Friday, May 30, 2008

Coming to you from...

Kuwait! Yup, I'm in the Kuwait City International Airport taking advantage of the Free! wireless internet here while I await my connection to Cairo. I can't say I ever expected to go to Kuwait in my life, but here I am. Does it count if I don't leave the airport? I'm going to say it does.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Relative Cost

Today I went to the drug store. Here was my bill:
10 pills suphedrine: Rs 7
50 mg diazepam: Rs 15
1 bag cotton balls: Rs 110

Yup, thats right, cotton balls cost 7 times Valium. And no, I did not have a prescription for the diazepam. In case you're now concerned that I have a drug problem, let me ease your mind. The 50 mg of diazepam (Valium) was in 5mg pills, which I cut in half before taking. I have TMJ and sometimes need to take a muscle relaxer before bed so that I can open my mouth without excrutiating pain when I wake up in the morning.

Monday, May 26, 2008


This weekend I went to the Charminar ( in old city Hyderabad. It was, as you can see, quite lovely.

Here I am at the top:

Here's the view from the other side:

There are lots of lovely fabric shops surrounding the Charminar:

This little boy was relentless, and ultimately successful in selling us necklaces:
Hyderabad is known for its crystal bangles, and bangles shops surround the Charminar. I am happy to report that my arms are now sparkly and shiny like a true Hyderabadi's.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

My Pale White Skin

Living in India, I am obviously a minority. Moreover, my blonde hair, blue eyes, incredibly pale skin and refusal to wear the shalwar kamiz at all times exaggerates the effects of being “European”. This has some incredibly interesting effects both positive and negative.

Let’s start with the negative. Sometimes, I wear knee-length skirts. It is over 100 degrees everyday and I’ve never felt the need to maintain my calves’ privacy. This pretty much indicates that I am worse than a prostitute. I expose my legs! Moreover, pale skin is highly coveted here, so my vagrant display of pale white legs is lewd indeed. Needless to say, I am stared at pretty constantly. However, because I am pale and blonde, I’m stared at even when I’m covered up from head to toe in a shalwar. I figure I may as well give them something to stare at and wear what I’m most comfortable in.

Ok, lets move on to the positive. In spite of the fact that I’m seen as a slutty American, I can pretty much go anywhere I want and have access to the highest officials within a matter of minutes. My pale skin gives me status. Anytime I’ve gone to a foundation or business with or without an appointment, I’ve always seen the manager, CEO, etc. I get to go straight to the top simply because of the color of my skin. Do I deserve this treatment? No, certainly not. But, as an American, I get instant respect that certainly helps get things done.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Age Gap

Today I had an auto-rickshaw driver who spoke English, so we chatted a bit. He asked me if I was American, what I was doing here, if I was married, etc. Then he told me that he's 28, married, and has four children. Yeah, you read that correctly, 28 and has four children.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral

Some pictures of my favorite things: animals and fresh produce!