Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sitting on the floor eating cornflakes.

But these are honey flavored, so maybe that makes this less boring?

I've been realizing how confusing language is more and more today than I have in a while. Not in a language barrier way. Somehow we have managed to make it many places, bargain and eat in a non-Delhi-belly inducing way without speaking much Hindi or Marathi or anything else. More in a general, successfully communicating my ideas way.

Actually, it kinds feels like I'm back in my sophomore year when I was an exchange student in Germany. I know what I am saying. I can see the pathways my mind has illuminated for me. The steps of logic from one to the next. But my language skills fall just short of the understanding of the person I am talking to.

It's weird. I chose to come to India because I have so little context for all of this. I read about Indian history for a semester and thought, AWESOME IT SOUNDS LIKE MEXICO LET'S GO. Oh naive... so naive... I find myself more frequently sitting and listening quietly. There are all of these themes and mysteries that I just cannot wrap my head around.

Like how we walk through super crowded areas with huge disparities and I feel safer than I expected to. I mean, apart from the car/autorickshaw/motorcycle/bus/truck/train/cow/goat/person/water container that I need to be vigilant for while I am walking anywhere. But it's not the same as Mexico or Latin America, where I look behind me every few steps to make sure the same person hasnt been following me, come up with alternative routes to wherever I go everyday and changing my times of departure to stay safe. People still stare at me, but it doesnt feel threatening in the same way.

Maybe it has something to do with how closely together everyone has to be all the time. There is an understanding that there just isnt space within the city not to interact in some way. And with that there is some peace? I am just speculating.

It's weird. Clearly I'm settling in because while I was in a Taxi heading down a 2 way street without any clear divisions in it, such that several buses, cars and trucks were heading straight for us at various points, and a COW was suddenly walking straight towards us without any clear intention to get out of the middle of the street, I was unfazed. Actually I was laughing to myself because I was thinking about this gif and how real it is.

I'm a bus

But then when I'm trying to explain a social structure or idea from my point of few... there is a lot of blank staring and clear communication failure. It's like the lenses of my point of view tainted windows here are foggy beyond recognition. I think I actually just dont get things... which is cool and weird and uncomfortable... and probably like that point in Germany just before the language barrier broke and I started to understand what the hell was going on.

We are visiting Dharavi tomorrow and spending a good chunk of the day exploring the site and hopefully not getting horribly horribly lost.

Should be interesting. more then.

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