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Oct. 23rd, 2007

Me

(no subject)

I just realized something bizarre about myself. I actually LIKE teenagers.

Yes, they act overblown and ridiculous at times, and they sure as hell can be real pains in the ass. But at the same time, they tend to be as real as people get before they build walls of different sorts around themselves. Immature people, to be sure, but that's merely a result of how little time they've been around. They do some pretty eyeroll worthy things, of course, but they'll grow out of it after pulling it a few more times before they realise that it does no good. Or before they build up the appropriate walls.

And sometimes, the things they do show such a level of unabashed concern for their own kind that I wonder why people stop by the time they are adults.

LONG happy fuzzy stories about my children placed under this cut to save scrolling on the part of my poor FLCollapse )
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Sep. 17th, 2007

Me

(no subject)

I would sell my very soul for a pear right now. Have found imported fresh pecorino at the market today for a reasonable price, considering what it had to go through to get here (740 yen). It would go beautifully with a nice mild pear.

Alas, one of those is not to be found. And the apple I'm having with it is not bad, but too crisp and sharp to really go with the cheese.

ARGH!

When is nashi season anyway?
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Aug. 29th, 2007

Me

Pointless middle-of-the-night post

I should be sleeping, but of course, I have no idea what's good for me, and therefore, I'm not.

The new term at school's starting tomorrow (or technically today), but real classes don't begin until Friday (and even then, it's sketchy), so that means another two days (at least) of sitting around in the teacher's room with jack-all to do. Luckily, I have a couple of unread novels that I can work on those two days.

In other news, life in Japan = same old, same old. nakiri, Joel (another one of the Mito crowd) and I went to Kyoto a couple of weekends ago, which was a lot of fun, and I wound up seeing more than my last visit to Kyoto 3 years ago. I'm a little sad that I couldn't get placed in Kansai, though I'm a little happy about my proximity to Tokyo...being in Kyoto for only that little bit totally had that one sink in. Guess there's always the possibility of transfer next year...if I stick around that long. Have become a little attached to Mito, though, so still not sure if I would really want to move out to the Kansai region after all.

Nothing really new, to tell the truth. I've pretty much settled in here properly, and am still looking around the general area since new things keep popping up. Am in a bit of a missing-the-States mood at the moment...

Meh.
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Aug. 7th, 2007

Me

To save myself the redundancy

So, recently, there's been some sort of unofficial CIS (read: Calcutta International School) reunion going on at Facebook. As a result of this, I suddenly find myself in contact with a number of people that I really haven't been in touch with for some seven or eight years. Since a lot has changed in the eight years since high school, I figured I'd just put this post up and direct everybody here. *waves*

Recap of the last eight years or soCollapse )
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Jul. 22nd, 2007

Me

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Just finished reading. It's over.

Wibbling at some point in the near future.

Jun. 16th, 2007

Me

Happy surprises

I've been eating a lot of yogurt of late, as it's getting warmer and a bowl of yogurt with fresh fruit always seems to hit the proverbial spot. Fresh fruit being expensive, I often wind up buying fruit flavored yogurt. The flavored stuff here is a little different from the American flavored stuff, and generally I tend to prefer it to the American stuff anyway.

But, what I've been found lacking is the quality of plain yogurt. I tend to eat it with fruit as mentioned above, but for some reason, it's a little too tart here...so I usually stick a dollop of honey in it to make things a little smoother. In general, it's all pretty good after honey, so I stick with it.

Yesterday, I was in the grocery store, and instead of picking up regular plain yogurt, I managed to pick up a container of Bulgarian yogurt. I only noticed the mistake this morning, and wasn't altogether unhappy, since I like Bulgarian yogurt in general. When I've had it before, it was a bit thick, so better suited for making raitas and such than eating with fruit...but it's quite tasty stuff so I didn't mind too much. I was just going to add a little water to it, and all would be good.

But when I opened it, instead of finding a thick creamy yogurt, I found...DAHI! Now, dahi is the Hindi word for yogurt, so that in itself doesn't mean anything. However, I tend not to call other types of yogurt dahi, since Indian yogurt has a consistency all its own--sort of halfway between the American yogurt and the thicker Bulgarian yogurt, and with a taste that I haven't found in any other type of yogurt at all. This stuff, whereas labeled Bulgarian yogurt had the taste and consistency of dahi...which is a taste/consistency I haven't been able to find anywhere outside India and certain yogurts sold at certain Indian grocery stores in Queens.

I was so happy I nearly cried. My dahi chicken can once more taste like real dahi chicken. I can make real lassis again. And my yogurt tastes like...yogurt.

I love my life sometimes. <3

(And now, back to making mizu yokan.)
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Me

(no subject)

Every week, it's pretty much the same thing. Go to work all week, go drinking Friday night, and spend most of Saturday wondering alternately groaning in pain and wondering what happened to 10,000 yen in the last 24 hours. Obviously, both the pain and missing money being associated with drinking Friday night.

This week, I felt I ought to change things a bit, and therefore came home last night, planning on doing productive things like clean my apartment, put together my last bookshelf, cook some REAL food for dinner and, if I had time, finish the novel I've been reading during downtimes at work.

Upon getting home, I thought taking a nap would help in future productivity so around 8p, I laid down for it, having set an alarm for 8:30. Somewhere in the middle of napping, I turned the alarm off, went back to sleep and found myself awake again at 7 this morning. My place is still a wreck (which it inevitably turns into during the week...I tend to pick up on weekends), the last bookshelf is still in a box, there is a totally thawed chicken breast in my fridge that I'm wondering what to do with since its been there since yesterday, and my novel still has 100 pages to go.

*sigh*

Last weekend, I helped some of my fellow AET's in the region with slightly less Japanese ability preorder their copies of HP7 at Miraiya Shoten, where I had preordered mine a couple of weeks before. The girl behind the register looked a little bewildered that there was so much excitement about a book (in English, on top of that) that three people who obviously saw each other quite frequently each felt the need to have a copy of their own. Or she might just have been giving us the standard Japanese-panicked-look that we get a lot when wandering around anywhere together.

But eventually the books got preordered, after we assured her TWICE that yes, we did indeed want the English version that was coming out on the 21st and not the Japanese translation. I mean, you'd think she'd have figured that out on her own. She was quite nice about it though, so all is good.

Right now at school, I'm helping train four of our students for the Interactive Forum, which is an English Conversation Competition. My second year students are, for some reason, WAY better than my third year students. I was totally impressed. They could hold their own in a conversation with me. Their grammar wasn't perfect, but they totally get the point across and without hesitation. I'm so hoping to take those two with me to the All-Ibaraki Finals.

So, school is getting better, and is a little less boring. I still have third year students proposing to me every so often, so there is still quite a humor factor around.

And that's pretty much it so far. Still a pretty boring life, but in a new place. I'm sure that once the novelty of "Ooh! Japan!" wears off, I'll be kind of ho-hum about it...but for the moment, things are good. :)
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Mar. 13th, 2007

Me

Still in India...

...where it is still boring. And somewhat unseasonably cold, given that the mercury hasn't climbed over 90F since I've been here, which for March is exceedingly unusual.

So, I've realized that India is going to shit, which is actually pretty sad. Actually, not India really, more like Calcutta is going to shit all around. It used to be that Calcutta was sort of the liberal, educated city in India (which is otherwise a pretty conservative country). There are a couple of reasons for that but generally it boiled down to the fact that it was a capital of British India (until the early 1900's...1911, I think?--when it changed to Delhi), and therefore got set up as a seat of educational, social, and political establishments. This obviously gave rise to a tradition of intellectualism, activism and general advocacy of such things...and when I was here last, there was still evidence of such things. Places like the College St. coffee house, where the major artists of the day were still thriving, and it was entirely possible to step in there, get set up with a cup and join some group of graduate students in heated (or unheated, for that matter) discussion about something not-completely-mundane. Even at the small tea stalls, there was always some discussion about something interesting happening. Bengalis even had a term for this kind of inpromptu discussion on politics, literature or the arts - adda. And it was considered a perfectly worthwhile way of passing a few hours on any given afternoon.

During most adda sessions on more society oriented subjects, it was general consensus that things like womens' rights, abolishing caste-ism, setting up stronger social/financial support networks for the disadvantaged (be they women, the poor, the handicapped, etc.), and enabling access to education for everyone were the way to go. Of course, we were all ridiculously idealistic and knew it but we all felt that one day when we had enough economic security, we would try and do something about...well, things.

Upon getting to Calcutta this time, everything seems ridiculously different. To begin with, there is a huge IT sector that's developing here...which brings with it technically skilled workers with fair amounts of disposable income. Of course, with more money circulating in Calcutta's economy, there is a larger market for upper end goods...which led to shopping malls with the latest fashions in exclusive little boutiques springing up, pricey coffee shops planting themselves anywhere there is ten square feet to spare and other things of that nature. And now, apparently by popular demand, we even have McDonalds...which, as ludicrous as it may sound, is something that really only the upper middle class can afford on anything resembling a regular basis around here.

On the other hand, places like the College St. coffee house, where the likes of Satyajit Ray used to hang out and do their thing are going into decline and becoming dilapidated and underpatronized. Walking through the nearest coffee shop, all one can hear around them are conversations about new fashions and whose boyfriend makes how much money, and etc. People have coupled off, instead of hanging out in groups. And if you walk into the nearest shopping mall, the teenybopper level seems to skyrocket.

All the friends I used to hang out with, and the random people I used to repeatedly run into have fled, mostly to the West but to other parts of India as well. And everyone I see around here just seems hopelessly materialistic (which I have my periods of, no doubt, but generally it doesn't really interest me to go shopping), and...teenybopperish. There is no other word really.

Hopefully, my group of cohorts and I will have a chance to come back and change things. Hopefully we will even want to a few years down the road. But if things continue the way they are now, I simply don't see myself caring enough.
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Mar. 2nd, 2007

Me

Requisite update from abroad...

So, after going back on promises to update more, am finally making an update.

So, India = boring for the moment. And abnormally cold for this time of year. We're hanging around 80F or so in the daytime, which for March is virtually unheard of. Neither the fans nor AC is on, which for 10 months out of the year is also unheard of. And I actually required a blanket last night. In March.

Bloody unheard of.

Got the stuff for my visa to Japan via FedEx to my parents' house. (It actually got here while I was flying.) So I guess a trip to the consulate will be necessary at some point in the near future. Other than that, I'm bored.

First time home in two and a half years and I'm bored already. *eyeroll*
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Jan. 25th, 2007

Me

After a rather long hiatus I suppose...

I seem to be moving to Japan for a year in a couple of months. As a person who's been waiting a little too long for this kind of thing, and overly stressing about it for about as long as I've been waiting...it's a little anticlimactic, now that the call from Tokyo's finally come.

Given the fact that I have to do the expected visit home before I leave, I anticipate that I have roughly three weeks left in this country.

I'm a little scared. And a little elated.

Gah, I haven't updated in so long, I've almost forgotten how to do so. Hopefully, now that the stress and general feelings of Ithaca-inertia are over, I will be more of a presence in LJ-land. To all my friends, I promise I'll be more active both on this thing, and in keeping up with your lives.
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