Thursday, January 11, 2007
Dorothy Am I Home Yet?!!!!
Somewhere in-between meeting Mooi in Kasmir and then travelling to Bangalore my patience with living in India finally ran out. Stuff just does not work in a reasonable manner across the board.
Here at JNU I have asked that my salary be paid in reasonable time. Two days ago the department administrator, a woman they call "Madam", came into my office and read me the riot act about my request. It seems that I am the one being totally unreasonable because I do not understand the way things are done at JNU. You get paid when you get paid.
Oh where is my Angela boo boo when I needs heifer control?
Getting paid at JNU has been a recurring problem. This does not bode well for the next Nelson Mandela Chair. My advice would be to bring an extra dose of sanity and a bag full of money to cover you while JNU tries to work out whether it can honor its commitments.
Given the 'pleasantries' of having my rear chewed by a "Madam", I decided thereafter that it was absolutely necessary to leave India as soon as possible. Ek kan nie meer nie ... hierdie mense is befok!
But because Emirates is such a popular airlines, I could only shave off seven days from my original departure date of January 30.
Nontheless, the news that I fly out of Delhi earlier has me dancing in my office. Oh yes dancing I said. But no-one would hear me stomping for joy because next to my office is a man with a sledgehammer banging out the cement of what was the unsanitary men's bathroom. The banging is so hard that dust is falling from the walls. Oh and other stuff too but I am not looking too close just in case.
Not to be outdone, there is another man with a sledgehammer banging on the floor just above me too. He is also taking out the cement floor from a bathroom up there for whatever reason.
Now a reasonable person would assume that this would sorely disprupt what we are supposed to be doing at the University. But who looks for reason at JNU or in India for that matter? Also don't look for a bathroom in this building, there ain't any cause they have men beating the living hell out of every floor in every bathroom. And there are no alternative arrangements in case you really have to go. Providing alternative facilities during construction is obviously unreasonable too. Using the logic of "Madam" above, 'you pee when you get to pee'.
Guess I could just join the rest of the nation and piss against a wall in public. Now what would Fati say?
Public urination in India is so pervasive that one may even assume that it is a right enshrined in the Constitution. See this Hindustan Times campaign to stop the all-caste-inclusive act of public urination. Oh what a joy to behold: http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/specials/toilet/responses29.shtml
Talking about peeing in public. Mooi and I were standing in-front of Sai Baba's hospital in Puttaparti. I was about to take a picture of the hospital when a woman squats down right in front of us and pees on the cement sidewalk. Mooi says take the picture but I can't due to the uncivil shock that has my hands absolutely frozen.
This is the picture of the hospital I took instead (when my hands returned to me and I made sure that we were not trapped in some Hobbesian nightmare). And yes that is the sidewalk she relieved herself on in the foreground. Cora I need meds. Strong ones too!
Seeing that woman reduce our species to an untrained beast was the point of no-return for me. There in the warm sun of Puttaparti I was trying to fathom reason while coming to grips with the irrational imposition that 'god' would need a hospital.
Maybe a woman peeing on 'god's' sidewalk should be viewed as an act of religious insurrection. Perhaps she was a latter day Martin Luther who ran out of nails to make her point on one of 'god's' doors. Don't know but I was not prepared to see that much holiness.
As I write this post a partial check has just been delivered to me. Now I have to take the check across campus to the bank from hell and attempt to cash it. There I will be punished for being a foreigner and made to sign all kinds of forms (in case I am a fraud trying to cash a check that could not buy a pair of shoes in SA).
The forms with its misspelt words, and the spit that seems to hold it together, should be displayed at the National Museum in New Delhi as an example of Indian ingenuity and efficiency.
I want to go on the record again and thank my ancestors for rolling out!
And if you think Mooi kept it tight and under control in his two weeks visit to India you would be mistaken. Of course, he fronted like he did while sweating bullets under his 'ashram-wear' .... here he is posing Zen-like in front of the birthplace of Sai Baba ... yeah yeah, 'god' was conceived by a miraculous bolt of lighting according to Sai Baba's mamma ... Cora I need coffee by the gallon to go with those strong meds!
I do however promise to smile again. I promise Michelle. But in case you forgot, this is a picture of me smiling ... taken right after I was born.
Now where did I put my damn AK?!!!!!