[IN] Sweat Baths and Dust Storms

May 30, 2011 | 6:00 A.M.
Pretty early, I know. I’m still hella tired from last night – we spent 5-6 hours at Adventure Island (not too long, we can easily spend the day at 6 Flags) but when its 105 degrees with little to no wind, the sun really dehydrates and tires you out. Akash and Lucky (16 and 18) were sooo nice, gave me a leg massage last night just because. Personally, I think they’re sucking up to me, now I just have to figure out why. I’m writing as we drive to Jaipur – we should be there by noon at the latest.

We’ll be doing a lot of sightseeing there, basically. Our driver (family driver, really, and sort of a friend now, especially with Akash) is Sonu, around my age (I think..definitely under 25 though), and HELLA cute. No seriously, complete cutie. He’s muscular toooo. *drool* He needs a shave and a non-fobby haircut and should maybe live in a dark room for a month to get rid of excessive tanning but oh well, he definitely has potential. Lol sorry, I’ll stop now.

Have I mentioned that the malls here are amazing? Better even than some malls in the US. Same brand names and prices as the US but still, very cool. The one thing that really gets to me is the weird security concerns here – they scan your bag every time you go to a mall and they pat you down before you can enter. Its so strange – they do the same thing at the Metro and the movie theaters. Effects of terrorism I suppose?

WOW this road is bumpy and my handwriting is getting terrible. Sigh, maybe I shall wait until its not so bumpy BBL. 

9:15 A.M. 
Trying again, the road is a little bit better. Also, there are flies in the car and it sucks. But I will suck it up and persevere! We just had breakfast (pretty yummy) and a glass of cold coffee, and are back on the road now.

I’m in Rajasthan! Time to go ride some camels. Also, its mad sunny now, get ready for another blisteringly hot day folks.

Apologize is playing in the car. Amazing, an English song! BRB singing along.
Teehee, Akash is in the front DJ’ing and being an ashole to passing cars. SMH Indians not born in countries that are not India will never reach the same degree of refinement I feel like. Bandha ban man.
Dude if you look at pix, I must be so tan now.
The color of the sky here is as if somebody put a sepia photofilter on medium opacity over the blue. Its a powdery, dustry, washed out hue but it has its own antique sort of charm. Most things here in India feel that way – washed out, but charming all the same. It feels nice to be driving down this road
9:45 A.M. | Sharing the Road With a Camel
Appropriate because a camel is the preferred mode of transport here in Jaipur. In all of Rajasthan really. You can add the camel with its cargo of goods, locals, or tourists t othe plethora of autos, rickshaws, flatbeds, trucks, cars, bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, wheelbarrows, and pedestrians. OH AND COWS. And goats, I’ve seen goats. Also donkeys. And buses, yeah. Rubble lines the highway and the journey is interspersed with little villages and dhabas on either side.
Every time the wind picks up, its only 1/2 a blessing. I’ve definitely said this before but its true! Dust storms are the norm in Delhi, and I’m sure the same can be said for Rajasthan. Reag (Like rake but with a g)-iss-thaan. The land of Reth. (Earth, soil, that kinda vibe).
Dust storms. Aandhi. When they happen, you seek cover or plan for a good scrub-down when you get back home. Dust everywhere, it swirls up prettily, a unique and magical mist of India, only its not caused by the early morning dew or a magical spell. Its a pretty dirty spectacle, if you don’t mind the pun.
At the rate I’m going, I’ll fill this whole notebook up in no time.
Everywhere I go, I seem to be scouting out gifts for you all. Friends and family. I even bought my mom a suit + kurti when I went shopping in Karol Bagh.
Ab bas mehndi rage gai. Definitely going to get me some mehndi here in Jaipur in the evening. Will take pictures of course.
And the sun continues to beat down as the dust never quite settles.
Taio Cruz – Break Your Heart – just came on and I thought of mommy + home. Awww, when this song came on, mom would raise the volume herself and sing along. One of very few songs she knows.
Did I mention that a week has already gone by? I can’t believe it, vaca is already 1/4 over 😦 Craaazy. After Adventure Island though, I must admit, even NYC feels *cannot read word* and I do miss NY
End of page 130.
….Goat. We just hit one O.O
There are rosebushes on our right in the middle of the highway. India is so weird sometimes.
11:25 P.M.
Tara Mandal, Birla Mandir, Spicy Pav Bhaji from a famous streetcart in Jaipur, and a superfast motorcycle ride.

[IN] White hair and a bushier mustache

May 28, 2011 | 12:13 A.M.
I have a shitload of writing I want to do and I’m distracted + tired. Hella distracted by the Simpsons, mostly because its dubbed in Hindi and sounds so funny!

Post title is in reference to how similar my bit + little mamajis look. The older one has white hair and a bushier mustache, that is the only difference. Never seen 2 brothers look SO similar especially since their 3 sisters all look really different from each other.

Ugh, crap, I’m too distracted, better entry later after I sleep + focus. You know its quite sad but I’ve taken to thinking/speaking subconsciously as though I were blogging. I have a running commentary in my head and I think as I would write. Its amusing but sort of problematic haha. Its really good writing too but I can’t just sit and write all day, you know?

I’m also thinking I probably want…fml got distracted again and have no idea what I probably want.

I mean…I want mangoes…?

*5 minutes later* Nope, I probably wanted to type out and upload the journal to this point when I next have internet because its going to be TOO much by the time I get back home. If I don’t start updating LJ soon, I’ll get too lazy to even begin this endeavor. I’ve written probably 15 or so pages in this book already, and I’ve been here for a week. I also need to start taking pictures 

5:15 P.M. | Quick! The Blacktop is melting!
Incredibly hot today, but thats nothing new. Its already 5 P.M. and its still burning up outside like there’s no tomorrow. I just came back from buying presents for Ashwariya’s 1st birthday. Really cuuute ❤ I wanted to put mehndi on my hands but its too hot, do not desire a sweat bath at the time.
India seems to be covered in a fine film of dust – even new outfits and bags look dusty, commonplace, and old. The entire city and its people fall under this dust, their subdued clothing looks faded and dull even if it shouldn’t. An outfit here would look classy and amazing in the US but here, under the dusty haze, it combines with the man’s complexion in a horrible sort of way. The clothes look like something taken out of a dumpster even though they’re new. I checked the weather while skyping Dan the other day, and the forecast, instead of saying "sunny, cloudy partially cloudy, etc.." said "widespread dust". Its a legitimate weather condition here in India apparently. For some reason, I find it really funny because its true! Even when the wind picks up, its not really a good thing. Its better than 105 degree heat with no wind but not by much – because the wind picks up all the dust and its like a dust storm instead. Not like thats any better. SO MUCH DUST!
Well I’ll be going to the Metro Walk Mall and Adventure Island tomorrow, lets see how that goes. Its supposed to be a full amusement park with roller coasters and water rides and all that fun stuff. Very excited! I really need to bring my camera and take pictures, I have yet to take any. Must fix this. I have been negligent…
I’ve been eating mangoes all day today, they are so yummyyyyy.
So there are also apartment hunting updates. I’m pretty sure I’ll just be going apartment hunting with Issela for a studio/1 bedroom. So back tot he original plan!
I just remembered I need to sign up for the Altador Cup. Shit what team to pick? Seems like I need to scout the boards a little bit first.

[IN] I don’t know, Tipsy?

I don’t know the date/time. Too lazy to check. Thursday, something like 10 A.M. Maybe earlier?

It’s really hot today. I’m at my aunt’s house – we’re heading out to the mall in a few. Pacific Mall, its relatively new, has a multiplex theater, and is supposed to look pretty modern and Western, lets see. Shopping + a movie and then Delhi Hut in the evening for more shopping! My cousin’ll meat up with us in the evening at Delhi Hut but till then, at least I shall be in an air conditioned mall and movie theater first.

Heading out now ttyl

4:00 P.M.
India takes suntanning to a whole new level. Oh well, I did some more shopping! Rs. 1000 ($20) for 6 key chains, a book (for my lovely and annoying little brother), a skinny belt (gorgeous from FCUK), 2 movie tickets, and french fries + a coke. Not badddd! I LOVE SHOPPING IN INDIA. (Recurring theme, I know)

I watched Pirates of the Caribbean III – not a bad movie. Part of me hates unnecessary sequels but another part of me is like….it wasn’t bad and Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow is pretty good. The movie was in 3D although tbh I could easily do without the 3D. I hate 3d! it’s so annoying to wear the 3d glasses over my own and it makes everything seem REALLY dark + strains my eyes. Unnecessary effects, blah.
Back @ home now, I’m just chilling with Tipsy. she’s SUCH a cutieeee, I love her. My favorite little chihuahua. 13 years old now but I’ve known her since she was a little baby. I came back to India after 5 years this time and she still remembers me!!
…lol speaking of Tipsy, the mailman just came and she FREAKED out like no other. Who said chihuahuas can’t make good watchdogs? So glad she recognized me, this little angel is vicious to strangers.
You should see her, heh. I tried to pick her up and if ever a dog could look indignant and haughty at the same time, Tipsy has accomplished that. She totally gave me the "Oh please, just stop trying" look. she’s sitting by the opposite sofa now, but its okay, I’ll get her. I can bribe her with chocolate. Or paneer. She’s a dog after my own tastes HAHA.
Gonna read for a bit, byeee. 

[IN] 107°, Cold Showers, and Money

May 25, 2011 | 2:15 P.M. 

i just wanted to update with a funny story from yesterday…pretty epic fail if you ask me. I went shopping with akash (little cousin, he’ll be 17 this year) and my aunt (read: Bua) to Karol Bagh. The place to go if you want new suits, sherwanis, saris, lenghas, etc. From casual to party-wear to bridal-wear, you shop at Karol Bagh. We took the Metro there and planned to meet my bua at the exit; she was coming in from the opposite direction. Before leaving, I carefully counted and then stowed my money in my bad – I had ~Rs. 5600 with me. Thats about $140ish? Around there. i figured since my aunt is also coming, I won’t need too much.

So we walk into the first store. Mannat, not too far into the market. Goddd I have missed shopping in India. We sat down on these plush cushions and tell them what we want. A nd by that, I mean what we want to drink. Can’t begin shopping till then. Made small talk while our 2 pepsis and 1 chai (tea) were being ordered/made/brought. Got my Pepsi and ten they begin showing us things. Oh my GOD these suits were gorgeous. and i wasn’t even looking at pricey ones, we told them to ekep it under Rs. 2500. Divide by 48 to get the USD price. Sooo at $50 or less. Keep in mind that the stuff I bought sells for at least $200 a piece back in NY if I bought them there. Designer, 1 of a kind pieces.

I spent like Rs. 9000 at that shop. Bought 3 suits for myself, 1 for mom (she is going to love it). And I didn’t spend any of it myself yet. Aunt refused to let me pay, she was like – 1 is from me, 1 is from your other aunt, 1 is from your uncle. (Aka my dad’s brother & 2 sisters, all of whom live in India) And the one for your mom is also from me.

It is futile to argue with an Indian aunt regarding financial matters. The Bua always wins.
Next stop: Kurtis. Then more suits. 2 shops down, a glass of Fanta, and 5 Kurtis later, I’m down Rs. 1440. For that $30, I got 5 brand-new custom tailored (I pick out designs for back/front/arm + patching) kurtis. Mucho happiness.
After Kurtis, we walked farther into the market and bought 2 new suits! Ohh gosh, they are gorgeous too, wait till I put up pictures. I splurged and spent Rs. 4500 on the 2 suits. Teeheeeeee.
So I go to take out my money, I figure I have like Rs. 3000 left and my aunt will cover the rest AND I COULDN’T FIGURE OUT WHERE THE REST OF MAH MONEY WENT!!!!. Thankfully, I had 1500 and she had 1000 more and the shop owner was nice enough and told us he’d take the rest later. Bua knows the shopowners so it wasn’t a problem but still, it was pretty fail. I kept panicking and trying to figure out where my money would have gone. Was paranoid and clutched my bag the rest of the trip.
After several hours in the heat, wer’re done with all of the shopping and then we head to my tailor. another family friend knd of thing. She took all the measurements and i should get the first one this Sunday.
Soo I got home at like 10PM, and we sat there for another hour trying to figure out how I could have lost the 3 1000 notes. Rs. 3000. Then (get ready for this) my uncle looks at me all puzzled and asks, "Where did you get 5000 anyway? I only gave you 2000…"
I counted my 100’s as 1000’s before I left and then panicked because I thought i had 5 1000 notes but I had only had 2. If I had known I only had that much, I’d have asked for more before heading out =/
It’s sooo hot outside today. Weather.com says 104, feel slike 107. Hot DAYUMMM, I know. It wasn’t this bad yesterday and it’ll be cooler after it rains tomorrow but today it is HOT. And yes, weather.com, you heard right. My uncle had internet installed. Bad for my plan of noo internet life while I’m in India but nice that i can go online every few days and update LJ, FB, etc. And also, my cousin’s laptop > mine. How pathetic, I know.
I think I’m going to brave the heat, force my cousin into getting a haircut (He looks like a teen model from the 40’s or 50’s atm). Get a haircut, buy some conditioner, a razor, lotion, and clips to tie back my hair. After eating lunch and mangoes. Omnomnomnomnom nom.
Heh, I spent Rs. 500 the other day. bought a FANCY ($50 equiv.) pair of party heels + 2 flats – flip flops and sandals. So those 3 pairs for 500 rupees. RIDICULOUSS.
Did I mention I love shopping in India?
I took a shower today. (No shit) The temperature outside was so hot that my normally ice-cold shower was significantly warmer. Too much writing, must go to mangoes, byeeee!
Note: This was a lot of typing for one day. I’m going to take a break for mangoes now since I wrote about them so much in this post lol. 

[IN] Dream

May 24, 2011 | 11:25 A.M.
I’ve switched now to local Delhi time. To convert back to EST, simply subtract 9.5 hours. So its around 2 AM right now. Nubsy, you’re probably still awake haha. I just showered, been up since 8 but I was tossing and turning for a few hours before that. Adjusting to the new timezone I guess. India is amazing! Its very different from NYC of course, but thats only to be expected. My hair smells amazing. /random

I love how wholesome the lifestyle here is. We live a few blocks (Delhi blocks pretty tiny) away from the market and a park, and make trips there quite often. Ran there to buy a bar of Dove Soap before this shower in fact. Went there last night for an ice cream bar ~11:00pm. 10 rupees! What costs $1.25+ here cost about 20 cents there. Feels pretty awesome.

I’m about to head out again soon. Buying new flip flops to use @ home. Also things to cook for dinner tonight + some more milk.

Milk here is sooo fresh. Literally, you buy it in pouches and it comes from the farm the same day you buy it. Separate the cream out yourself. Only buy enough for 1 day.

..Damn, my handwriting has gotten REALLY sloppy on that page. I’m going to write more neatly on this one. Page 116 of the book now! Quite proud. I think my aunt is out of the shower now so we’ll be walking out in a few. Life runs at a comfortable pace here, there are servants for everything, and the paneer tastes great. GREAT! You buy fresh food on a daily basis, random relatives show up all the time, and you haven’t a single worry. Except, for me, what i want to spend my money on. The Metro is cleaner than the subway could ever be, and ice cream costs 20 cents.
Dream vacation. I am more relaxed than I have been in months.

[IN] Journey There

May 22 | 8:15 A.M.
Well I’m finally off to India then. Extremely, extremely EXTREMELY excited. My insomnia (self-diagnosed, I know) took a turn for the worse in these past few days and I’ve barely slept. Mostly out of excitement I think. Got no sleep Friday night and maybe an hour and a half Saturday night. Horrible! Once they serve breakfast on this flight, I’m napping for a couple hours. Desperately need it!

Flight Conditions: From New York to London
Seat in front: Old/big dude. Seat pushed all the way back. Broken so it cannot be moved up even if he wanted to.
Seat in back: Elderly women, bitches whenever I recline my seat even a little bit. Will wait for her to fall asleep then recline as I please. Bitch puh-lease. 
Seat to my left: First of all, I DIDN’T GET A WINDOW SEAT. Sooo crappy. I’m sitting in the aisle with a mom and 2 little kids. FML.
Seat to my right: Asshole closed the window. WHY WHYYYYY I usually have so much luck with seating on planes.

Hopefully, people will fall asleep soon….!!!!

1:38 P.M. EST

Haven’t changed my timezone or anything yet, so I’m just updating in EST until I switch over to the New Delhi timezone. So it’s been ~5.5 hours and we’re already nearly at Heathrow Airport. If I understood them correctly, we’ve begun descent, will land in about half an hour or so. My next flight connection (to Delhi) isn’t until 8:45 P.M. London time, I think? TBH I have no clue LOL. Will figure it out when I land and head over to the right terminal. I do think we made faster than expected progress, its possible that my connection isn’t for another 4+ hours. Hope not, but definitely a possibility.

Airplane food wasn’t the best, but it was manageable. The desert was yummy at least, and also, I got to have a glass of wine with my food, that was pretty nice. I wasn’t sure if they would give it to me but they did 🙂 The attendant on my side of the aisle was supercute. Also gay, but still really cute. The 2 kids to my left have been amazingly well-behaved, which I loved. And their British accents…sooo cute! I know I have a window seat for the remainder of the flight (aka flight to Delhi from Heathrow – 7.5 hours). I’m going to need to sleep on that one because I get to Delhi @ 11 A.M. their time, so I’ll need to have slept. And contrary to plan, I didn’t exactly sleep on this one. so oooops.

Random aside. 23,500 feet in the air, traveling at ~500MPH. 50 Miles to go.

I’m listening tot his song "Motivation" – Kelly Rowland ft. Lil Wayne. Sexyass song.
Kk. Time to put up the tray, bucle up, and land. Will update when I’m more sure of times!