felt good. It was so nice to have some time alone and away. I really haven't gotten that in 4 months. I also spent a night up on the roof of the international men's hostel, playing/listening to guitar, and singing songs. Alex and I went into the city to a bookstore, bought apples, and had coffees over a game of scrabble.
This past week I've also had a lot of work and test. It's the end of the semester and all the teachers are piling on at one. The Indian education system is so silly and factory-like. Originality is not really valued. I'm fucked.

I had a disturbing conversation with a graphic designer/computer programmer/business owner last night who told me that only quantum mechanics and string theory were reality and that if you can't prove it scientifically, it's not reality. All you humanities losers and living in a pointless realm of unreality. All of your lives are in vain. I was not at all in the mood. It was about the last thing I could deal with at that point. Later that night, I cried. Maybe because of him, but maybe not and maybe because of a million other things. I also was attacked by the relentless gremlins in my stomache. They've decided to return. I'm not happy about it.

Couchsurfing is coming into focus! I've got someone to keep my stuff in Frankfurt. I have an offer in Berlin and one in Paris. I'm waiting to hear back from other people, but Hell Yeah! Also, I don't know if this was mentioned earlier, but I'm meeting my friend Andrea Lane in Praha. Oh, and also, Sophie is now considering jumping back into the Europe game. I'd be thrilled. I think it might happen. We'll both be crazy broke when we come home but it will be beautiful. Whatever.

Ee! I had an interview tonight for 826Chi and I was wierdly nervous. It's been a long time since I had a real interview. My critique of my interviewing self is that I try to be too honest and too down to earth and casual. I think I need to be a bit more professional and actively try to sell myself. I feel like I'm just hangin out with some ppl on the phone. Either that or I just need to be working with ppl who are cool, like me :)

School's over in around 1.5 weeks. wtf, right?

I want to eat your artichoke heart

Answering Grace's call into the wild, wild night. I wrote this blog a few days ago, but didn't have access in that location, so only now am I posting it.

Some thoughts on some topics:
1. I regret having traveled so much during the program here in Hyderabad. Initially, I hadn't intended on traveling during the program. It really hadn't crossed my mind. I just thought I was going to live in a medium-sized city in the middle of India for four months. When I got here, everyone (the other SIP students) had all these ideas about these wild Indian fantasy places that they wanted to visit: Kerala, Rajastan, Goa, Mumbai blahblahblahblah. I felt like I had to jump on the bandwagon. I didn't want to miss out on these opportunities to see the whole country. Maybe these kids knew something I didn't. Maybe their scope was bigger than mine.
Now, I realize that this constantly carting myself around the country made me feel more and more like a tourist, and less and less like a local, like I was/am living here. I didn't really have the time in one place to establish any really meaningful relationships with natives, or sort of with the city itself (although I do think that I feel Hyderabad is a sort of Home. Emotionally it does, but I feel I've just begun to comprehend it. You know, to know it like you know a city).
I think for me, ultimately, it would've been more satisfying to not zoom around the country so much (although it was REALLY amazing to cover so much ground in India), but to stay put and really try to become a part of a place. I guess I realize now that that's what I wanted from study abroad. Sure, it's a little late to realize that (that's why they have you 'figure this stuff out when you're writing your application'), but I don't care. It's still important to me to have that insight.

2. I've been living more Act Now, Think Later. Jump on the opportunity. // Newness: Some thought about the matter is actually really amazing. Although it may be arbitrary what decision you make, it's nice to realize that you can be in some sort of control of your life. It's nice, I guess, to take control.

3. Uhh, control. I guess I'm back into that now. ? Midway through freshman year I'd decided to give that up, that it was some sort of weakness, that it was my crutch. Yeah I was pretty controlling of myself--disciplined. I got things done, and I did a lot; and I was successful. I was happy, but conflicted in a way that couldn't be addressed if I was to maintain that control. Once the can of worms was opened up, I had to release myself. I let myself go, and run, and now I'm reevaluating. What do I want for myself? Where is the balance? Oh, I'm thinking about Balance, now? How do I stay Crazy, but stay Sane? [last sentence makes me <3> Dear Johnny tears & commemoration, star-stuffed nights on the back dock, sleeping bag piles of bodies. Hookah w/ the boys and big bottles of cheap wine. Alex & Ikaika's serenading at all hours of the night (and day). Song concocting with mah Alex. Improvisational musical scenes and SERIOUS soap opera moments ("but, Winefred, where hast thou gone with the alien pod-man?!"). Photography days in parks. Drives to the Y in the rain, in the snow. Drives to Anywhere. Thom Yorke/Cake Bake/Kweller car rides. Late night mindeatingitselfinside out CoffeeCartel kindastuff. Indian dancing. Good movies. Bad movies. Home movies. Incidental Late night talks on the green couch. Piano, guitar, Indigo Girls, RHCP, Beatles, Bob Marely throughout the house. Mom's cleaning days. Waking up to a house full of sounds and smells (there's no other place that's as full of those 2 things when you first come to consciousness. NO OTHER PLACE.). Meowmeows in the middle of the night. And etc. etc. Wow. This was LOOOOOOOONG.

Now, what have I been doing lately?


Well, CIEE went on a trip to Mysore/Bangalore/Bailakupi. This was fun. We visited the largest Tibetan resettlement camp/community in the world. Lots of temples like usual. The most fun thing we did was celebrate Holi, the festival of colors. Pictures that explain this event can be found either on Facebook (stuff other ppl tagged me in), or Jordo n' Sophie's pics (again:, and Just think lots of colored paint-water type stuff, live drumming group, old clothing (preferrably white), chaotic happiness and bliss. no joke. everyone was laughing and dancing and running and dancing and laughing and laughing and laughing.

I spoke with both Raph and Ben on the phone yesterday. Phenomenal. It was too good to talk to both of them. And both of them in one night!, AyAyAy! Raph is such a delicious human, and Ben makes me happy and content. Both of them helped me think a lot about everything I needed to think about. And in a very good way. After speaking with them, I feel more at peace. I don't know why--let's not get into it. But I do, and it's good, and it's great. Yay.

The issue of the summer is still up in the air.

Europe plans are underway. Since the price of traveling from city to city is so expayn$ive, and since I'm just a joke of an empty wallet, I'm cutting my trip to 3 cities (as of now...!): drum roll please!---> Berlin, Praha, Paris. Berlin b/c aparrantly it's the current place to be for ppl my age. Everyone that's gone there in the past few yrs has been raving. I'm looking forward to blow-your-mind architecture, happening art scene, and the electricity of a post-wall collapse community. Prague is just a place I've been wanting to visit all my life. Once of those I don't know why but I've always wanted to go there Places. Venice is also one of those, but I think I was starry-eyed in 3rd grade when I fell for Venice. I read that it's super-touristy, a dying city, and that you can't really do much for more than 2 days or so. So I cut it out. Hey, Prague is also cheap! [espec. the beer----even though I'm not a beer gal, I'm up for cheapness in Prague.]. Here, I'll meet up with Andrea Lane, a friend from Oxy, and we'll spend a few days together. Lastly, Paris, je'taime. Oh, mon amour. I do have to say I'm quite sad that Jake won't be there with me. His absence will be felt daily, I assure you. In this land of berets and crossiants and other things that sound real perty and taste good, I'll prob meet up an India friend, Jaime, and her boyfriend, my brother Josh during one of my very last days, and visit some of Raph's ppl outside of Paris (hopefully Adrian!). In the city I'll probably be staying with my mom's friend's daughter.

-Before Europe I'm buying an mp3 player or something. I've simply got to or it's stupid. Musicmusicmusic, come to me!

-The title of this Blog (as in the name on the front page) will have to be slightly altered when I venture into more and more lands. I'm nutty, man!

Immediately after school's out (like a few hrs after my last final immediately) Sophie and I head up north for Calcutta (visit the fam), then Varanasi, Agra (Taj!!!!!!), Delhi, mountains north of Delhi. Then Soph leaves, I go back to Delhi for a day or so and meet up with Sarah and Alison, then I return to Calcutta to chill w/ my fam some more. Then Europe. This is crazy! This is nuts! This is amazing!

Hey! Another bit of news: I won 2nd place in Oxy's Non-Fiction Literary contest. I wrote this creative non-fiction piece on JD Salinger. I get $100.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Say no More, Mon Amore. Lips are for Kissin Baby, Je t'adore

Another day has passed and I realize that I have too many goddamn memories to fit in this jar they call life. I guess we could just center on a few relevant for this blog right now. Let's do that.

I had an Amazing trip to Kerala. It was quite marvel-licious! We began our adventures with a 26-hour train ride. It was, of course, overnight, and we did what needed to be done to occupy ourselves and maintain sanity during a course of ridiculous ridiculousness. My ass hurt after a while and never ceased aching after I'd say 4 hours into the trip. I tried to read this tedious political philosophy for class, we were of course bombarded by like 5 indian males our age who were awkward, needed emotional babysitting, and basically a nuisance. (Let me explain: India guys will come up to you and say "you are from?" will say "the united states"..if you're me they will say "but you are looking indian" will reply "yes, i am 1/2 father was born in bihar and grew up in mother is american"..they will say "Oh! I thought so! I was thinking she is looking so Indian, with her hair and her eyes, and her nosering like that!" They will proceed to basically stand there and look at you and try to look like they are not looking at you, while you go about your business. They will ask you menial questions like "what are you studying" and you will explain that you are a liberal arts student so you study this and that, that your education system is different from theirs, that you're religious studies and spanish major (which becomes a long convo in itself), then they will say things like "do you like india?" you will say "yes". they will sit there some more, then ask to look at the book you're reading and then stare at it for a good minute, while you stare at the wall, and then they'll say "why do you read? it is so boring. is this for fun? you are crazy. i don't get it". you will say "yes, i read for fun. me and my friends, we all read for fun. we enjoy it. people enjoy different things. ? i mean....?" then he will sit there and watch you read. you read because you don't want to have the EXACT same unsatisfying conversation with him (verbatum!) that you've had with nearly every other male you've met on this trip. I'm thinking that this awkardness and formality with women comes with the infrequent interaction between men and women of my age.) Anyhow, I'm a bit frustrated and exhausted from having to entertain Indian men who sit there like puppy dogs expecting you to do tricks or something. I'm also just tired of me and my group of friends just CONSTANTLY being stared at. I don't yet know how to deal with it. Is it best to communicate that it is not okay? That it makes you feel uncomfortable and objectified? Or is it best to ignore it and not let it get to you? I am usually never a proponent of simply ignoring the only let's it perpetuate. But it seems like that is what my peers want to do. I'm not into that. I think it'd be effective to let people know that it makes us uncomfortable, to find out why people stare, maybe I can answer the inarticulate questions that their eyes are asking. It separates us further if we just ignore the reality of this cultural curiousity. I think we should each let each other know what's going on. It just seems like it'd be a nuisance for the people I'm traveling with if I constantly bring attention to the fact that we're being stared at. They seem to want to either curl into their little shell or get aggrevated. They don't seem to want to take the time to understand. I think I'd be approaching this on my own and differently if I was traveling alone..(which I will be doing in Europe, but I'll get to that later)

Also, on the train I performed the essential hang-out-of-the-crack-between-the-cars-and-watch-the-beautiful-South-Indian-blood-red-sunset.

A day later we arrived in Ernaukalam/Fort Kochin area, got through the stressful stuff of being in a new place, found a homestay, plannedplannedplanned, other people got ayurvedic massages. Jordan and I watech a pro badminton match under a huge tarp and bought mangos and pineapples and ate them in a park. Then we chatted with locals and had a contest to see who could swing higher. I won because I'm lighter. Fort Kochin is cute and comforting and homey, welcoming and friendly.

The next day we explored the beautiful backwaters that make Kerala a tourist spot. I was drugged up because of Dramamine so I was unbearablt groggy all day. I still enjoyed what I could, though. That night we saw a local musicaldancetheater performance. The next day we split up to do our own things because we felt comfortable in this quaint town..felt like we could venture out on our own and we also needed to get away from the group. Sophie and I found ourselves in the studio of an artist we'd met a few nights prior. Desmond invited us to paint with him, so we did. The two of us poked Desmond for answers to our many questions about Life and the Future and Destinies. And here is what Desmond said (which I have so taken to heart these days following): "You've just gotta choose something great...something that really gets you, that makes you crazyhappy, and you've just got to go for it. You gotta go for it 110% and put your all into it. You can't ever give up." "What if I don't know what the right decision is? What if I chose the wrong thing and I end up not liking it?" "

...Sophie and I are having a conversation about living in Europe right now, so hang on...

Now I'm back and I've, since I last wrote, gotten really ill. tummy trubs. Now back to Desmond, because I can pretty much do nothing in this state but sit still and read or write! (Desmond responds.)

"Then you chose something new. You evaluate and access your life now and decide what you think will make you happy, what you're interested in, and you go for THAT 110%"

Thanks Desmond. No, Really. I'll remember your words for awhile.

Trying to live this new philosophy has been an interesting roller coaster. I returned from Kerala in one peice, in a REALLY great mood because our 10 days away from life away from life, but then the second-almost-that I got on the computer to check my email and my facebook stuff, I got sickly depressed. Waz that all about? It made me think that I really need to make some changes (I think) with/in my life. I think the thing that made me upset was was the past and the future. All the things in my email inbox were about this or that thing I have to do with my future--either far off like post graduation, or even in the coming month or week. It's like I was coasting euphorically for a good 10 days and then I came back to reality. But why does there have to be this "tough reality"? Why do we have to come back to the things that make us unhappy? What's the point to life, then? To battle? To always feel like your losing and to fake yourself into thinking you just might win? And then the ugly tidbits of rotten things of my past were there to greet me eagerly when I returned...wierd things with wierd people that are not okay. I mean, how is my situation that different from every other college student who ventures far away from home?: I make these really intense, really strong relationships with people in random places all over the world, and then we scatter even more all over the globe, and then I have to leave, something goes wrong, someone thinks something wrong but there's no time to do anything but run, and you run across oceans and moutains and they run across pilgramage sights and through waterfalls, or they stay put and act oblivious, and you realize only way later what's happened. I have millions of really close people scattered all over this world now, and I'm only adding to it by traveling more and more and doing what I do, by getting really close to people and pulling them in and letting them pull me in and pulling the world in and into ourselves. It's great, it's amazing, it's just intense. I guess, though, that I'm an intense person who steps back every once in awhile and realizes it's so. In those moments I am surprised.

Back to Kerala:

So Sophie and I oil pasteled with Dessy while he smoked a j and reggae boiled in the room. We had a really phenomenal time and at the end gave Desmond our painting to remember us by. We took a picture, however. Sophie should probably have it up on her Picasa album somewhat soon. We hit up a coffee shop and wrote a joint poem, and then ventured out towards the shore, where we watched Chinese fishing nets doing their massive wild mechanical yet barbarric feeling things, and strolled alongside the rocks and the water. We had a long and intense conversation, yet again, and realized that it was high time we reported back to our group. We were to meet them around 6 or so in front of the giraffe slide in the park. [This reminds me that Sophie and I got kicked out of the park earlier that day because it was "only for children". I was so hurt and so sad and angry. That kind of stuff bothers me the most. What's the point, then, in LIFE?! Fucka's].

We met up with the lovely crew and I beleive we also picked up a friend Jordan had met (another Canadian!) during the day. The other kids spent their day--we were told--exploring Jewtown, various old palaces & outrageous art galleries. Jordan hung out with a rickshaw driver all day who gave him a day-long free lift. The reunited and expanded group skipped (it was a beautiful time of day and we were goddamn happy) to a local eatery where we stocked up on goods..but not TOO much, because we'd wanted to grab some dessert (chocolate cake, we proposed?..) @ the Teapot down the way. At this cute little coffee shop (super-touristy and to all the euro-tourists of the area) we got cakes and coffees and they were delish and warm. Afterwards, we'd been planning on attending a sitar performance at this other coffee shop/art gallery; however, we were sadly informed that boohoo we had to pay a fatty price to get in. The signs never told us anything of this, so we just assumed it was free! We were sad, but where was nothing to do, so we headed home after wandering the streets I think (we did a lot of late night wandering and misbehaving in that lil town), Sophie and I were deep in conversation while the others explored little Tibetan and fabric stores. We then departed with the new friend and headed back home where Sophie, Jordo & I, after washing clothes in buckets and our bodies in odd showers, ventured up to the roof for debauchiness, drawing time, and moremasmas JOINT poetry. Then bed happened. [I must impress upon you that we attempted to sqeeze FIVE of us into a tiny bedroom in a homestay. There was ONE double bed, and that's all. We bythegraceofgod acquired 2 small mattresses to put on the floor (these barely fit). So what ended up happening is that, the 1st night, Olga slept on one of the mattresses because she was feeling oily and icky from the massage, jordo slept on the other mattress, and davi, soph and i tried to squeeze onto the bed. in the mid of the night soph got up cuz she couldn't was too squished..and slept on a couch out in the lobby area. Next night Jordo did the couch, and the 3rd night I did. Traveling.]

Aight.....The next morning what happened?.....................We left? Yeah, I think we left Fort Kochin for Munnar. We'd rented a coche and a driver because of convenience issues and such. We were driven, stopping along the way at worthwhile sights, to this lovely mountain happiness place that was essentially the sound of music IN INDIA, plus tea. Munnar is kinda where all the tea in the whole wide world is grown. We saw water falls, toured a spice garden, chased sunsets over mountains, played with light, explored the tea museum, and landed ourselves in a sweet, but pricey, but CAPTUVATING little mountain bungalow house. We got supremely hooked up and paid a really low rate for a room and even, later on in the day, were given a second room basically for free! My god, George was so great (the owner). To get to our bungalow you had to hop in George's crazymad fourwheeler and off road it down this steep steep hill (haha--steep...tea!). We were in the side of a mountain, over-looking endless rolling hills of tea. We had a balcony and an accessible rooftop. [God, that makes me miss Jake. I guess the romanticness of it all. And yes, of course, that beautiful place REALLY made me want him there]. At the day's end we bought fruit and tea in the town market, grabbed dinner, and made it back to our place. We all hung out on the roof; I saw two shooting stars, Davita and I both spotting the same one at the same time :) We traded flavors of home-made chocolate that we'd purchased in the town, and sipped on a couple Kingfisher Strongs under blankets, socks, and fleece...all the measly little warm-keeping devices we'd luckily lugged with us across the sea. We said goodnight to the stars and to the mountains and the tea workers that were surely out there somewhere, and went to sleep.

The following morning we had breakfast with George and his group, then we climbed a mountain. Joseph, our guide for the day, was already waiting for us when we came up for breakfast, and George was all like..."what do you want to do today?"..and we were all uhhh trekking or something through the tea...and he was all "oh good yes you still want to trek! yes here is your tour guide; joseph will take you up the mountain it will only take you 4 hours...then you can walk the 7 or 8 kilometers to the lake in the evening and return back here to watch the sunset". Right. Nobody told us that we'd be climbing the FACE OF A MOUNTAIN in Tevas/Chacos with NO WATER, NO FOREWARNING, and NO MENTAL PREPARATION! We started up some stone stairs, made our way onto a dirt path, passed tree houses, and then were bushwacking through tall lemon grass, perfectly vertically, in crumbling dry dirt, utterly pathless. It was fun, though and we survived! It was just NUTS! It got my first sunburn and peeling back of my life from that Hike. Also, at one point we had been out of water for a while and we said just fuck it and filled out water bottles up in a nearby stream! And now here I am feeling ill wishing that I hadn't but knowing that if I'd done it again I would've repeated the same. I mean I was ON MY PERIOD, face climbing a mountain, closer to the equator than I've ever been..I HAD to drink. I think I would've passed out if I hadn't. Climbing down the mountain was more like sliding/dying down the mountain. Jordan and I lagged behind and enjoyed flowers and photo opportunities after the first wave of fatigue had passed and we'd transitioned into energy-surge! We ended up not venturing to the lake because we were crazyexhausted after the hike/climb. I think we spent the evening eating dinner nearby, and once again enjoyed the sunset from the rooftop. Sleep came sooner than it had on other days, but it was necessary. Next morning we'd rented a rickshaw for the day and journeyed to a "nearby" wildlife reserve. Here, we saw an Indian Bison, wild elephants, and a DEER! There were also many mischevious monkeys all around the starting point and they were tricky, trying to steal things. Our rickshaw ride back into town was utterly freezing and of course we were not prepared clothing-wise, but we braced it. That evening we went back into town to buy more tea...we all realized that you couldn't have enough. We ate dinner at a Lonely Planet reccomended spot and then went back to our new hotel place, which was down the road from George's but infinately cheaper. The room was, however, super creepy and haunted. I slept by the ghost and there was a present left for us in the toilet when we arrived.

Next manana we headed out on the crazycrazy bus weaving through the mountains and recordbreaking speeds back towards the Fort Kochin area, but more specifically Ernaukulam (sp?). I took motion sickness pills and tried to sleep on the train so that I didn't die. Davita shared some Ipod time with me which was nice, because I always like listening to mystery music. There was this one Broken Social Scene song that I've found caught in my head occassionally since then. In Ernauk we settled in a hostel and then headed for the beach. Not exactly the coolest thing for a girl on her period to do, but I went. We found a good part of the beach and begin beach things. The group read their ever-popular chakra book out loud, which has become a tradition. They alligned their chakras on the beach while I spun around in circles where the surf meets the sand, while the sun set. It was delicious and trippy. Davita's eye was having some trouble at that was sort of mysterious but it began watering and hurt her a lot and we couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. We eventually left the beach, rickshawed back to the hostel, found some dinner (discovered that Veg Jaipur is AMAZING!), dropped Davita off, grabbed dessert at a nearby cafe, and hit the hay.

We braced the city again the next morning, filled our bellies with bfast and a complicated coffee mess, then headed for the train back to Hyderabad. The train ride was not as enjoyable as the way there because we didn't have seats together. There was a pair and another pair and then a single. Therefore, we all couldn't hang and have fun, but we made the time pass. I got a lot of school reading done, which I HAD to, Sophie and chattedchattedchatted, bought grapes, wrote MORE joint poetry (some w/ Jordo....who drank his beer out of the sleeve of a shirt in the wee hours of the night b/c we weren't sure if alcohol was okay on the train. it's india). Sleep barely happened and I had some stupid nightmares that seemed real.

In the morning we were still on the train. Eventually, Hyderabad came around and we all had mixed feelings about being back, happy to have life slow down and become more manageable for a while, but not to keen on being stuck in this unfriendly, difficult, and uninviting city once again. hyderabad just has no heart. it's not inviting. it says do you really dare to try to make this place home? okay, go on.

It's Friday night, now, and, like I said, I'm dicking around in my room because I'm having tummy troubles so I let everyone go out and have fun while I bummed here. It's aight, though. I think I'll read the rest of this essay thing and then maybe watch a movie or something. Or maybe I'll read the book that I'm into right now: Dave Eggers' What is the What. I really like it. This week as been somewhat stressful, as I've tried to "get my life back/more under control". I applied to internships, did iship/job/sf research, planned some of europe, bought some plane tickets, went to classes and yogas every day, and couldn't sleep. Why? Honestly because ever since I got back from Kerala all I can do in my bed is miss Jake. I know its very funny and it what you like, but it's true. I've been quite smitten after having not spoken to him in 10 days. I forgot to tell you...I fucked up and forgot to bring the phone charger for THE WHOLE GROUP, so we had to keep our phones off for the trip and only turn them on when we needed to use them. This prevented me from being able to talk to J or my mom for the duration of the trip. This did, however, make coming "home" and returning to Jakeland really really spectacular. I realized that I'd missed him in a really healthy way. I wasn't sitting around at night crying or feeling lonely on a mountain top and letting it interfere with my traveling. Rather, from time to time, while I was experiencing something really amazing I would say, God I wish Jake could be here to share this with me. And that was that. Then I got home and it burned when I talked to him because I was reminded of how amazing he is and how much fun it is to have him in my life. I also took Desmond's advice to heart in the Jacob realm and I laid down the law for myself. I want to be in San Francisco this summer. No more teeter-tottering. I'm going to go forth with it, do what I've gotta do to make it happen. Jake, in the meantime, need to talk to his work and think about meeting me in Europe. I'm crossing my fingers and told him that Paris is the most romantic city in the world little man. I hopeihope. Also, Sophie had to drop out of the Europe mix but she just might be back in. Updates to come.

Well I was quite bored because I've been able to do nothing but be in my room all day, so this blod has bee wierdly epic, but I'll let you go as of now, leave you like this: the first joint poem that miss Soph and I wrote in the coffee shop in Fort Kochin (the poem was written alternating lines. after you write a line you fold the paper down so that the next writer can't see what you wrote. you tell them the last word of your line so that they have a starting point. sometimes, if you feel the need to, you can write more than one line. if you're crazy)

There was nothing left

light shadows filtering between dark faces and limbs

her fingers curled up into my skin

a patchwork of fabric making up a being

"Can't we stay one second longer?"

Vertical thoughts pull suns from gallexies.

I remember his funky shoes with the silver laces.

Back down to, full circle, inside of me.

I forget that I'm not supposed to forget,

patterning a purple memory of sunset.

The bell sounded and the birds dispersed.

If the birds dispersed would the bell sound?

Yes! Those cobwebs filter through my nose.

The view from the window is beautiful,

and so we sit, breathing; and we are.

Another, frantically written on the train:

Rise and shine to the sounds of life stirring, whizzed by.

In the other window, someone was having thoughts about dying.

Count the freckles on my body to find a meaning in the stars

so that the spaces in between begin to pop out

and a cough, blown into the face of a stranger

is the silence spoken in its frequency of atomic yawns.

But, wrinkling her toes, she

took to the window like a light to the sky, because of

the times the wind dirtied her hair.

If she could change her name, she would leave tomorrow.

Toenails grow at rapid speeds when

the beginning begins at the very end.

Stretching, she says "I can't remember what skies were like before

there was plaster on these walls".

Enclosed by time-trackers and reflective lightsm we

screamed at the man overhead, and he snarled back like

yellow lines, blinked betwen two iron bars

swinging back and forth, they waited for the time to catch up.

The fisherman hauls in 25 tons of plastic only to

the end of this town, where I know you'll come back.

Some things I missed while writing this blog: Trader Joe's and the Metrolink and Coffee Cartel and Jake's kisses and air conditioning and rain and driving in my car with the window's down and independence and coffee shops and responsibilities and committments (?) and blankets and my lil kitties and sunny days in parks and

Thursday, February 28, 2008

This :)

NO NO NO. I AM happy, people. Happy, just heavy. My blogs have been rather sopping and weighty. Dark? Maybe just dim. Anyway, I just wanted to assure you that, yes, I am happy. Grace made me realize that I just might want to clarify.
Well, I leave for the lovely Kerala tomorrow and I just can't wait. It's a 10 day trip involving very little sleeping, the southern tip of India, psychedelic tripping, elephants, tree houses, endless sleeps on trains, washing clothes in rivers, tea spice fields. Tigers?!

Details? When I return.

Until then, take care of yourselves. Have a cup of tea, on me. Go for a run in the middle of the day, it'll clear your head. Also, count to 10 backwards, and then forwards, and then backwards again skipping every third number and adding Spanish words for colors in between.


ALSO, Sophie just posted a load of photos. Refer to her for fun. There are some great ones of Boy Band Magical Magicness. :))))))))))))))) [septuple chin]

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I'm 21 years old, yet I feel like I'm being born every day.

I just picked up this book by a Hugh Prather called Notes to Myself: How I Became A Person. Let us again return to Kurt, and something I found interesting in my last blog:
"'I can't tell if you're serious of not," said the driver.
'I won't know myself until I find out whether life is serious or not," said Trout. "It's dangerous, I know, and it can hurt a lot. That doesn't necessarily mean it's serious, too.'"

Can I answer these questions unless I answer this one first? Do I take it all too seriously, life? Is that possible? Is it not possible? Sometimes I feel like my tragic flaw is that I do take it seriously, all too seriously. But then again sometimes it is my strength--I guess it sets me apart?

Anyhow, lots of wondering lately. I think I'd sort of tried to shut that part off from me because when I do open it up it floodgates...I mean is really heavy and crazy and gooey like tar...It's a lot to carry on your back...It makes every day of living very...difficult?, intense?, serious?, too meaningful?, monumental? I wish I could reach the unbearable lightness of being, because in my mind it is unbearably light....the idea of it all...I mean its wonderful and easy and so simple....but I make it complicated. Immediately and naturally(?) I make it complicated. Is it or isn't it? Am I wasting my time, wringing myself dry on this stuff? Oh, bananas.

Yes I do want to know about my father's family, how they grew up and what their time in India was like. There's got to be more to my understandingexperienceconnection to India than this tourism. Perhaps I'll email him. (For those of you that don't know about my relationship to my father, it is not easy for me to A.Contact him and B.know anything about his life and/or history // mylife and/or my history.

So these thoughts about Indian family and my Indian identity, my connection to this land, really hit me when we were on the bus driving back from Goa this weekend. The drive back was breathtaking, curving through the forests of Carnataka, the mountains and boisterous hills, trees growing on trees, workers every where living lives of farming, getting by on what you get by on . I had this moment--well it wasn't a moment, it lasted for a good while--during that heartstopping time of know...when the sun's wanting to set and everything is taking a breath and breathing more slowly. Time felt slower. I connected with something. I don't know what. But something hit, something clicked or something swung, maybe something unhinged..Whatever it was I was moved. I had my head out of the window gawk-eyed for about an hour and a half and I became quietly teary-eyed. Something was so beautiful, all of it was, the people, the pace, time and where I was in it--moments of time and the greaterness of TIMETIMETIME--the universe connecting, understanding something about PEOPLE, not just Americans but People, seeing friendly oblivious faces, smelling things and things and things in different places, letting myself just take it all in. It was overwhelming, really. I mean that time of day can make you cry in any circumstance, Indian bus ride or not.

Today my Modern Indian Though professor said "a poet is a lover of Beauty" and I felt good, like maybe I could understand a part of myself. I guess I also thought back to that bus ride and now I can look at myself now and how I am still teary-eyed from remembering and re-experiencing through writing.

Today I tried to do something which was sit down and look @ internships once again and think also about careers. eek! I'm pretty damn lost and if I was @ school I'd go to the career and development center and tell them that, but I'm Here, so I can't. So I need help. Any adults or even peers willing to throw me some of their advice. Seriously, email me if you want to share your wisdom: -->I'm Thirsty.

Oo(!) I bought a sweet new journal in Goa this weekend. Right, I'm supposed to tell you about Goa. Well we took a really unpleasant bus ride (you thought Megabus was bad) straight west to the coast. We hung out in North Goa at a beach area called Arambol. North Goa is a lot calmer than South Goa, which is where you go for your Party scene. Originally, my intention was to base ourselves in the north, relax for a while, and at some point spend a crazy night up all night being loco in the south. Olga, however, got sick with something, which prevented us from being able to move around a lot. That was alright, though, meaning we just ended up vegging in beachness up in the North. Days consisted of browsing the "hippie" markets in the area, swimming, reading on the beach (out loud and individually), sampling various eateries in the area, doing Yoga, exploring. I actually ended up buying a lot of stuff. I never do that, but I needed a lot of things that I happened to find there and also had the time to find, since we stayed at one beach the whole time.

The funny thing about Goa (@ least Arambol) is that it's like a hippie tourist spot...which is really wierd because usually you don't associate hippies with tourism, like they should be all "fuck the man", but, well...maybe they're not. Lots of Europeans, Russians, Canadians, Israelites come and came to Goa for a tropical escape, but also to do it cheaply, and to do it in a culture in which they'll feel good. Partially, who can blame them? All of those things sound pretty good, yeah? What people usually look for in vacations. What sort of irked me, I guess was that Goa straight up markets hippiness. I mean it straight up touristizes it. You know, tye-died shirt with a huge pot leaf and the hindi word "om" on the front. Here I was sort of thinking that this culture of people escapes this type of unattractive behaviour, but it seems as if they don't. I had a moment when I understood Jake, that he grew up in Berkley and sort of reacted against the hippie culture there. If you're engulfed in it like that...if you see it in that light, it becomes disgusting and annoying.

On the other hand, people were REALLY laid back and friendly and made me feel really welcome and comfortable and such and I appreciated that and felt good. It was nice to have an emotional break from having to always be on gaurd as a tourist. I could easily converse with people (tourists and locals) and completely be myself, let my alert tourtist's gaurd down. Part of this probably had to do with the good English spoken all over Arambol. You don't find that in most other places.

I'm not going to write too much more just now, because I have a lot to do before we leave for our 10 day Kerala trip on Friday (it's Tues night now). Peace out, babies. I'll be MIA for awhile, probably, but don't fret. The globe will still turn. Actually, I can't promise that.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Oh, I don't know.

It's true. It's all true.