Friday, September 28, 2007

Less Work, More Work

There has been some good things and some less good things this week:

- On Tuesday, we had a day off because of the Ganesh celebrations. I'll be posting soon about this.
- This Thurday, we had the first Hindi class. I can almost sound like I really want to know how you're doing!
- This Friday, we had a family day at work, so I could chat and laugh a bit with my coworkers and their wives/kids.

There has been a schedule adjustment that relieves some pressure at work. Things went from "There is no way we can deliver" to "It'll be hard, but we'll make it". No need to ask for vacation on Monday (which would've given me a chance to have a 2 day retreat with brothers)...

I'll need to go to see a doctor this weekend, I keep on having cold symptoms.
I don't sleep well... dogs just got the habits of barking by my window at 2AM for the last 2 nights. I need earplugs.

Don't Expect An Email Too Quickly

Hello my beloved friends,

I don't have the 'net at home, I can't get personal emails at work, and my schedule is such that I can't reach the cyber cafe down the street too often. So the best time for me is on weekends. If anything is urgent, please call or send an SMS, it'll work better.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Settled At My New Place

So, I've moved out from Oritel this Sunday. I had lots of help from a brother in the process.

I'm right next door to the Police Camp, which is both good news and bad news. That means that you don't have to worry about crimes too too much, but that also means that you have to make sure not to get on their radar too much. Not all police officiers in India are crooked, but they do exist. The rule of thumb here is: the police is not your friend. That is a shift from what I'm used to, which is: protect and serve.

I'll try to take some good pictures and upload them 'down the street' as soon as possible.

Also, the Ganesh festival has started. Apparently, everybody in Mumbai gets crazy on that one... so much so that its even surprising for the rest of Indians. Yay.

More about the place I live:
I'm at 17 minutes of SEEPZ gate 3, which is where the bus to work passes. That means that I can leave at 7:40, pray along the way in a nice foresty path that doesn't have too much traffic and hop on the first bus passing at 8:05. I get to work early enough to get my day really started at 9, so I can leave early in the evening too.
There is a store very close that offers long distance calls for dirt cheap (1.4 Rs / 6 minutes to Canada), and there are a lot of amenities 'down the street'... something you'll hear me say often. Its about 10 minutes walking distance.
A maid will wash my clothes, and I can pay a few rupees to get a guy 'down the street' to iron them for me.
I can buy groceries 'down the street'. There is a net cafe 'down the street', and not far from 'down the street', there is the Marol Depot, where a gazillion busses pass by.
More on the Ganesh Festival
There are temporary shrines all over the place. Politicians have put posters and big corporations are recycling the event in their marketing.
Ganesh is associated with professional and material blessings. The direct Indian equivalent of Mammon. This festival is BIG in Mumbai. The streets are illuminated, you have 'wandering temples' in trucks, with an idol + guys either a) playing drums loudly or b) loudly saying stuff (which I guess are praises to the Idol). According to Hindu beliefs, Ganesh is physically in the idol, and he will return back to the heavens after the idol is immersed at the end of the festival.
Yesterday evening, some idiot was detonating some explosive sticks right under my window. Its a tradition to have firecrackers during this festival, but that wasn't firecrackers... some hybrid between firecrackers and dynamite sticks would be an appropriate description...
We had an idol downstairs. They took it away in a big noisy ritual yesterday. There were many drummers and firecrackers. It was bad enough that I couldn't conduct a conversation with my new roomate. It didn't last too too long, thank God. Now I understand why the Catholic Church got all festival-y in the 4th century... people love these crazy things!
Overall, I find the society around me a bit superstitious... name your business after one of the gods for blessings, kiss the doorframe for blessing the house before leaving, put pictures of Ganesh all over the place, etc. etc. etc. And that's not just poor people!!! You'll see even big businesses put the Swatzik on their logos.
Short summary: you won't get me in hinduism anytime soon. Its a major major downgrade from a perfect infinite God.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Stuff Happening, Unfolding

So, I have a temporary solution for my lodging that is well located. I visited a place that is better located, but will require long walks to get to the bus (~10-15 minutes). I'll take that one.

I visited a place this Sunday that was not bad... but highly illegal. Since I must report my address to the FRRO (aka the passport police), this was a very very very bad idea.

Other than that, life goes on... I am reading a little bit, I'm working, I'm involved in putting in place a Hindi class... the end result being that I don't enjoy myself too much these days. It'll get better, being finally settled will help a lot.
God willing, I'll be in my new environment on Sunday.

I got to speak to some brothers in Montreal too. My cellphone will cost me more than expected for these calls, since BPL has given me bad information about how much it cost. Nevertheless, those calls were enjoyed very much.

I need to surrender the situations I live to God more, so that I can have more joy... my life is more of a burden than anything else at this point. A lot of it comes from a) weak prayer life, but there is also b) lots of worries and c) a medication that may cause depression as side-effect.
If I still feel down after a few weeks, I know that c) has something to do with all this. But I'll work on a) and b) for the time being.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Got my +- breakdown

Was on the phone for more than one hour yesterday with my parents. I got my breakdown. She was glad that it took me a month this time around, compared with 2 days in Switzerland.

So, what's up?
-Things are not so bad at work. I am taking advantage of the java 1.5 concurrency package to make my life simpler
-I must leave my hotel soon, and I don't have a place to go. AIESEC has apartments, but they are mix genders. I am not ready to make this compromise. So I'm apartment hunting, but not very well, and in a last minute-ish manner. Thank God I have the church to help me do that. I won't say too much, about this, but let me just say that old buildings have the tendency to collapse around here...
-The commute to work in not too enjoyable. I try to pray and read by Bible through it. A bumpy road and traffic kill the enjoyment. But I really mean bumpy... even the Quebec roads are tame.
-I am making effort to spend more time with disciples, but to not much avail... looks like I need to be more agressive about this.