Oh my goodness, the internet connection in my dorm is horrible today. I’ve been trying to load my blog for 20 minutes in order to write this post. There are different networks available for us to connect to and the usual one I use is ION-1415 because it works the best in my room (it’s 1400 because I live on the 14th floor). For whatever reason, that network has been missing for 3 days and I can only connect to ION-705 from the 7th floor, so the connection is absolutely horrible. There’s nowhere on campus I can connect to the wifi other than the library, but there are weird rules in there so I don’t like it. For example, since the library is in the Manipal.edu building we have to wear long sleeves inside otherwise we can’t enter the building. No other building on campus requires that and it can be annoying sometimes.
Anyways, today I had my first art class. I had to take the local bus to the teacher’s house because she lives too far away to walk there. You know, I really thought the buses would be a lot more hectic and scary. It wasn’t bad at all, but also that is just for the Manipal area. There’s probably a lot of variation in quality, crowding, etc. throughout India. Also, it was only 7 rupees to ride the bus vs 30 rupees for an auto-rickshaw (worth it!). After getting off the bus I had to SPRINT across a huge street and I’m serious when I say sprint. The cars, motorcycles, and rickshaws were zooming down the highway and ready to take out one of the Americans. Normally when I cross the streets I just try to stay near a cow or local for safety (SPEAKING OF COWS, I LOVE THAT THEY JUST SLEEP ON THE LITTLE GRASS ISLANDS BETWEEN TRAFFIC. IT’S SO CUTE). My teacher’s house is nice, but there’s a statue outside it that scares me to death. I think it’s of Buddha, but he’s sitting in a window and looks like a real person at a glance. I’m doing a watercolor piece so two women. I’m not really sure what they are supposed to be or what it means? I normally get anxious when I paint because I don’t want to mess up, but the teacher is really helpful so she makes it better. I’ve always enjoyed painting and did it a lot in high school. It’s nice to have some formal lessons and learn a few techniques finally.
The only other class I had today was Contemporary Indian Studies. My professor mentioned a 5,000-word research paper will be assigned in 2 weeks with the potential to be published. All I could think was, “WHAT? PUBLISHED?!” I can barely get myself to write a quality 2-page essay let alone a 5,000-word paper to be published. The research has to be related to India and I have absolutely no idea what to write about. It feels weird to write a research paper on some issue in India as a foreigner. How is it fair for me to draw conclusions on India when I am only here for 4 months and couldn’t possibly understand the complexities of this culture in that time frame. I’m not sure if that made sense at all. Oh well, it’s my own thing. I’m still writing the paper regardless!
What else did I do today? Oh! I finally bought fruit from a local vendor! I got oranges and pomegranates. Did you know India is the worlds largest pomegranate producer?! I had no idea they grew here. The oranges were from Austraila and nucky. It was funny the stall had 2 huge signs that said: “Do not call us ANNA.” Anna means brother in Hindi or some local language I can’t remember. It was funny, the owners must have spoken a different language. Well, that’s all I did today! I love you and have a safe flight back to DC!