This is a Monsoon. Bring Your Headlamp.

AUGUST 1st

I was sitting in the computer room in Tagore writing this blog post on the ancient desktops that sound like every word you type and every click you make are going to be their last… and Aimee is at the computer next to me, and swhshhhh the power dies. The fans, the lights and the computers all fade out and the only sound is the rain pounding on the thick roof far above us. It is REALLY dark in this little room, so I grab onto Aimee and she finds the door frame and we spot a cell phone light in the hall, sticking to the wall we skirt the step up to the hallways that is ALWAYS wet from the constant drip in the ceiling get into the hall, spotting Asaki’s flashlight down at the end we make it to her. And I make it to my room, heading straight to my desk in the dark remembering exactly where my head lamp is.

Headlamp firmly in place me Aimee and Asaki stand in the hallway, and… the power comes back on! This is a monsoon. So bring your headlamp, the power will go out. This is not the first time though that I have thought that headlamps are pretty much the best thing ever invented, they are so great. And now I’m back in the computer room (now writing this in a program that auto saves) and my headlamp is still around my neck. Just in case. After our first week of sweltering humidity finally broke we had a few days of rain off and on, but then nothing for the past 4 or 5 days, and now it is coming down hard. The roof is a story above me, and these are 20 foot ceilings, and thick concrete, and at some points it drowns out the music in my headphones and the growls of the dinosaur next to me unhappy when I click on anything.

So keep your headlamps handy.

And now we are in classes! This week I’ve finally been going to classes, and regularly at that! Conversational Hindi is Monday through Thursday 9 to 10am. Kuchipudi Dance (the dance of Andhra Pradesh, this province) is Monday and Wednesday 10 to 12n. Those classes are both SIP (Study in India) classes, so only international students. And that leaves two more classes (gotta take 4) so I am hoping to do an independent study with plants on campus through the Plant Sciences Department (who aren’t really offering any classes this semester) but I am still waiting to hear back from them about that, and then still needing another class I think I’ve settled on “Indian Philosophy”. It fits nicely with my schedule, the professor is really easy to understand and it actually might be fairly interesting. Today was the first class and he spent the hour talking about how a lot of people claim that there IS no Indian Philosophy because it is religion. And he as quite defensive about that, disproving the claims as to why it is not a philosophy…In Hindi we are just learning the alphabet this week. After this week we will drop the script and only use the transliteration since the Conversational class focuses on the pronunciation and conversing, not on reading and writing. And in dance today we got a work out! We practiced over and over these plie esq steps, up and down the room dipping over and over again and keeping our arms out, and speeding up to the beat the professor hammered out on this piece of wood! It was definitely a good work out, and fun! We get to do a performance at the end of the semester in full costume! And after she tired us out the second half of the class was about theory and history of dance.

Three of us in the dance class had asked if it was ok if we left a little early to get to the Philosophy class, since dance officially ends at noon and Philosophy starts at noon, and the professor, a very much intimidating retired professional and now rather plump dancer, assured us that she also had to be at her next class at noon so not to worry we would all catch the noon shuttle together. The campus is about as big as UCSC and has its own shuttle as well.

Well I’ve made it through this with the power only going off twice (only for a second the second time) so I think I’ll wrap up here. I just have to say, that I was rather disappointed at dinner tonight. It was the first night they didn’t give us ice cream!! I’m scandalized. They gave us “hot chocolate” instead. Yea I dunno what that was but it was not good and how can you pretend that hot chocolate (especially bad hot chocolate) is a replacement for ice cream. Like Aimee said, that’s like trying to pretend that carob chips are a substitute for chocolate. Insulting! Chocolate is just not the same outside the US (or maybe, Switzerland), unless it’s in ICE CREAM. Gosh I’m going to be spoiled when I go home and have to start paying 3.50 a scoop again for my ice cream, though there will never be an ice cream better than Penny’s, worth every penny ❤ .

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