Thursday, July 30, 2009

The host fam gives me a holler.

I have one week left until I leave for India, and the recent heat wave in P-town is driving me crazy. This does not bode well for my reaction to South Indian monsoon weather. As that most intelligent canine Scooby Doo always says, ruh-roh.

In other news, I've been hearing from my host family! They are of the Gujarati sect of Hinduism. No, I have no idea what that means, and yes, I should probably look it up on Wikipedia before I show up at their doorstep. The parents used to live in Mumbai before they peaced out for the south, probably because Mumbai is mucho peligroso. (As a side note: I've found that when I'm in a foreign country and I don't know the language, I often lapse into Spanish. This trip could be very confusing, linguistically speaking.) The mom went to college, and works as an aerobics instructor and a journalist. The dad used to own a textile business before switching to real estate, share marketing and finance. Their 24-year old daughter Meera graduated from college and works in business, and their 17-year old son Nihal is finishing his senior year in high school and likes to play PS-2, as his email to me dictated. The description of their living situation I received via email: "They have a very nice and well kept house."

In other words, I think I'm going to be living with the Indian bourgeoisie for the next four months.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Oh, Bharat Ganarajya, you crack me up.

Indian visa: $108.
Japanese encephalitis vaccine: $135 per shot.
Knowing that in two weeks, you will be in a Third World subcontinent so full of mosquito-driven diseases that if you don't cover every inch of your body in a mosquito repellent strong enough to fuel the International Space Station, you WILL get malaria (or encephalitis, or typhoid, or yellow fever, or dengue fever, or polio) and you WILL die: priceless.

To be completely honest, I didn't really think this whole India thing through that well. I just looked at a map one day and saw India and I had this feeling. It was totally a "Matrix" blue pill/red pill moment. I had a feeling, so I picked the program that seemed the best and now here I am, five vaccines in and hitting warp nine with the freak-outs. Sometimes I feel like a total n00b in the face of all these other friends of mine who are going to Ecuador to study HIV in the rainforests to further their medical careers. But then again, I am completely oblivious in the face of my future, whereas they've already picked out which strain of HIV they will specialize in. Also they have med school to contend with. No, gracias.

Let's just hope my "destiny" doesn't end like Neo's. I'd rather not get riddled with bullets in a broken-down building where no one will ever find me, thank you very much.