Sunday, July 15, 2007
Vignettes of Daily Life....
It is always helpful to go home because when I come back I see things here more clearly. Over time it is easy to get used to the pace of life and my frustrations at the daily annoyances. In general I think my tolerance level has increased significantly, but it is at its lowest point immediately after I return from being out of India. Not only do things register with me at a heightened level, but I also react more sharply. Two examples:
- When I first came here, I had a big problem getting internet hooked up at home. So I purchased a wireless aircard which I used on my old computer when the internet was down. I no longer need the card or the service, so over the past two or three months I have tried without success to cancel the service. Upon returning from the U.S., I tackled this again with renewed energy. After talking with two different people on the phone, writing a letter, and sending Antony to the store twice I failed to make the sale. I finally balked at the point that I had done everything requested (sending Antony back to the store a second time with a letter filled out to their exacting specifications) only to get yet another call saying that no, I was not yet cancelled---now I had to call their customer service department. At this point I blew my top and said I would simply decline to pay the next bill. This morning the service that collects the fees (this is done house to house here) came and told me that they also need some information off my computer to cancel and I still have to pay the final bill. Saga to be continued.
- Marty had to send me some documents via Fedex. He sent me the tracking number and everything was going fine---the package arrived in Delhi and was on its way to Chennai. On Thursday, I was working in our city office in one of open office areas and I got a call from Fedex in Chennai asking me the address and directions to my house. Although the address was obviously on the package, I repeated it and gave directions. A couple of hours later, I got a second call from a different person, asking for the same information. Noting that I had already given this once that day, I repeated it, this time a bit more loudly and stridently. Shortly after this, I received TWO calls simultaneously from Fedex (I put one on hold to take the other one) again asking me for my address and directions. After a moment of trying to navigate this situation, I gave up and asked one of the employees near me to talk to them in Tamil. She did so, using as much English as Tamil to describe the address and directions. The package thankfully arrived Friday (it was then too late for them to deliver on Thursday). When I checked the address, it was written legibly and completely---all other mail has reached me with this address. In the meantime, everyone in the immediate area where I was working also knows where I live---we must have a party.
For another story (on tailors) check the link on the right for the Barkhouse Family. As I have said before, there is a reason why calming practices like yoga and meditation have their origins here.