Sunday, December 11, 2005

Last full day in Mysore

It is Sunday, December 11th, my last full day in Mysore. Yesterday, I printed off the final report and picked up the bus/train tickets to Gokarna.

These last few weeks have been intensive writing, though we did have some time for a little funny. To the left is a picture of me with Yetti (teacher for the Japanese students) prior to clocking the second fastest time in Mysore for a female at the go-cart race. If no one beats me by today, it goes into the record books!
Last night, we went out for a final bash with the whole student group. They took us to a local movie - three hours of melodrama, with a side of singing and dancing. It was in the local language (Kanada) but really there was no need to understand what was being said - the huge changes in music (dum dum dum!) and uber-expressive faces was enough to convey the feelings and basic storyline. Final scene - the girl (who found out she had a brain tumor) slowing dies in the arms of her lover, on a bench in front of the Taj Mahal. Oh yeah.
Tomorrow we make our final presentation, have a quick lunch with faculty, finish up packing and saying goodbyes - then off to the bus station. Next stop the beach!
Getting a little sad to leave this contained mini-universe behind. Good times, great friends.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Jittery in Mysore

Well, I am going a little stir crazy! We are spending the bulk of our time at the JSS guesthouse, writing away. The report is coming along. Hopefully we have the first draft of the main report finished by tomorrow. Spending so much time in the same building, same room, sitting in the same chair - a stark contrast to the last few months here. I guess we are just paying dues - at least until we go on one last vacation.

Well, looks like my plan to stay here for Christmas and see the north has not panned out. So as far as I know I will be back in Saint John at midnight on the 23rd - I am still awaiting the final confirmation from the travel agent back in Halifax. I have mixed feelings about it - I wanted to stay and see the drastically different northern towns, but it just didn't make sense in terms of time (too short) or money (too much). Ah, I take it as a sign that I should come back sometime.

My trips to the pool have been great, and quite entertaining. The young women (15-25ys) come with a member of their family, usually the mothers, who wait on the step. My sense is that they are chaperones, but maybe I am looking too much into it. Maybe not. : ). The swimsuits they wear here are pretty interesting - a fair comparison are those worn in the 1940's and 50's. Bloomers with ruffles, tops with sleeves on them, old-fashion bathing caps that button under the chin. Perhaps the clothes are a sign of the gender dynamic. No wonder the mothers glare at me - I am a bad influence with my speedo and therefore modern feminist ideas (wonder what the reaction would be to a bikini?). They are generally quite bad swimmers, but it is likely due to the weight of extensive bathing suits. They also swim both across the eight lanes and also the more standard lengthwise sticking to one lane. It seems so typically Indian - chaotic, a little inconvenient and inefficient, but everyone knows the system so it works out alright.

Okay, back to work.