Saturday, December 8, 2012

Four Months of Contradictions

With her pending visit, Jacqueline was asking me "what's it like," in India.  After four months on the ground I still can't answer that question.

According to Wikipedia the history of India begins with evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens as long as 75,000 years ago, or with earlier hominids including Homo erectusfrom about 500,000 years ago.[1] 

The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent from c. 3300 to 1300 BCE in present-day Pakistan and northwest India, was the first major civilization in South Asia: Sorry Christians, despite what you've been taught, the world is older than 6,000 years. 

India is a place of contradictions; it's an ancient culture with traditions that have remained in tack for centuries; it has pockets of contemporary lifestyle; it has more bare-foot people in a city than I've witnessed anywhere else; it has one of the lowest divorce rates in the world; it has more violence incidents against women as anywhere else in the world, and more than most.  

The day I arrived I thought "I don't know that I will like it here." But four months later I've become comfortable here: in part because I have an apartment that I like, made some great friends, and get somewhat energized every time I go to the marketplace in 9th block, Jayanagar, Bangalore. 

It's a convergence of unorganized chaos, modern advances, and unexpected culture-shock, all happening within the span of a day. 

My travels in have been limited to two excursion to Hampi and Mysore

last weekend I went to the Leela Palace Hotel for brunch, and I could have been in any 1st world country.  On the way home I passed through the equivalent of any 3rd-world country; all within the span of 15 kilometers. 

Leela Palace for brunch

The place remains a mystery to me.  I can go for lunch and spend $1, or at night, like tonight, hit a club and spend $100.00.  The contradictions continue, confusing and intriguing me at the same time.  

Tonight I am on my terrace with Fahim and his friend smoking a Hookah

More adventures fro India, later. 

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