I’ve been a very lazy blogger this week. Lots to tell, but I haven’t had time to write.
I’m going to try really hard to keep up with my 4 posts per week resolution (this one doesn’t count), so this is a preview of what is coming:
1. Research Progress (7/30)
2. Trip to the Village Schools (7/31)
3. Visit to Indian Museum & Victoria Memorial (8/1)
4. The Time I Told Off An Indian Guy (7/28)
Over dinner tonight, we were talking about how surprisingly tough this week has been. I suppose we had been thinking that Week 3 would be a breeze because we’d be so busy, but what we have realized is that Week 3 is the end of vacation. Week 1 was all about culture shock and jetlag, Week 2 was our adjustment period, and Week 3 feels like we have been here FOREVER. This week, we realized that we will be living in Kolkata for the next 2 weeks. We have a routine (sort of) and we know where stuff is (sometimes).
I think we have all been feeling the stress and pressure of constantly being “on” for a long enough period of time that now we are starting to get short with each other. We’ve been living together for long enough that we’re not afraid to be a little rude to one another, too, which isn’t great. Cynthia and Liz had been doing pretty well handling everything, but this weekend they started to show their frustration with India. We’ve been here long enough that having to haggle for every cab ride and every restaurant seat is annoying. We’re sick of the stares and the gropes from men on the street. We’re starting to understand how the people who live here feel. It’s taken 3 weeks, but we’ve reached that point. If we had been here for a shorter amount of time, we wouldn’t have reached this level of frustration and stress.
Ok. Enough griping. Despite all the difficulties, some aspects of life here are getting much easier. We’ve found good restaurants and we’re eating very well now. It’s significantly cooler now than when we arrived as well. Lots of rain and thunderstorms at night have helped. Parts of Kolkata have flooded, but not our part. When we drove to the village yesterday, one side of the street was under about 8-10 inches of water! The tram was running on the grassy median, and people were slogging through with their calves completely submerged. Our area of town isn’t too flood-y…here’s hoping it stays that way. The thunderstorms here are quite different from storms at home. Maybe it’s just because I’ve never experienced a thunderstorm with windows and doors wide open, but the thunder sounds different here. It seems like it spreads across the sky, crackling wide, flat, like a pancake. At home, thunder rumbles and seems to bubble up through tall clouds. Either way, the rain has made the city (and my morning showers) much cooler.