Thursday, October 25, 2012

Yippee ki yay.

I realized the other day that living in India is like moving out West in the late 1800s.  There's plenty of civilization to be had in the big cities on the East coast, and there are a few bastions of gentility in the wilds, but mostly it's just Will Smith riding giant mechanical spiders.  Wait...I think I lost my point in there somewhere.  It's just basically harder to do the things we accept as everyday occurances in America, like grocery shopping.  I need light bulbs, safety pins, hummus, and some fresh pineapple (don't judge).  I have to go to four different places to get those four items.  I have to brave the crazy traffic, then hope said items are actually in the store I picked, then wait for the driver to appear from wherever he's lurking to get me (this is not a luxury: it usually means standing on the sidewalk outside the store and being harassed while searching for any sign of him then diving in the car when he arrives), then repeat the process.  This is an all-day ordeal.  There's novelty in doing things a different way; it's just not as easy as it could be.  I also noticed the other day, while waiting outside for the driver, that there are no stars in India.  It's not like there are a lot of lights to drown them out, there's just so much pollution and smoke that they can't pierce the haze.  I'd like to try again when we're outside the city. 

I forgot to mention that during our trip to Agra we saw a snake charmer.  I got video; you can see it below.  Also, he let us wear one of his big snakes.  I was sure it was going to try to eat Eli whole...cuz, it's Eli.  Speaking of Eli's love of animals, he revealed that he was attacked by a tame camel.  The kind you rent to ride to the pyramids.  It was a trail camel, and it tried to bite him repeatedly.  I'm not sure why I've never heard this story.  He claims it's because camels are mean and expected to bite.  I made the point that snakes are expected to bite too, but if the big boa around his neck took a chunk out I was still getting it on video. 

Dante can now walk across the living room on his own.  He just doesn't want to do it unless one of us is asking him to.  He can still crawl faster than he can walk, so it's his preferred form of transportation.  Have I shared the poop story?  I'll do it again just in case.  Dante has learned how to take his diapers off.  I woke up one morning to hear Dante babbling to himself in his room.  Normally he's either sleeping or crying in the morning, so it was a little weird.  I opened the door to see him sitting up in his crib with something clenched in his fist.  I took two steps and realized that he had a handful of poop. He saw me, smiled, and started waving his other hand at me, also smeared with poop, like he wanted me to have some too.  He reached down and tried to toss his diaper out of his crib, and I realized I needed to move out of the doorway.  There was poop smeared all over the inside of his crib and all the stuff in the crib.  He was naked and looked like he was trying to camouflage himself in the woods.  I picked him up under his arms and held him at arm's length as I hurried through the house to our bathroom.  Eli was still sleeping, so I started calling him in a loud voice.  "Eli, I need you to get up now.  Up.  In the bathroom.  Now."  I was trying not to upset Dante by yelling, but I wasn't about to clean this mess up by myself.  Eli got up, walked into the bathroom, and started laughing.  I told him he had to clean the baby and I would clean the crib.  Dante thought an early morning bath was a fabulous idea.  Luckily, he hadn't succeeded in liberating his diaper, so the mess was contained in the crib.  Everything made of fabric went into the washing machine, and I wiped down everything else with cleaning spray and paper towels.  Eli and I finished at about the same time.  We decided that Dante would need to wear something over his diaper from now on to prevent repeat performances.  We're pushing the potty chair.  I do not have pictures of any of this.

We also gave Dante his first meal of spaghetti the other night.  Normally, we just give him noodles with no sauce, but our cook made him his own bowl of spaghetti that night.  It was fun.  He shoved a huge bunch of noodles in his mouth so that his cheeks were puffed out, then he had one noodle hanging out of his mouth.  Like he wasn't sure how to get that last noodle in there without losing the rest of them. 

Only three weeks left and we'll be back in the States.  Yay!  We're planning to have a big New Year's Party this year to make up for missing the Halloween party.  I'm calling it a Masquerade.  Costumes are still required, so don't get rid of your masterpieces yet.  I'll do an event on Facebook soon, so spread the word to everyone.  You know the rules.  Everyone is welcome as long as they're in costume and drama-free, even if they don't know anyone at the party.  We got some ideas for the bonfire this year (provided it's not covered in several feet of snow), so hopefully we'll be able to burn some stuff. 

I've written 45 pages of my dissertation in the last week, so things are moving along there.  If I can keep up this pace, I'll finish before my deadline.  Good times. 

This little girl was at Qutab Minar in Delhi.

She had better eye makeup than I did.

A herd of buffalo coming down the road in Agra.

The back of the herd, once our car could move again.

A pack camel in Agra (it did not try to bite Eli).

A man walking his goats. One big goat and two little goats on leashes.

Taj Mahal from just inside the gate.

Taj Mahal from the lawn.

Eli with the vicious non-attack snake.

Dante with spaghetti.

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