Somehow, and without warning, it is suddenly day 30 of my time spent in India. Reflecting on the past month, things already seem so different here from when I first arrived. It is strange this feeling of becoming adapted to a new culture; what had a month ago shocked me, now seems almost normal and commonplace. While I've been here, it's impossible to describe all I have felt, the highs and lows of acclimating to a place that is completely foreign in so many ways. But there is a great satisfaction and fulfillment in learning how to live in a new spot, to understand a different way of life. Gradually as I've become more comfortable, familiar, and knowledgeable with my surroundings, I have begun to see the city in a new light. Sure things are different here, much, much different, and there are often still obstacles to overcome, it would be naive to assume it would be otherwise, but I have met some truly great people more than willing to help me out when I need it. No matter where you are in the world, people are still people. Maybe that seems weird to say, but it's true.
As I get more comfortable I have gained confidence and am able to be more of myself. I have noticed it has become much easier to understand the Indian English accent, and easier to recognize when people revert so quickly between Hindi and English. And as I pick up more tidbits of Hindi, I can grasp words here and there that I understand. My coworkers have been helpful and encouraging in my desire to learn to speak at a beginner's level Hindi, and in return I have been teaching a bit of Spanish. I have found that it is easier now to pick up phrases in Hindi, as I begin to learn the pronunciations of the language, and learn common words. As I've grown more confident in my pronunciation, I have tried to use small phrases here and there, usually to the surprise of my colleagues, and now they've begun to try to get me to practice speaking Hindi to unsuspecting coworkers! So, this is my apology in advance if I slaughter a perfectly good Hindi phrase in my attempts! I am finding great pleasure in this lingual learning experience.
I am also really enjoying both my design work and work environment at Innopark, working on branding, web, and gaming assignments. Working for a gaming entertainment company does have its advantages. Playing online games for research on design projects? Umm, sure, sounds good to me!
I saw this when I was out on Saturday and thought it was humorous. No honking, huh? Unless the sign is referring to an actual trumpet (doubtful), that'll be difficult. Apparently there was also a marathon held in Hyderabad last weekend, though I did not see it.
Lately, I have had a craving to read Jane Eyre again, so I picked it up at a nearby bookstore. For those who have not read it (and you should, it's a classic), it is a story of a quite remarkable and courageous young heroine. I came across a really great quote from it on Sunday, "It is vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it."
Many who know me also are aware that I am an avid Jane Austen fan. Walking through the streets in India reminds me in a way of Elizabeth Bennet walking to Netherfield Hall in Pride and Prejudice, "jumping over stiles and springing over puddles with impatient activity, and finding herself at last within view of the house, with weary ankles, dirty stockings, and a face glowing with the warmth of exercise," except that India's streets also have continuous streams of traffic. I think that this would also be an appropriate time to confess that my knowledge of the game of Cricket, India's largest sport, comes almost entirely from the film Becoming Jane...
I know this isn't the type of post that I usually have, but I think it is equally important to observe and record the intangible as it is the tangible, feelings as well as facts. From a favorite movie of mine, You've Got Mail, "Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal."
And, with that, khayal rakho (take care), and, as always, thanks for reading, leaving thoughts and encouragement, and sharing in my adventure.
P.S. On a very different side note, India has their own Chuck Norris.
Rajinikanth vs Chuck Norris