Monday, January 08, 2007

The Village

I took the train from Thiruvananthapuram to The Village - one of my goals while in India. (And finished another goal - reading Rushdie. I read "Shalimar the Clown" - RECOMMEND!) I've started jotting down notes in my journal - no matter how shakey the handwriting - so that I have something to jog my memory. A few notes:

  • Apparently, that oft-repeated saying that there are more accidents on American roads than Indian ones is pure bunk. The Indian tourists I met while on my tour of Thiruvananthapuram laid that one to rest - as it turns out, many (if not most) accidents are not reported and thus do not figure into the statistics.
  • The walls of Indian homes have banks of light switches and dials, controlling lights, ceiling fans and mysteries.
  • There are lots and lots of roadside signs related to driving safety and civic-mindedness. For example, 'Keep your side, save your hide" Still, being driven in India is nerve-jangling. It requires something like a zen-like detachment and a focus on the driver's head. Driving school here must be a trip, I saw 2 different students on the road. Each had a death grip on the steering wheel and ramrod-straight posture.
  • Watching cricket is like watching curling - the announcer assumes you already know the ins and outs of the game and doesn't take time to explain. Sadly, my working knowledge of cricket comes from watching "Lagaan." I'm not kidding. I've watched cricket on nearly every trip to India, but never had anything explained to me. It reminds me of when I was five and asked my father how the scoring in tennis works. He told me to watch the game and figure it out. Parents and would-be parents: that is really CRAPPY advice! I mean ... love, 15, 30, 40, deuce, advantage, tiebreak, etc. - some things require an explanation.
  • Ah, Kerala - where the men have more ear and facial hair than actual hair.

Here in Kerala, I'm like the Italian cousin - somehow related, but .... different and a little laughable in my cluelessness and lack of language skills. I've decided that all of the staring makes me some kind of a celebrity. Maybe I'll start wearing huge sunglasses a la Nicole Ritchie (or dressing in baglady-chi a la Marykate and Ashley.)


brimful said...

I watched "Lagaaan" specifically to try to learn how cricket is played! And I still haven't a clue.

In other news, when are you coming back? We need maisnon back in SF!

maisnon said...

I will be back Saturday afternoon (the 13th) - my flight leaves Chennai at 4:35 am (WTF)

I meeeeese SF and my peeps there!!