Parsingtime

More Annoyed than Amused

Archive for June, 2007

Puppies and Poverty

Posted by parsingtime on June 28, 2007

I saw a bunch of abandoned puppies on the side of the road today while I was walking around our neighborhood. I stood and stared at them for five minutes while people walked on by going about their business, wondering what to do. Thinking about pet shelters an the SPCA and then remembering where I was. These puppies were crying and couldn’t really walk, they looked maybe a day or two old to me. I felt bad for them knowing they were going to die, but this isn’t a country that really keeps animals as pets.

I thought about how our driver lives on about $95 a month; the lady who comes and sweeps our apartment (she just lost her husband and is supporting three kids and only has this one apartment to clean right now) lives on less than $20 a month.  And that’s why you can’t save dogs in India because people need the help more. Both these people work really hard and have so little. Our driver is saving money to send his daughter to school. Our cleaner, Suganda needs surgery but she can’t afford it. She has known she needs surgery for three years.  It pains me to no end to know this.  And while both Husband and I are generous tippers it doesn’t ever feel like enough.  Also for every person you know in a bad situation that needs help there are probably thousands more who just as badly need help.  

I feel bad. I went and got my hair done here in India and spent more than most people’s salary on it.  It makes me feel like a horrible human being. I can pay for a surgery for a woman I’ve known for barely two weeks because I want her to make it but that doesn’t really fix the situation. She is still an uneducated widow with three kids trying to make ends meet.

I have no real point to this post. Poverty exists in the US as well I just don’t usually come face to face with it every single day. 

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Sex and the City: Mumbai Style

Posted by parsingtime on June 26, 2007

These are actual questions from the Hindustan Times relationship help section (kind of like Dear Abby but with sex)

I am a 30 year old man and going to get married soon. My problem is I am sexually very weak.  I started mastubating at the age of 14 and I got addicted to it. So much so, that I did it day and night. Now, I doubt if I could ever have an intercourse as I get erection, but it releases in no time. I want to have a happily married life. Please guide me.

These are written exactly as they appear in the paper and this future wife is in for a hell of a time competing with girlie magazines and a fist. Good times.

I am a young man having a long distance relationship with a gal living in another country. Despite of distances, we love each other deeply. The only problem is that my girlfriend has a skin problem. Her skin is red and dry and because of which she looks dull. But I believe in her love and loyalty. She even contacted many doctors for treatment, but everybody says that it can’t be treated. The main cause of my problem is that her skin would get worse from bad, as she will grow older and will create problems for me to make love with her. Please give me advice.

This guy is concerned about a skin problem that makes the girl look dull? If I were the girl I would dump him.

I am a 29-year-old married man. I started having sex, when I was 22 years. Unfortunately I couldn’t lose my virginity. My wife was not a virgin when we met. I feel that’s the reason I can’t satisfy her. Tell me what should I do to lose my virginity? I am very much confused

How does one start having sex but remain a virgin. It’s a mystery to me.

I am a middle-aged man. I have this strange fascination of collecting women’s undergarments. So much so that I even steal them when my female relatives keep them to dry outside. Is it a normal habit. I basically use them for masturbation.

Oh dear.  Surely someone is seeing the undies on the line outside drying? That’s causing some talk amongst the neighbors.

I have this strange problem that is troubling me for a long time. I feel myself attracted to 10-15 year old girls and enjoy having sex with them. I just can’t think anything except having sex with teenagers. I know this is wrong as well as unethical, but I am unable to control my sexual urge. My wife is unaware of my habit. Please help me come out of this strange attraction.

Uh, hello pedophile.

I am a 21-year-old guy and have been into a relationship for the past few months. My problem is whenever I have regular or oral sex, I never ejaculate. I have seen that men usually don’t last more than 5 minutes, but in my case, I can keep going and going but can never ejaculate. I don’t feel a pleasure when I am indulging in a sexual activity. Due to this, I end up masturbating to release the sperm. Please advice me.

Okay, I’m sure this is more sex talk than you were expecting when you clicked over, but I love the questions and reading this portion of the paper so I thought you might enjoy it too. It amuses me that these questions come from the land of the kama sutra.

A real update coming soon. Also sorry about all the weird fonts, I have no idea what is going on.

Posted in India | 5 Comments »

Bugs and Monsoons

Posted by parsingtime on June 23, 2007

Holy crap…it has been raining here for hours. Think of the hardest rain you’ve ever experienced and then triple it and that is how hard it has been raining for hours. It is nuts. I guess monsoon season is officially here. Also a lot of Bombay is flooded already after just a few hours. Crazy.

In other news, Taj is crazy with a capital K. So Husband has had GI issues all week and today we find out that instead of serving us bottled water he has been filling Aquafina bottles with tap water. TAP WATER. Do you know what tap water does to poor American stomachs? Yeah it is ugly and required cipro. Also today I got a look at the food Taj has been serving us. It has bugs in it. Not just a few bugs (which to be honest is to be expected in lentils whether you get them in the US or India but usually you clean them out), but a ton of bugs a TON OF BUGS.  

Also it seems that Taj only knows how to make three things. So all of the sudden my summer with a cook has turned into my summer with a guy who doesn’t know how to cook and serves us bugs and tap water both of which I’m sure are causing the GI issues.  

Husband and our flatmates are planning to complain on Monday. If we were only staying here a few days it would be fine but even I, a person with barely any really cooking abilities can cook more than three things and manage not to cause diarrhea in the eaters of my food.  At a minimum I feel like food should not cause the consumers of the food to have to use cipro. 

Taj needs to go. I feel bad for saying that but really he does. Bugs and diarrhea are not acceptable.

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Random India Bits

Posted by parsingtime on June 22, 2007

I am constantly hungry in India. I don’t think it is the portion size but Taj is pretty set on particular meal times. So I eat breakfast when get up, usually around 7-7:30, lunch at 1pm and dinner around 8:30. And the only time I’m allowed snacks are during tea time when I get some fruit or a biscuit.

I’m totally going to lose weight here, given that I have no secret chocolate consumption due to the fact that the secret chocolate would have to go in the fridge and therefore not be secret chocolate, no ice cream consumption (only once in a week!) and no real soda consumption I’m already losing out on a lot of my calories. Also, I think I may be hungry because everything is fresh. I have not had any real processed foods since I’ve been here. So I’m eating the same amount of food I normally eat except almost all of it is vegetarian and fruit, vegetables or rice. The protein element has really gone out of the door and I’m not eating pasta or any of the random other food I would be eating in Boston. We shall see how this plays out over the next ten weeks.

What else? I’ve been reading a lot so another book review is coming your way at some point (The Mistress of Spices, some old book by Dan Brown and some self-help books I had to read because I had run out of other things to read and couldn’t get to the bookstore). The author comment on the last one was quite unexpected. I am no longer a hair perm/dying virgin. I got my hair Japanese straightened here in India one because it is only $100 here vs $750ish in the US, two because I have yet to find a hairdryer that does not say defective on the side of the box and three the humidity combined with the lack of hairdryer made my hair look like Bob Fosse on crack. The perfectly straightened hair makes me look like I have rock star hair right out of the shower. Definitely the best $100 I’ve spent.

I’m feeling a bit lonely here as I have yet to get a cell phone which makes getting around a bit hard. I’ve discovered getting things done here takes a really long time and usually the involvement of twelve different people. Bribery doesn’t even work. If you tell them you will give them a 1000 extra rupees (for a service that costs 2000 rupees) to get the internet installed today they just sort of bobble their head and you have no idea if they have accepted your offer or think you are crazy. Anyway, we don’t have internet so I can’t really communicate with people and then I can’t go wherever I want due to the lack of phone (we have a driver and he drops you off and then parks in some random spot waiting for you to call him to come pick you up). There is also only so much shopping one can do on a regular basis. My work is also a bit slow because my boss is in Sweden and the part that I could be doing requires me to use a database that is internet based. So a disaster all around. I guess I should mention that our flat mates are very nice, despite my ranting about living with people that I don’t know. The girl, we’ll call her Gina, volunteers in a hospital and speaks fluent Hindi and therefore is extremely helpful with day to day stuff. Bob, her boyfriend works at the same company as Husband. He is also very nice and used to write for The Economist which makes him uber cool in my books.

Alright more when we get real internet.

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Pink Eye from Flip Flops

Posted by parsingtime on June 18, 2007

So yesterday while we were out eating at Elco Pani Puri (Random Banker we are so going here again it is completely awesome) we got caught in pre-monsoon rains. Now I’ve experienced rain before (hurricanes, Houston weather etc) but this was insane. The rain just pours down and I was wearing flip flops. FLIP FLOPS IN TORRENTIAL RAIN.

So the rain is pouring down and and my feet are getting wet and stepping in puddles…I’m pretty sure that there was a lot of stuff in that water that I don’t even want to think about (especially given that while we were driving to Elco I saw several young children defecating where they stood).  I came home and washed my feet and now I think I have pink eye. These things are probably not related but I feel like they are and I’m not happy about it.

For everyone who told me that I didn’t need rain boots in India and that I would look silly, I spit in your eye and hope you get pink eye.

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Reading is Fundamental

Posted by parsingtime on June 17, 2007

In the last twenty-four days I have read seven books. Here’s a run down in case you are looking for something to read.

Running with Scissors by Augustan Burroughs – this is one of the most painful books I’ve read. It is supposed to be funny but I just felt bad for the guy for having such a bizarre childhood. I would pass on this one

House of Spirits by Isabel Allende –  this is one of those books on lists of books to read before you die. It is well translated and an interesting read but like 100 Years of Solitude it relies on magical realism which is to say it isn’t realistic at all. I’m not a fan of this kind of writing but that said 100 Years of Solitude is one of the most beloved and famed books of the last century so who am I criticize the style of writing

A Thousand Splendid Suns – I already wrote a review of this go read it. It is wonderful

Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakurani – a good fast read by a pretty famous Indian author.

Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund – a fluffy novel that I bought for the plane ride over and read on Friday when Husband was at work. It had a sequel coming out that I won’t be buying however it was definitely a good lay on the beach mindless book. Better than those Shopoholic series of books.

Secret Life of Bees By Sue Monk Kidd – I don’t know what I was expecting from this but I really enjoyed it. I think it is because I really like character studies and looking into why people do things and why they feel the way they feel. It is about a white girl who runs away and finds herself living with three white bee keeping sisters in the south who worship a black Madonna. It was good and even better I picked it up half price. I also read that Friday and early Saturday in India.

Freakanomics by the Steven & Stephen – interesting read for a person who generally doesn’t like non-fiction. You should read it before you have kids so you don’t suck as a parent.

Coming soon to a blog near you: recommendations of restaurants in in Mumbai.

Posted in Reviews & Recs | 3 Comments »

Taj

Posted by parsingtime on June 16, 2007

I’m completely convinced that Taj would be a rocket scientist or some other equally difficult profession if given the chance. He spent the day we were alone together using the back page of my Economist to practice his general knowledge of all the countries and their capitols.  The only one he didn’t know was the Czech Republic. Amazing.

He was so thrilled with the pocket book of world figures that Husband had with him he has been asking what the equivalent of millions is in Hindi (they count things differently here). He has been writing down all the figures and facts in his notebook. He knows more about US politics than I do (and that is saying something) and has an amazing capacity for general knowledge. The the most amazing part of all of this is that he doesn’t speak that much English. I’ve managed to glean he is much smarter than me even with a language barrier.

I don’t really like having him here though. I like him but I don’t like having him serving me. I know he feels it is his duty, he has said so himself, but it bothers me that he waits to eat his meals until when we are finished and won’t join us while we are eating. I bought some jam at Fab India to try with my toast and when I took my plate to the kitchen he was using the old jam. Husband told him to try some of ours but I’m pretty sure he won’t.

He is so nice and has been really great in helping me learn how to pronounce words in Hindi. I wish the world were fair and it didn’t matter what your socioeconomic level was (or in this case even what class you were born into), but alas it isn’t and I from what I gather Taj is really happy to be working for such a good company. More on Taj later I’m sure.

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Protected: Day 1 & 2

Posted by parsingtime on June 15, 2007

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Panic Attack

Posted by parsingtime on June 12, 2007

I feel sick…I don’t know what I was thinking. Going to India for a whole summer? Working in a country where I don’t know the language, the people are completely foreign to me and I don’t know anyone…does that sound like a good idea?  No definitely not.

We leave tomorrow. I’ll see you on the other side…of the world.

Also on msn search someone reached my blog by typing: husband wants me to have sex with our big dog (I’m the 9th entry) and that’s when I realized that some wives have real problems. Ick.

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Knocked Up

Posted by parsingtime on June 10, 2007

Oh no, not me. I’m not knocked up and if you need some birth control go and see Knocked Up with the chick from Grey’s Anatomy.

They show a VAGINA WITH A BABY COMING OUT OF IT.

And if that image (three times) doesn’t stop you from unprotected sex and or by choice procreation then I don’t know what will.   I was three other women and all of us had the same reaction:  head spinning away from the screen a la Linda Blair and a hand up to our eyes…seriously I never want to see anything come out of my vagina.

Husband and I are going to adopt potty trained 3 year olds as soon as I show him the movie. I’ve decided.

Oh, also it is currently 11:37 and I’m working (well a 5 minute blog after two hours of work and more to come) and have to leave for India in two days. I kind of feel like my head is spinning like in The Exorcist.

Also, if you want a great cafe experience Cafe Parrish on Boylston in Boston is great. Go eat there. They take all the best sandwiches from the top restaurants in Boston and recreate them. Totally yummy.

Posted in Reviews & Recs | 2 Comments »