Friday, June 27, 2008

Sweet, Sweet Freedom

My gloom and doom posts of the last week or so have raised some concern among my family. I'd just like to say to them that this trip has many positives and that I'd only focused on the debacle with our housing because it was interesting.

We finally largely resolved our housing issues. Our landlord got us gas, a TV, and a cooker and has left us alone. We're supposed to get a water machine in the very near future. I'm not exactly holding out hope for that, but worst comes to worst, we'll just buy our own. One of the great novelties about having a TV now is the great stuff that's on Indian basic cable. I spent at least 4 hours (half)watching a One Day International Cricket Test Match for the Asia Cricket Cup between India and Pakistan yesterday. Cricket always maintained its novelty for me because I certainly couldn't understand it until my friend Indrani explained it to me in 2006. I still didn't really understand it until I saw it put into practice last summer. This was the first cricket match I've seen where I understood what was going on from the get-go and it was somewhat interesting. India's bowling and defense was pretty bad, so Pakistan managed to score 299 runs in their 50 overs. India then put on a clinic of dominant batting and they scored 301 runs in only 40-ish overs, getting them a bunch of national pride in this ultimately pointless rivalry.

Our classes are rather busy, today we took a test which we will take again at the end of the program. I think it's supposed to test our proficiency with hindi, but what it really does is make everyone despondent for 15 minutes afterward or goofily adopt a "fuck this noise, I'm just going to write C for everything" attitude. While I didn't really do either thing, I did start moving pretty quickly towards the latter option in the last 15 minutes or so of the test. The vocabulary is just so high flung that there's no way in hell that someone like me, who speaks self-proclaimed "retarded caveman hindi," can ever crack it. Making matters worse is that all of the answers, every single sodding one, are in every question. It's hard to know if a passage is about Dalits (untouchables), space travel, witchcraft or world population when you can't understand three-quarters of the words and all four ideas make an appearance. This leads me to believe that the writers of this test were christingly fucking stupid, as the test doesn't test degrees of fluency, but actually only tests if you're fluent or not. As none of the people in the intermediate group are fluent, I don't know what the teachers were thinking.

On a less annoyed and whiny note, I am going to agra to see the Taj Mahal tomorrow. As I hear Agra itself is sort of nasty, we're daytripping it. It should be interesting.

1 comment:

Aash said...

Agra is amazing. Funnily enough, my favorite city after Jaipur. Maybe because I stayed in awesome hotels both trips.

Hindi in high school is no different, dude. They test you on all kinds of shit that doesn't really matter. antonyms and 'ling' of a prescribed list of words. Now, it would actually seem easy, because you already know the list that the questions are gonna come from. The only problem is that each list is about 500 words long and even perusing the whole damn thing, forget trying to memorize the hard/unfamiliar ones, is fucking insane. You just cross your fingers and hope you know what they're talking about in the test.