Nov. 28th: Indian Standard Time

Today I learned Indian Standard Time (IST). I woke up an hour and a half before work. I waited for the waterman to come. He came one hour late. When he was in my apartment he asked to have one of my dishtowels and a few Malaysian coins. Given. He didn’t have proper change so I paid him in advance for ten deliveries of water. A teacher told me that paying in advance discourages promptness. I didn’t have proper change to ride an auto. If you give the driver too much money he will not make change, but take it. Already late I went to break bills at the store. The store was sleepy, slow, and my hurry made it seem insufferable. There isn’t much of a sense of expedited shopping in this area. Finally when I got in the auto, we were stuck behind the railway crossing.

When I used a few words of Kannada with the auto-driver he was so excited that he leaned over and told another driver about me. Everyone at the intersection was looking at me. Learning two languages at once, Kannada and Hindi, is wild. I can learn two phrases for one expression and I can pick which one sticks best. Just like a real Indian who mixes his languages like his curries. India has roughly 850 spoken languages and 23 official languages (all of which are on the money); Europe has a pity 250 (Times of India). Almost everyone in India is a polyglot. A language lovers heaven.

I arrived at school thirty minutes late and nobody cared at all. My “I’m going to be late” text message sent twenty minutes before my arrival wasn’t received until after I arrived. That’s real IST. For something as stress-free as volunteering IST is a welcome change from the razor sharp promptness of Japan.

School was super. One student when asked what makes you happy replied, ” kittens and stars ”. What makes you happy?

After class and Hindi tutoring I went to Dominos. It’s not too good healthy that the only prepared food is Dominos Pyaaza. Pyaaza is not the ideal pre-gym or healthy meal. Unfortunately, cooking every single meal is a sacrifice of time and opportunity. I would have to go to the store, then home, and then cook. This takes over an hour and pulls me into a homely calm rhythm that discourages working out. So I have had to accept eating pizza every time I want to eat out. Pizza, good pizza, in India is 5 USD. In Japan a similar pizza could cost 20$. Pizza in Japan and India is a luxury food. Since the purchasing power parity is scaled in my favor, I can live in the lap of luxury everyday. Dominos was strange because the janitors were women in saris, wearing Dominos baseball caps. Those cloths don’t just clash, they culture clash.

At the gym I met a Spanish man who is teaching at a British International School that is very close to my school. Maybe we will meet-up some time.

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