Sunday, February 03, 2008

Goats in Coats and Local Pests

Whew.... again, a long time since I have posted. I "lost" my house internet connection, and Jaipur is back to it's regular electricity schedule where the electricity goes off between at least 10 am-12 noon and sometimes even longer making my chances to sit down and write a blog far and in between.

So since my return from the U.S. for Christmas things have been going pretty decently for my stomach in Jaipur.. those probiotics really make a huge difference...

Now that my stomach issues have settled down, I have realized lately just how normal it feels for me to live in India. When I'm on a bus to Delhi on the highway the scenery feels so familiar and normal now, getting a rickshaw or going grocery shopping is run of the mill, and overall I feel generally... normal. I think that revelation came while I was on the bus and I just thought... wow. I have always thought I could live in India for a long term and feel happy, but I was really worried this fall that maybe I couldn't, and that maybe my whole plan in life would have to be rearranged.. A daunting task, to say the least.

Not to say everything is perfect and happy all the time, but any problems I have nowadays seem to be normal life problems rather than "living in a foreign land" problems.

So, then, the title, you ask. Well, it's winter here, which doesn't necessarily mean it is freezing cold, though it is really chilly without heating and the houses aren't really insulated in anyway. Generally I am doing fine with all that, but I came to know some really cute practices which I never would have guessed. First people put coats on their dogs, and sometimes the neighborhood street dogs also strut their stuff in their winter sweaters. But the best by far is the goats in coats. Now, these goats are herded about, with their big floppy ears and strange goaty-eyes, all over the place, city included. A cute little old grandma comes through my neighborhood regularly, herding her goats through the city blocks. These goats seem of a hardy stock, but for some reason, it seems everyone decides that in 40-60 degree weather, a goat needs a coat to keep itself toasty warm. Indeed. So, if I am ever down, I can think, of goats in coats.

The second interesting issue as of late are some local pests... now generally pests in a house could be... let's see... ants, cockroaches, mosquitoes, flies, maybe a mouse or such.... not so here these days.. the pests giving me the most trouble of all...


oh monkeys. How I fear them. One day they were in the front hall, stealing someones pants and trying to rip them up. I have to say. Monkeys are scary. ouff.

and then lately... even worse... the monkeys have decided to use my balcony as there special-monkey-gift-deposit spot.. aka... monkey toilet. This not only means that my porch is now covered in little miniature human-turds and pee stains... it also means... HELP!!! I can't open the door to my porch.. monkeys might come in...!!!

Someone at school told a story of former residents of their flat who left their porch door unlatched one day and a monkey sauntered in, open the fridge and started downing the eggs as if he did this every morning. Of course, they couldn't do anything but watch, those sale monkeys have teeth, yaar.