I Know I Am In India Because………

  • Hot showers are just a memory
  • There are millions of colors everywhere
  • I almost got killed crossing the street a few times today
  • I almost got killed riding in an auto-rickshaw a few times today
  • Gold is the main investment, not deodorant
  • I hear a horn honking every 2.4 seconds
  • No traffic laws are being followed or enforced
  • I see entire families of two, three, four, or five all riding on one motorcycle
  • The street snack guy mixes and serves the snack with his filthy, bare hands
  • I see guys peeing outside in the middle of the city
  • There are nets on all of the windows and a mosquito “bat” somewhere in the house
  • I see huge truck loads of bananas every hour
  • There are cows in the middle of the street eating garbage
  • I see women everywhere with Jasmine flowers in their hair
  • Chappals (sandals) outside every house
  • The rain sounds like a train is coming towards the house
  • I see men digging deep into their noses in public
  • It’s easy to jump in an auto-rickshaw and go anywhere you need for Rs 20 (41 cents)

And finally……

It's like the term "personal space" has never been heard of

It's like the term "personal space" has never been heard of

India is full of life!  I love this place! Well most of it anyway.

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Published in: on August 31, 2009 at 10:24 pm  Comments (2)  

A Day In Dubai

I was feeling a bit nostalgic on the 25th because that was the first day of school for Edison Elementary.  If I were teaching this year that is where I would have been.  So instead of teaching this is what my day was filled with:

Breakfast: chai, garbanzo bean curry, putta (steamed rice powder) with coffee on top

Breakfast: chai, garbanzo bean curry, putta (steamed rice powder) with coffee on top

Mamzar Beach

Mamzar Beach

Liji & I @ Mamzar Beach

Liji & I @ Mamzar Beach

Burj Dubai, World's tallest building

Burj Dubai, World's tallest building (photo by karmadude)

Lunch: Rice, King Fish Curry, Mango Pickle

Lunch: Rice, King Fish Curry, Mango Pickle

Ramadan daily fast being broken with Iftar Buffet at mosque near our flat

Ramadan daily fast being broken with Iftar Buffet at mosque near our flat

Dinner: steamed chicken, chapati (just like a tortilla), salad (yogurt, ginger, tomatoes, and onions), carrot slices

Dinner: steamed chicken, chapati (just like a tortilla), salad (yogurt, ginger, tomatoes, and onions), carrot slices

Published in: on August 26, 2009 at 12:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dubai Pros and Cons

Each day I find myself loving certain things and hating certain things about Dubai.  These thoughts have led me to compose this list of pros and cons.

If you are a resident of Dubai or have been here, feel free to comment and add you own pros or cons.

Pros:

  • Hot water all the time (No matter how many people take a shower before you, no matter how many loads of laundry have been done, or how many dishes have been washed there is an endless supply of hot water.  You will be guaranteed a hot shower.)
  • Heavy duty air conditioning (Dubai, and I am sure the entire U.A.E., knows how to handle the heat.  Cars, homes, and business places all are fully equipped with air conditioners cold enough to make you want to put on a jacket in the middle of the desert.)
  • Malls (Dubai malls claim to be the best in the world and I must say they are pretty amazing, not only do they have stores to shop at and restaurants to eat at, but each mall has something that makes it unique and sets it apart from all of the rest.  Dubai Mall has a massive aquarium with probably over a hundred variety of underwater animals, Festival City has a carousel and a creek, Mall of the Emirates has a ski resort, and the list goes on.  Each mall has something quite amazing that draws you to it.)
  • Variety of food (I have been to nine different countries, including six in Europe, and Dubai has the best food of any place I have been.  Lebanese, Italian, Japanese, American, etc.  some of the best places are: Al Reef Bakery (cheese with zataar), Yahala (Mutton Shawarma), Paragon (Parotha), etc.)
  • Delivery (Anything you could ever think of can be delivered to your door in a moments notice.)
  • Beaches (Maybe this is on the list because I am from the landlocked state of Utah, therefore, I really appreciate being able to go to the beach.)
  • Fresh pressed juice (Almost every eating joint in Dubai offers fresh juice.   The variety of juice differs from place to place, but the ones that are on every list are watermelon, pineapple, apple, and fruit cocktail, which is a variety of juices in a glass layered.  Some lists have kiwi, carrot, strawberry and tons more.  You can actually watch them take the whole fruit and put it in a juicer so you know it is fresh.)
  • Fresh Fish Markets (Living by the sea offers a large variety of fresh fish right out of the water that day.)

Cons:

  • Hot water all the time (Yes, this was on the “Pro” list as well.  Dubai is a sweltering place so it would be nice to have cold water to splash over your face when you get back from a walk. Laundering clothes in cold water is a non-existent task in Dubai.  If the washing machine is set to the coldest setting the water will still be scalding.)
  • Trash all over the ground (I am amazed at the amount of trash that litters the streets of Dubai.  I watch people just drop their garbage on the ground when they are ten feet away from a trash can.  Dubai is a great place.  I wish the people who resided here had a little more pride in it.)
  • Internet connection (The internet in Dubai is very slow.  There are a few places around Dubai that offer WiFi, but even those places do not compare to the quality and speed of the internet in the U.S.  Also, there are tons of sites that are blocked by the government.  Sites like Flicker, googlevoice, ustream, etc.  This is the most ridiculous thing!  A country full of adults being treated like children is what it feels like.)
  • Prayers blasting throughout the entire country all day multiple times a day (I get that worship and prayer is important to some people, but why make the rest of us have to hear the prayers at 4:00 in the morning.  No matter where you are you will here the prayers loud and clear.  Even if there is no mosque nearby chances are there is a speaker somewhere to broadcast the prayer.)
  • Parking space size (I don’t drive here, but I am a passenger and getting out of the car is sometimes impossible once it is parked.  The size the space itself is very small and a large majority of people here drive SUV’s so their vehicle fits perfectly in the lines of the space with no space left over.)
  • Stinky (The smell of Dubai is horrible.  Maybe this has something to do with all of the trash on the ground and the overflowing trash bins, but sometimes the smell outside is unbearable.)
  • Real Estate Prices ( Come on $1,000,000.00 for a one bedroom, 800 sq. ft. flat, really?
  • Censored Movies (Everything in movies is censored right down to the word “shit”.)
  • No Law that says Kids Have to be in Safety Seats (It makes me so mad to see kids standing up and playing in the car or being held in their parent’s arms.  This is not safe!  If there were a small fender-bender the kid would be seriously hurt.  Dubai, make it a law to have children in safety seats at all times!

Published in: on August 23, 2009 at 7:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Jumeirah Beach

This is a part of Jumeirah Beach that Liji and I love to go to because there are never any people around.  Once in a while there will be someone show up but for the most part we have this part of the beach to ourselves.

Published in: on August 15, 2009 at 9:18 am  Comments (2)  

Malayalam Lesson

I am now taking Malayalam lessons.  My tutor is a 12 year old named Ana.  She was eager to teach me once she found out that it was my plan to learn the language.  She quickly pulled out a notebook and went into teaching me different phrases and writing them for me in English.  Not only did she teach me phrases, but she also taught me what specific words meant and even showed me how to write a few things in Malayalam (which I think is a bit advanced for me).

Ana is very outgoing and smart.  I asked her what she was planning to do when she was older and I was a bit surprised with the answer I received.  She told me that she wants to be in the military for India, then she wants to a be a nun, or a doctor.  She explained that she would have to do the military thing first since being a in the military and being a nun won’t work because you have to practice nonviolence.  I must say I have never heard  a kid describe what they want to be the way Ana did.

At the end of our lesson it was decided that she would come over to our flat and teach me Malayalam for one hour hour everyday.  I am looking forward to these lessons.  I realized how much I have missed communicating with students her age.  It makes me a bit sad to not be starting off the school year this year.  I’ve included pictures of today’s lesson.

IMG_0639IMG_0640

Published in: on August 12, 2009 at 6:58 pm  Leave a Comment