Spreading Wisdom and Ignorance

Trip Start Feb 23, 2009
Trip End Mar 18, 2009

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Flag of India  , Tamil Nadu,
Wednesday, March 11, 2009

    I hate to say it, but I think India is the land of wrong information. The morning newspapers were full of articles about the festival of Holi, or the festival of Colors, but we couldn't find out whether it was that day, or they were reporting from the day before. Even at the front desk of our hotel, we would get different (and always confident) answers about whether it was happening or had already happened. Or where we might look to see it.

    Our primary activity this day was for me to speak to a school about my profession in Los Angeles. Even though I had a street address for the school, it was complicated because every building on the street had two numbers. "Old No. 16, New No. 32" etc, but they didn't make much sense. We asked someone for directions, and he told us he thought the school was three buildings down to his left. But when we actually found it, it was two buildings to his right, and it had HUGE posters to mark it's location. We couldn't believe he had never walked two buildings down from his shop and seen it. (It's just past the poster advertising Cyberknife Radio Robotic Surgery...apparently something Chennai is becoming known for.)

    The talk to the class of about 20 young adults was very pleasant, and they seemed very interested and asked intelligent questions. Afterwards, one of the teachers invited Jae and me to join them at a workshop presented by the Soloists of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. We took an autorickshaw to Shrimati Sivagami Pethachi Auditorium, which was back close to our hotel. The auditorium was overflowing with adults and students listening to Mozart chamber music, with a bit of explanation from the Austrian group of seven musicians.
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