Wednesday, March 4, 2009


hello from b'lore! many thanks for the phonecalls / emails / msgs.... i am slowly working my way through the responses, so you should be sure to hear from me soon! my apologies if i missed you entirely before i left, it was a whirlwind of multitasking at the finish line. you will definitely hear from me while i'm here though... i just need a little more time!

so i have arrived, and though it has only been a day or so, it really feels like i never left. i was preparing myself mentally for the overwhelming experience that landing in delhi was. don't get me wrong, i love love LOVE delhi, and it will always have a very special place in my heart. everything i say about it, i say with utmost love for the city :)

but. the airport chaos, the asshole autowallas who wouldn't take me to my interview, trying to find my way back to an apartment i'd only seen for 10 seconds entirely sleep-deprived.... it was a very intense experience last year. this time was NOTHING like that! the airport is insanely modern, the people (and by people, i mean men) were helpful instead of being creepy and gawking at my body. i also really appreciate that B'lore has road names, and that locals actually know what these names are AND know where they are. delhi was entirely landmark-based, and while there is still a lot of that in B'lore, it still comes with clear neighbourhoods and names. and if that all wasn't enough.... the numbers go in order! imagine that?! i'm being spoiled here. not to mention my cousin Arjun, who really might be the most helpful human being on the planet... and my grandparents! i should have realized that b'lore = spoonfeeding, especially compared to delhi. i also understand for the first time ever why everyone refers to delhi as so unfriendly! i obviously stick out as "from foreign", which is pretty much guaranteeing that i'll get ripped off or worked over in delhi. my ajja and i went out on an excursion yesterday, and ppl were actually FRIENDLY despite my foreign origin! my jaw dropped in shock. to the delhi expats reading this.... y'all NEED to come visit. it's like a little piece of home within india :)

also, i've never returned to india so soon after a trip; the last trip ended a 10-year stretch of no india visits! which is playing a huge part in feeling like i never actually left. i'm back to the same routine i had in b'lore last year, down to the arguments with my Ajja about how long one human being can stare at a Sudoku puzzle (he likes to mock me!) :)

the job front is insanely positive already. i've had two interviews so far, and have three left. i also have two days in the field set up to see the practical side of the work for two orgs... i'm SO nervous! especially since i do not speak a word of the local language here, Kannada. my family feels confident that i can pick it up fairly easily, especially with its similarities to Konkani, but i'm still super nervous about it! but in that super excited, giddy kind of nervous way :)

i have also decided to be vegetarian for the month of March. when i moved to delhi, i thought i would also be vegetarian. you may recall that i lasted about 3 days before i realized it was one of the WORST places to avoid meat.... moghulai meat is maybe the most delicious food i've ever tasted. it was akin to living in a city with an open bar, and swearing off alcohol. the south, however, has wayyyy more options for vegetarians. so i thought i would avoid meat for March no matter what, and if it turns out i'm mentally making a list of food unique to the area that i'm missing out on (like i was in Delhi!), i'll reconsider in April.

what is absolutely hilarious about this little promise of mine, is that my (entirely vegetarian, won't even cook meat) grandmother is unsupportive! i thought at least here, i would get some support, versus my father lovingly taunting me with chicken pakoras 20 minutes after my new year's declaration to be vegetarian in 2007 :) but alas, my grandparents are rather unhappy with my decision, and it makes me laugh heartily every time it comes up. with my taste for silver over gold, my refusal to wear (blood) diamonds and now this.... they really shake their heads at me at least 10 times a day. and it makes me giggle every.single.time :)

OKAY! i must run. the beauty of b'lore when the heat starts to pick up is that the current cuts out all afternoon. it just came back on and i thought i'd quickly pump out an update before we lose it again! so my apologies for a rushed, half-assed and unedited post. love to you all though!


anutty said...

Arch, is there a reason you're going vegetarian for a month? Is it a willpower thing? Or something else?

archana said...

hahaha. no, not a willpower thing -- though i could use an exercise in that too! i just eat healthier when i take meat out of the equation entirely (which i'm sure is true of most of us!). as an example: the other night, my mamama made one of my fave dishes - a soupy Konkani dish which is chocked FULL of veggies (colmbo). we also had Hyderabadi biryani, which is only meat and rice. had i allowed myself to eat the biryani, i wouldn't have even touched the other dish! even though it is one of my favourites and far more nutritious. i just intake far more veggies when i don't let myself eat meat.... and after three previously failed attempts, i figure there's no better place in the world to actually stick it out than South India.

also, mrk-gone-veggie has been a HUGE inspiration! :)