Monday, September 27, 2004


Mon, 27 Sept 2004 3:27 PM IST

First day of classes (or lectures, as they call classes in India). Things went well. We took these auto-rickshaws to class. They're like half-sized taxi cabs, open-air with three wheels. We had our director argue with the drivers, to make sure we got a fair price (Rs. 42 for the three of us [~ $1], and it's like a 15 minute drive). Deccan college is not at all what I was expecting it to be. No AC, old buildings (like bungalows or something), cows/water buffaloes grazing in the fields, tropical plant life everywhere. The building that classes are in is actually kinda famous; it was used for the movie 'Gandhi' as Gandhi's house in South Africa.

Our Hindi teacher seems OK; he studied linguistics, and I was able to tell him the phonetic symbol for a particular sound, which was kinda cool. It turns out we all have the wrong book, so some mad photo-copying will have to be done... Then we had tea time, with little cookies and milk tea, which was quite nice. The Civ teacher for this three-week session (Arshia) is pretty friggin' awesome. We talked about the Indus Valley Civilization, the proto-Indo-Europeans, historical linguistics, and the Rig Veda. I'll have to do a ton of reading, but I think this class is going to be good.

After class we took auto-rickshaws to the Pizza Hut, which is apparently somewhat a landmark. There was a Citibank ATM there, so I got some cash, and then we went to some place for lunch. It was like a 'we do all types of food' type of restaurant, and so I got 'Szechwan noodles', which were surprisingly good and Szechwanny. On the way home, the rickshaw guy said his meter was broken, offering us a Rs. 40 flat fee. We were like, no way, so we got some dude who had a working meter, and got in there and it was only Rs. 11.

On the way to 'Pizza Hut nuhsuh' (near Pizza Hut), we got smeared in pink powder in a celebratory manner. Today is the last day of Gannpati (the nn is a retroflex n), a festival celebrated in this area and in the south, where they worship Ganesh, the elephant god. That's why we were attacked by pink powder. I'm going to one of the parade/celebration things later tonight, after dinner. I think it'll be amazing, and I don't really know what to expect.

All is well, and hopefully I'll get this journal set up so I don't have 15 journal entries posted at the exact same moment.


Blogger Cat said...

And for those of us who AREN'T linguistics majors, care to explain what a "retroflex n" is?

6:35 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home