Saturday, June 19, 2010

Swollen Summer

Above: a cow hanging out on the streets, which is not an uncommon site near these parts of town, allegedly.

I woke up this morning to find that my right eye had swollen to approximately the size of half of a golf ball. I know that sounds pretty gross, but it didn't hurt or even itch anymore, it was just very tender and swollen and I had a difficult time keeping it open. Needless to say, I skipped out on what had apparently been a relatively delicious brunch at The Egg Factory. That was a bit of a bummer but I didn't want to scare people or be that person who wore sunglasses while eating her omelet...

Most of the swelling had subsided by noon, by which point I'd tinkered around a bit with my new laptop, made some headway in my e-mail, and tried unsuccessfully to place an order for food delivery. I think I have the gist of adjusting to life here, but there are always small problems I encounter, like not knowing what extensions to dial on telephones or how to properly turn off the shower, that still frustrate me. But then there other small things, like the maid service or the fact that 10% is considered a pretty generous tip at restaurants, that are slowly but surely spoiling me.

Dinner was a lovely affair at a restaurant called The Medici, which happens to share names with a restaurant back home in Hyde Park. But whereas that "Med" = "The Mediocre", this one was fantastic...("Med"al winning?) It was bizarre though, picking our way through rubble on the streets, avoiding beggars who grasped at our sleeves, squeezing into a smelly elevator...and then suddenly stepping into a very posh, dimly-lit restaurant overlooking 100 Foot Road.

The food was primarily French-Italian, with very little to no Indian influence.

Fancy/wordy menus usually annoy me, but I liked this one.

Andrea, me, and Molly with our...drinks. I forget the name already :( But it was some sort of cocktail that involved a wonderful blend of lime, vodka, and sugar cane, the last of which gives it that strange color.

Tasty, tasty bruschetta. After this point I seriously became way too engrossed in stuffing my face with noms that I stopped taking pictures.

We're meeting tomorrow at 7:30 AM for our Bangalore tour, so I am going to stop here and get some sleep...more pictures galore (of Bangalore, which I adore?) are coming up though, so watch this space!

India and stuff

I make this first entry under a strange set of circumstances:

It is 4 in the morning, India time. I went to sleep about two, mayyybe three hours ago with a belly full of Kingfisher beer, the local favorite, and Papa John's pizza, which we'd ordered nostalgically with our booze after a long day of orientation at the office. I'd spent the entire preceding 32 hours being awake, so I thought I'd be happily exhausted, buzzed, and well-fed by the time I hit the sack - three ingredients for a perfect night's sleep, right? Wrong...

I apparently spent the last few hours in the company of a lovely bloodsucking friend. Many parts of my face, neck, and pretty much 80% of my right arm are swollen with bites. And while it does kind of look like my skin is boiling and the itching is starting to get pretty bad, the worst part is that I have a bite directly on my right eyelid, making it very difficult to open my eye entirely - and whenever I blink, it triggers the itching again, so essentially every time I blink I have to suppress the desire to scratch my eye.

I realize it probably seems like I am kicking things off here in this blog with a big o bucket of pessimism, but that is not the case. I love it here already. Every little thing, from the way people eat food here to the toilet flushing mechanism to the looks I exchange with strangers on the street holds me in captivation. Then of course there are the big great things, like the brilliant people here at TWU, the unbelievably amazing food, and the overall excitement of being in a completely new world - these things have lived up to everything I'd been anticipating and so much more...

The point of this entry is that even though I am sitting here with a swollen pinky and an itchy eye and the frustration that I cannot seem to master this jetlag turnaround stunt no matter how I try, it's all fine. Tomorrow will be another adventure, magnificent in scope, so much so that these little inconveniences will seem trivial in comparison. I'm excited to share everything here.