Monday, October 25, 2010

Second Day

Last night I was ready to fall sleep when I heard the dreaded buzzing of a mosquito in my room. I had visions of me getting malaria the next day. Goel had told me that keeping the ceiling fan on drives away the mosquitoes. So I turned on the fan on low. But at that setting the fan’s noise output exceeded its air movement output! So I had to turn it on high, then I think the increased air movement and the increased noise output were evenly matched. Now there was the problem of me going to sleep. So after half an hour of turning and tossing, I turned to my good old friend Xanax. Then I slept peacefully.

In the morning I had not received my lost bag yet. The airline had promised to deliver it to my place, so I called the airline and was told that the customs had refused to release it. The customs officer wanted me to be there personally at the airport. I took a cab and went to the airline office at the airport. After another round of several forms, filled out, signed and stamped, I got my bag. Then I found out that the reason they had refused to release my bag was that I had declared its value to be 20,000. I had done it at the advice of the airline staff. She had told me anything under Rs 25,000 is not a problem. The custom official saw that I was a US resident and so he assumed it was US $20,000. Therefore he had called me there to check my bag in my presence. When he saw me and found out it was supposed to be 20,000 Rupees, he released the bag without asking me to open it.

I took a walk around the campus at lunchtime. Practically all the boys/men were carrying a backpack. During my medical school days there were no backpacks. I never carried any books, just a notebook. The backpacks are nice and look very useful.

The girls have heavy shoulder bags or backpacks. Over half of the girls are wearing jeans. Jeans are so much more convenient then the traditional Indian clothes. And the girls definitely look better in jeans. Most of the girls are so skinny they make Lindsey Lohan look fat.

Another thing about the dress of the girls is that they are not wearing any Dupattas. A dupatta is a piece of long narrow cloth very much like the popular silk scarves. The girls are supposed to wear them around their necks, the front part comes down to the chest to cover the breasts. I think the idea of the Dupatta was that the boys would not be distracted by the sight of female breasts and could concentrate on their studies. Goodbye Dupatta, you were a total failure at your job anyway!

During lunchtime I went to the local bank to open an account. It was wall-to-wall people inside the bank. I did not have the nerve to get in a line. It might be the wrong line! So I left and went back at 3:00 PM, well past the lunchtime. It looked like the same scene again. I took a video for Brian the banker. The video shows throngs mobbing the few employees in sight, this is what is missing at Wells Fargo Bank. I left again without getting in any line. I think I will try again after a few days, after gathering some courage.

Afternoon was a good time for nap. In the evening I decided to explore the neighborhood. I must have walked three miles or more. Most of it was because I could not figure out the path between the buildings. I kept walking around them. Based upon yesterday’s experience I did not dare to enter the corridors!

I have decided that I am not made for walking fast. Most other walkers, men and women, kept walking past me! Some of them were half a foot shorter than me. I play racquetball for an hour three times a week. I should be able to keep up with these little Indians!

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