Chris' Original Blogbeque

A fresh, vinegar-based examination of life

Some follow-up’s

Posted by Chris on November 1, 2007

I’ve reached a point where I don�t think you will be receiving any well-thought out, topical blog posts anymore. I am somewhat tired of the exercise right now (not just with blogging, but taking notes on NGO visits and organizing them, and some other organizational activities) plus I am trying to wind up some things to leave as a brief chronicle of my research with IITD.

So I think that whatever blogs I post during these last few days will just be some snippets of things. For one, the last couple days, really, the last week and a half, has been a very frustrating, but ultimately somewhat satisfying, trial of trying to purchase some of the jute goods from SHGs. I’m not going to go into the complications but they have surprised me from many different angles. But I do know for sure now that I will be getting some things. I definitely see this more as a one-time thing, if only for the reason that if it was so complicated here, how complicated will it be an ocean away?! Many businesses and organizations do this kind of thing, promote these products made in developing areas. I do think that I can add a valuable service in that since there’s not 1-3 middlemen, it can be less expensive and more personal. What I do think should be possible are more expensive, custom-made goods. I’ve got one that is SWEET (it�s mine, but you can look at it).

I am trying to do a couple things before I leave, that I’ve been trying to do for weeks. Do you know how hard it is to find, at the right business hours, a post office in Kolkata? Not easy. I’ve seen two of them now. I plan to go by both of them tomorrow, I want to send one god-forsaken postcard that I bought one week into the trip.

There are a couple things I’m trying to buy but have been stymied repeatedly. Such as tins or cans of mishti/mithai (Bengali/Hindi words), Bengali sweets. I’m told it is sold like this, in a way that preserves it and you can take it somewhere. But I’ve asked at maybe 10 shops in my area and nobody has.

To top off this political mess on Tuesday and Wednesday (which turned out not to be that crazy), it rained like crazy on Wednesday and Thursday morning. Loud, violent thunderstorms, the first I’ve experienced here. I was going to go play basketball today, and daggone, I had to get out of the indoors. So what did I do? Play in the rain. Well, by play, I walked around in for 10 minutes in my swim-trunks. I’m not really the frolicking, jump in puddles, giggling type. Some of the people here, well, I really think it might have been the queerest (odd not gay) thing they’d ever seen in their life.

Overall, I’d kind of like to stay around a bit longer. But leaving is the right thing, based on the other decisions I’ve made, financially speaking. It is allowing me to do some things both here and when I get back that I could not have done otherwise. It is also allowing me to be less at risk of a cash crunch while looking for work in IL. There are also many frustrations that I will be happy to put behind me, things I won’t mention here and things that you would not expect. But I can live with them and while I’m looking forward to working in general here I feel very relaxed and well-provided-for, sentiments that are like illegal or something in America.

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