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Archive for January, 2011

Where am I?

I left snow and freezing temperatures and came back to freezing temperatures minus the snow. Is India allowed to be cold? I realized once I got here that India is kind of a big country and actually has diverse landscapes as well as people, cultures, and languages, but for some reason, as much as it pains me to admit, I still¬†picture “Man in a turban on a camel in a desert”. Scarves and toe socks and wool blankets don’t often enter in, but here I am. It’s 2:00 in the morning and all my toes on my right foot are numb. (this happens frequently throughout the day too since I haven’t yet invested in toe socks)

You might be wondering, as I am, why I am writing this post (and perhaps the ones before it as well). I had hoped to go to bed at 2, but my upstairs neighbor,who is apparently quite the aspiring disk(que?) jockey, decided now would be a good time to play some of his new mixes. Techno is very big here. Very big. Every popular English song has a techno remake that plays in all of the coffee shops, clubs, restaurants, and quiet residential areas at 2:00 am. It’s nice.

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Ah-MER-i-ca*

I’ve never been one for overly strong feelings about my country, so I was as suprised as anyone at the giddy child sitting in my seat on the plane when we landed. I kept saying. “Ah-MER-i-ca. Caleb, we’re in Ah-MER-i-ca!” Walking off the plane into the Chicago aiport, quite possibly the most magical place on earth, I couldn’t stop smiling or gushing over and over, “Ah-MER-i-ca! We’re really here.” First stop? Starbucks. I used to think I was all about going local, but my “Grande, soy, no water chai” rolled off my tongue too easily for me to believe that about myself anymore. I am an American. Or Ah-MER-i-can. I missed it.

* To be pronounced as someone of the trucking profession from somewhere near Dayton, Ohio with a mouthful of chewing tobacco might attempt

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OH-IO

Oh, the Buckeye State. I’ve known for a long time that Ohio is the best state in the world, but the specifics of why have always escaped me.

Most beautiful landscape: Some might argue no.

Most charming people: It’s a coin toss on that one.

Most exotic animals: We fully accept defeat in that arena, except sewage tanks dressed as farm animals have been spotted.

Best opportunities for mountain climbing and white water rafting: Not so much.

It’s in the subtle details that Ohio takes a firm lead.

Being able to buy an antique typewriter out of the back of a pick-up truck for $5.

Bruising a tailbone on a homemade snow ramp.

Riding sleds pulled behind snowmobiles.

Sitting in a local coffee shop and watching person after person come in and join the same table since everyone in the town knows each other.

I could go on, but the point is well made.

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I’m beginning to sense that my decision to get out of bed to write a few blogs might have been a bad one, as so many are at 1:30 in the morning. First clue? Nearly posting this blog on my roommate’s account since I’m borrowing her computer. (Thanks, Liz) But, I also realize that my propensity to keep all my random thoughts in my head keeps me up at night, so I chose instead to share them here.

Which is why I want to thank you. Whoever you are. I recently returned home after a year and a half hiatus in what can now safely be known as Kolkata, India. I was honestly surprised at how many people have once heard of or maybe even read these silly accounts of life abroad. Considering my supposed audience is basically my mom and the other moms on her email chain, it is a truly pleasant surprise. So, more ramblings to come.

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