Friday, November 04, 2005

virus #9

after dewali, my latest virus got worse. still, i managed to make it to work by wednesday evening. i walked out onto the office balcony to view the fireworks bursting around the city. but all of that standing really took its toll. by the time i made it back to my desk, my vision had started to go. blind spots had developed. i couldn't read a piece of paper in front of my face.

a few years ago this sort of thing would have sent me into a mild or maybe even major panic. but not now. not after all of the strange illnesses and symptoms i've experienced in asia. in fact, this is the second time i've had this particular problem. i sat there and waited for it to go away while i chatted with a partially visible co-worker, pretending nothing was wrong. it went away after a few minutes, but i decided it best to hitch a motorcycle ride to the pharmacy for supplies, then rest at home.

thursday i never managed to leave the house. i took the strange drugs i got at the pharmacy, guessing at proper dosages.

today is better.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


well, i got sick again, but i popped some pills and headed into the bowels of koramangala for dewali. our host's suv navigated the dark unpaved streets, expertly dodging the missles and bombs exploding all around us.

our hostess, R, is an uncoventional indian, who i had never seen in a sari until last night. her mother, father and brother were also clearly very unconventional--there was a hippie vibe to all of them--but we were nonetheless were treated to a traditional dewali. after some homemade wine, we had puja, and then a tasty traditional south indian vegetarian dinner. just as we were about to go out and blow up our "crackers", the rains came. so instead we headed upstairs for a jam session with electric guitar, bass and bongos.

as midnight rolled around and the rains continued, we realized there would be no easy way to get home, so festivities continued until 5am, at which point the rains subsided and R insisted we blow up hitler in front of a much hated neighbor's house. i became the voice of reason--(1) we would be waking up the entire neighborhood, including her parents, and (2) we might be caught. but R continued her cajoling. i was about to cave when her parents arrived. whew! we dodged a bullet--they would have surely caught us and been horrified by our irresponsible behavior in front of their home. or not. R told her mom about her plan, and much to all of our surprise she became its biggest proponent! that was all i needed. we headed out into the dark, wet, muddy and now utterly silent streets where we shooed away the stray dogs and set up hitler where he was sure to wreak the most havoc. it began to drizzle. for some reason i was forced to do the deed (and no doubt the time if we were caught). i lit hitler. we all ran, giggling like children. we looked back expectantly. nothing happened. hitler was a dud. that nazi bastard.

unfortunately there was no time for another attempt, as R had to pick up a friend at the airport, so we all found our way home, vowing to make up for our "crakerless" dewali at a later date.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

happy deepawali, diwali, kali puja, festival of lights, and kannada rajyothsava (and halloween too)

some of those are different names for the same thing, and some are distinct festivals. i'm starting to think these festivals (and all of hinduism for that matter) are purposefully complex to keep the white man from understanding, adopting, and then finally corrupting them. but they underestimate me. tonight i'm skipping over understanding & adopting and moving right to the corrupting. i'm headed to an indian friend's house with a bunch of fireworks and sweets for some traditional diwali mayhem.

fireworks in california (in the few communities you can still legally get them) are "safe and sane". this means they suck.

fireworks here (known as "crackers") are insane. in every conceivable sense:

it is entirely unclear what will happen when i light der fuhrer. but i am very afraid.