Saturday, January 15, 2005

05. Upside Down

The computer that I’m using tells me that it is 12:55AM on Tuesday, January 1, 2002, which clearly means that I am writing from the past, and let me tell you that the first 55 minutes of January 2002 (if you don’t recall them that well) have been unseasonably warm and sunny, considering both the time of year, and the time of day. Has the world turned upside down? Yes, in a lot of ways, it has. It still doesn’t escape me that anyone reading this is probably sitting in a very thoroughly chilled Midwestern city (sitting at work, perhaps?), almost directly on the other side of the planet, and thus either you are sitting upside down, or I am: it’s your pick.

My two cents? That would clearly be that I am upside down, while you all have remained right side up.

Just to describe: I am writing this from a computer in a corrugated-metal shack with small windows, just thirty feet from a very beautiful beach, where I am sitting next to the cell phone that connects all three of the computers on this relatively small, 3-computer network, to the internet. This network, like almost all of those in paradise, runs off of this sort of cell phone connection, with the addition of a few largish car batteries backing up the power source, due to the regularity of brownouts. This, plus the fact that Hotmail seems virtually inaccessible from these cell phone networks, means that I have thus sent one solitary email in the last two weeks, the lucky recipient of which were my parents (Hi Mom and Dad).

Things here are well, though I can't say that I've grown accustomed to it yet. In fact, just trying to sum up the multitudes of information and experience that I've taken in, in just short of two weeks, gives me something akin to what I imagine an anxiety disorder must feel like. Combine that feeling with a very slow Internet connection, and viola: I've grown incapable of being useful on the Internet. That means no reply emails, short blog posts, and a need to sit and do nothing for a while afterward. The solution? Often it has just been to go to the beach, which coincidently, is about all that Jecca and I have been doing for the last week and some. Initially, this made me feel really uncomfortable, just sitting around, followed by some more sitting around (aren't we in India, after all? Shouldn’t we be looking at something?), but let me tell you: that must have just been because I was reading the wrong book (an F. Scott Fitzgerald Biography written by Andrew Turnbull), because since I've started reading White Teeth by Zadie Smith (giant thank you to Nichole), everything is feeling much more natural. The beach was fully taken on today, with very few reservations, and perhaps to such an extent that I am looking a little pinkish-red. Oh well. It’s been just over a week now, and between the beaches of both North Goa and South Goa, I think that we’ve succeeded in airing out the exhaust and grit of Bombay, chasing away the sickness that comes of getting over jet lag while getting used to malaria medication, and becoming accustomed to a lifestyle that will likely not be comfortable, except in small and placid moments.

As for the future, I think that we’ve decided that we’re taking a sleeper bus (whatever that means) to the town of Hampi this coming Monday night, to engage in some actual sightseeing that actual Indians go so far as to recommend. If you’re wondering what actual Indians say about Goa, it’s something along the lines of some flip comment about parties, some misty-eyed reference to youth, or if you’re actually in Goa, speaking to absolutely anyone in the service industry (I am talking about buying a drink at a bar or a candy bar at a shop) they say something like: “you want some smoking?” Yes, we’ve essentially been in the equivalent of some combination of Cancun and Amsterdam for the last week, and once we figured out how to shake free of the hippie/rave scene, it’s been just fine.


One of these days, I have every intention of posting something more particular about our experiences, but for right now I’m going to bask in the fact that this may be my longest post to date, and leave it at that. Also, stay tuned: it’s very likely that the next post will come from somewhere way off in the future.



5 Comments:

Awesome post from the future. Eleven below in Madison and the forearms are frozen when not fully rested near the internets.

You want some smoking? 

Posted by Arron

1/15/2005 7:12 PM  

Okay, so it would seem that you're the fourth person to ask me that tonight.  

Posted by NICK

1/16/2005 11:29 AM  

Yo, I wan't some smoking dude. Bring some smoking home for me and my homies! 

Posted by 5uck4f00

1/17/2005 11:57 AM  

My vote is that we are all sitting horizontally, but either your feet are where your head should be.

I also vote that you should read spy novels. 

Posted by thelizabeth

1/18/2005 10:10 AM  

I think I just posted that twice. Your upside down blog is crazy-talks! 

Posted by thelizabeth

1/18/2005 10:10 AM  

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