Sunday, April 10, 2011

Attempt at Rajasthan pt.1

Gateway, located in one of the courtyards of the Jaipur city Palace. It's called the Green Gate, and is meant to represent the season of Spring. The courtyard contains three other gates, each of them symbolizing a separate season. If you've ever seen the movie "The Fall," the Indian character is introduced in front of this door.

Hi folks. So, it's been a while...would have posted sooner but I've been having terrible internet luck. I'm going to divide this up into two parts....hopefully I'll be able to get the second half of the post done before I head out to Uttarkashi, but no promises. As Clausewitz said: No campaign plan survives contact with India.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Namaste everybody.

So, right now I'm using a computer at an internet cafe in Pahar Ganj, can't really post pictures. I was supposed to leave to Jodhpur today, though that isn't happening: there's been a railway strike that side, so my plans to travel via rail in Rajasthan are khallas (low brow Mumbai slang for "finished, dead")....not sure what I'm going to do matter what I've already lost a day on a scheduled that was already pretty tight (not to mention a total loss of rs. 750 for my ticket today).

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Jungle, The Rabies, and the Toad Soup

Rainbow, looking east from Flag Hill

Namaste everybody. So this is the sixth week of my studies at the Landour Language school. I only have three more from this point on, and, frankly, I'm still a damn long way from being able to speak truly good hindi...but, oh well. Anyway, from this point on, I'm thinking I'll make a sort of last ditch effort to get down what is maybe the most important thing when it comes to speaking the language, namely, verb tenses. There's so much that will still take years and years to internalize, like genders (why the hell is the chair male?) and intensifiers (don't expect an explanation: intensifiers are an untranslatable concept for English speakers, beyond the fact that they add.....intensity), but I think if I get the verb tenses down, then I'll know at least enough for my Hindi to be useful on the street....

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Very Cold and Delhi

Typical weather conditions over Mussoorie

Namaste all. So, I would'nt say there's been any really big news here. Hindi continues at it's usual slow pace. I think I have gotten a whole lot better, but right now my mind is still just a big soup of tenses and constructions and genders (which sounds rather nasty, but oh well). However I do think that I can understand vastly more of what people are saying than last year, though constructing my own sentences remains a slow laborious process.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Starting Hindi

Dawn view from Landour

Hi folks. So, right now I'm back in Delhi (in crusty old Pahar Ganj, in fact, the ultimate Hippy Hideout). But I'll post about that later. Basically, the main thing that's happened in my life is that I've started Hindi classes. And, well, it's a bit like space exploration: every question you answer just leads to ten thousand more, and the further you venture from the Earth, the more complex and confusing things become. So, it's going slowly. I think it's sill going to be some time before I'm really good at this. If I had the money, I would just stay here for a year and get 4 lessons a day, but, unfortunately that would bankrupt me.