Depression and DULLness!

Trip Start Apr 28, 2006
Trip End Oct 21, 2006

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Flag of India  ,
Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ho hum... I think these blogs must make such boring reading at the moment - nothing remotely interesting or exciting is happening to me!! Sigh... Well I'm going to write one anyway; update you all on my boring loser life heehee!

Last Thursday it was my biiiirthday! Shame on those of you who forgot, thanks for the emails and messages everyone else :o) Hahaha! The teachers got me up on stage after the morning prayers and the whole school sang 'happy birthday' in english then hindi, which was v sweet - if a little embarrassing!! I had bought some huge bags of sweets so went round all the classes doling them out - everyone was very appreciative, particularly the teachers! Apart from one v handicapped woman who shoved the whole thing in her mouth, wrapper and all, and proceeded to almost choke to death on it! Oops. One of the guys who lives on site made me a little necklace with my name on - didnt have the heart to tell him he'd spelt it wrong haha! He also gave me a bracelet and a rose... :oS hope I havent been giving him any wrong ideas - I wouldnt mind but he's only 18!! In the evening I went for dinner with Nita, Urvashi and their rather-large-nosed friend; to this new noodle bar called 'Crazy Noodles' - it lived up to its name! Every so often they turned the music up really loud and all the chefs (like every restaurant in India it was ridiculously overstaffed!) started dancing around their woks to 'Here Comes the Hotstepper'! Very random!

Working in the school has been going well - nothing new to say really! Am becoming an expert at wheelchair-pushing, after one rather hairy incident where I tripped pushing a little boy and he toppled right out and the chair landed on top of him! Whoops! Dont think he was concussed! :oS I know whats best now though! And some of the kids have actually learnt my name (shock horror) instead of just calling me 'didi' (aunty) all the time!

Was feeling pretty lonely and miserable at the end of last week - staying in by myself night after night in the little bleak boring sitting room I have is not the most fun! And to top it all off the Director wouldnt give me permission to go away at the weekend on my own - after what happened in Mussoorie before - Nita, I'm sure with the best intentions, had blabbed to him about it! Grrr... Luckily he changed his mind though, so I went to Haridwar on Saturday :o) I'd thought it would be quite similar to Rishikesh, which was really backpackery so we met loads of other travellers - unfortunately it wasnt and most of the tourists there were Indian pilgrims come to do holy things! I still had fun though, wandering about on me own like a geek! The sunset 'ganga aarti' ceremony at the main ghat was pretty impressive; and despite having to fend off all the small children who were determined to daub bright yellow bindis on my forehead, it was surprisingly hassle-free! The place was packed out with people, all sitting on the floor with a few dudes at the front shouting stuff in Hindi - I assume about how great the Ganges is etc! Every so often the entire crowd would suddenly put their hands up in the air all at once, which looked pretty cool! Because of the monsoon, the river was really fast-flowing - there were guys being swept off downstream before they'd barely even lowered themselves in - so dangerous! Sunday I had my first lie-in in a long time then went off to Lal Mata temple, which turned out to be this massive Disneyesque creation with amazing brightly-coloured sculptures and statues of the gods and other random mythical creatures! Inside it was practically a theme park ride, and involved crawling through tiny cave-like tunnels, scrambling over artificial rocks and wading in knee-deep water! There were all these beautiful mirror and mosaic designs with such intricate patterns - Hindus really dont do things by halves! I made a rather measly donation on my way out and received a flower and some holy orange goo to eat, how nice :o) Definitely the best temple so far!

Back in Dehradun I had the most crowded bone-crunching journey of my time in India! A vikram is supposedly an eight-seater autorickshaw, but the driver decided it would be fun to pack in thirteen people plus three huge sacks of cement, a suitcase and my rucksack... Ouch!

On Monday I woke up unable to open one eye and when I finally prised it apart it was completely scarlet and looked so disgusting it made me feel sick to look at it! The teachers took one look and bundled me off back to my room - if any of the kids caught an infection then it would spread like lightning round the whole lot of them! The decrepid old doctor gave me two kinds of nasty stinging drops to put in, said it was infected and my contact lens had caused 'sub-something or other haemmorhaging' and I couldnt work all week. Nice! So have had a rather boring time mooching about doing the odd bit of shopping, watching crap indian tv and reading lots of books. And its since spread to the other eye as well, which means I have to wear my hideous geeky glasses instead of my contacts :o( I've been staying with Urvashi in the evenings to ward off the loneliness - Tuesday eve we went to this old couple's house for dinner - yet another huge gorgeous mansion with copious amounts of servants! They were really funny - married for ages but still completely in love and just bickered with each other like kids the whole time! And smoked like chimneys, drank like fish and plied me with lots of beer which was AWESOME.

Anyway this morning I trotted off to the Forestry Research Institute, a 'must-see museum' according to the Lonely Planet. Well I dont know about that! I guess in the sense that there's absolutely sod-all else to see in Dehradun maybe it is, but I still found it rather tedious - though I didnt know trees could suffer from so many diseases!

So thats me for the moment - I'm sure those of you who actually read this will regret having bothered - I wouldnt! I've only got three weeks left here - despite all the loneliness and depression its gone by pretty quick! Next week I'm staying at Nita's house, so even nicer food hehe, then the week after there's supposed to be another volunteer coming (alleluia) so I might actually have a friend yay!

Missing you all lots! Til next time,
Han/Moses xxxx :oP
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