drugs

lots and lots of drugs

April 26, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Chennai

By 11am, I had already had an amazing day. 

4 am-wake-up call-I waited and waited for the cab to arrive, and did so about 40 minutes late. In the dark, I walked down the road to meet him, got in, and we were on our way to the railway station. As of today I had not taken a train in India, and was extremely excited to do so. We pulled up to a huge mass of people. People with bags walking in, walking out, and people asleep all over the floor. I asked how to get to platform seven, and found it with ease. I double checked that this was the right train, found my boggie/compartment, and was pleased with how many shops were nearby. I bought a coffee as the train slowly crept up to meet us. 6 am on the dot. We all got on to a compartment with AC. The isles were huge, a person would not even need to move his or her legs for someone to slide by. I sat down and closed my eyes. 

When I opened my eyes, I found a cup of steaming coffee, biscuits, carmel candies, a huge water bottle, and today’s  newspaper. I looked out the window, and found that we were already moving, and the sun was rising above the clouds in a beautiful orange, pink sunrise. Next to me, a young woman with a baby girl atop her lap. This young girl wore a small pink dress, and had a purple barbie clip holding her hair back. One seat over, was the young girls brother, and across the isle from him, their father. 

I stared out the window and fell in and out of sleep. I was constantly being handed things. After coffee, came breakfast-I could recognize what all the food was supposed to be based on the breakfasts I have eaten here. All our tickets told the man what kind of meal, veg, non veg, etc. After breakfast, more coffee, and an hour or so later, juice. I love the train here.

When we pulled into the station, the intense humidity greeted me immediately. With greater speed than Rima running towards me, even. She and her dad came to pick me up and we walked through the station out to the car, and drove back to their place. I met her mother, grandmother, and her home. 

From there, we had a relaxing day. Dosas!! shopping, and lunch! I took a beautiful nap and we made aloo parathas with her mom. (Chipati-esque with potatoes inside).

This is relaxing. To have no deadlines, no work…

and a coconut brought home for me by rima- only good things over here

April 26, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Bangalore as I know it

Today is my last day in Bangalore-as I know it.

 We went to dinner together, to the market, and had a small gathering atop the kitchen counters. The strangest part, my first goodbye. Goodbye to someone I won’t see for at least a year and a half. It feels like any other day, we will hang out tomorrow, get juice, chaat, coffee. We will walk down the street while I talk nonsense using lots of body motions, and things will be normal. How strange.

Tomorrow, the cab comes at 4:30 am in time for my 6 am train. This will be the first time on a train! Excited, yet fairly confident I will be sleeping for the entirety of the trip, I spent the evening packing and procrastinating packing-with juice, chaat, jalebi-the works.

I never tried jalebi at home. (The orange spiral candy). It concerned me, the color, the fact that I had no idea WHAT it could be made of… but in the market of Yelahanka, Bangalore, a man sets up every evening, two huge vats of unknown liquids of a thick consistency. He uses a rag with batter inside it and a slit in the corner to draw the spirals in the vat of liquid that sits above an angry flame. The batter hardens, and he flips them. The first one he picks out of the liquid, he circles around the flam before feeding it to the fire. With that done, he begins his evening routine, while an impatient crowd forms.

Tomorrow, I go to Chennai. I have been invited to stay with Rima  for a few days before heading on to Pondicherry. Rima will say goodbyes from here, and I will have almost a week to relax there on my own. From there, I head to Amsterdam and who knows where for a period of three weeks before meeting mike in Greece for the last two weeks of traveling before returning home.

The last few days, there has been incredible rain. Wild wind followed by rainstorms and thunder. It cools the whole place down, and creates excitement in the people and animals. I have been able to play in the water for the last few days, I love my warm rain.

Yesterday morning, as I walked out the door on my way to the mess, I heard an unfamiliar noise. It began to sound like an instrument and as I looked down the road, I saw two men and two cows. The cows were decorated in all sorts of fabrics, bells and such. The two men blowing into long tube like instruments. What a lovely way to start ones day.

No words yet-

it still feels like another school night in Bangalore. Which has become “normal”. When-at home-would, “just another day of school” be one  in yelahanka, Bangalore, where I pass cows roaming the streets, men ironing clothes on carts parked on the side of the road, coconut water being consumed through straws, and aggressive autos flying by-be normal?

Weird how quickly we adapt.

April 24, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

this will be interestesting

I am so convinced that I want to travel alone and be independent- I talk talk talk talk talk about it all the time. Well, here goes!

Kerala, april10-18, fort cochin

I am super anxious and excited.

April 10, 2010. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

April 8, 2010

Another full day of class-full day followed by full night.

A few of us stayed at new campus to do packaging work. We found ourselves distracted for a few hours, in search of food and ice cream before sitting back down at our computers. Productive and exhausting, I came home around 7:30 am to nap for a few hours before returning to class…

Benny’s foot is getting better- stitches came out today and walking will occur very shortly. (She stepped on a broken glass).

I have found it unfortunate and unstoppable, the counting down pf days-and I leave India in less than a month, how strange.

The heat here is incredible-I feel as though I say this often, yet when the power goes out-many times a day-and the movement of air once powered by the fans ceases to cool our skin, you feel it.

Literally, you feel sweat forming into droplets that then roll down your skin-while you are sitting still- it’s hot.

My dreams lately have been very different than normal, I even had a crazy nightmare the other night that resulted in my invasion of mimans bed. Very strange.

Really good news- I will be going to Kerala on Saturday the 10th of April for a week to do an independent study. Lots to do before then, but I can’t wait.

I have been enjoying my share of juice and street food these days. I have indulged many times during the trip thus far, although now that the end is nearing- I am taking up opportunities I had once passed up without thinking twice.

This week, for the first time this entire trip, I have been asked by strangers how I like India. The first, was the bus conductor on the return trip from Goa. He actually looked at me, smiled, and WELCOMED me to India, partially joking and full of laughter as I boarded his 16 hour semi-sleeper. The second, was the man in the school supplies store, who told me pani puri (water balls if your a foreigner who asks Namisha about street food) is not good for your health- delicious none the less.

Birthdays!-Michael and Tim!!

Grandpa- funeral business. I have been getting emails about all the plans which I will be unable to attend, but it sounds like it will be really nice.  On top of all this, upsetting to me, is the thought that this could be the last time the whole Koucky family is together, and for such an event… I truly hope that this death does not extend deepen the crevices of the family he produced. One tragedy is enough, and it would only be easier for everyone if they could be together and be there for each other in times like these. I hope they prove my cynical predictions wrong.

Random thoughts- to wrap up the evening.

April 8, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

spectator

Every night

when I brush my teeth,

a gecko watches me from a nearby wall.

April 8, 2010. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Grandpa Koucky

Charles Joseph Koucky

“KOUCKY, Dr. Charles Joseph of Saginaw, Michigan. Charles Koucky, our father, peacefully passed away at his home after a weekend with family, friends and a dog he requested, and under the watchful eyes of his loving caregivers, “Charlie’s Angels,” on Sunday, March 28, 2010. Age 80 years. He is missed already. The son of the late Ella (Harshman) and Frank Koucky was born September 5, 1929 in Chicago, Illinois. He was known for his determination even as a child, and was featured on the cover of Boy’s Life Magazine, showing his bone collection, and discussing his urge to become a truly great surgeon, and to help many. This he did, and also became a pioneer in laser surgery. As a kid, his mother often found strange things he was studying in her basement, but she seems to have adopted a “don’t look, don’t want to know” philosophy. His children remember patients’ gifts of gratitude though the years-vegetables, baked goods, lawn furniture, even live chickens in Chicago, which rather stunned his wife Pat. Charles was passionate about learning and teaching and could explain complex surgeries with very good drawings. One medical student, frustrated with her knots, remembers him saying “the most dangerous doctors are the ones who think they are natural born surgeons.” He always encouraged people to follow their passions but to be truly great at whatever it is they chose to do. He heard Patricia Munson play the organ at Carleton College and decided he must meet her. They married May 31, 1952 and shared a love of family, books, music and musicals, and all the arts. They were active in the arts community of the Saginaw area, and passed along these interests to their four children. Their favorite times seemed to be in Charlevoix Michigan, and in Naples, Florida, both places with family never far. Charles loved boating and fishing, and Venetian Fest, which over 30 years, he rarely missed. An avid gardener, he loved sharing seeds with others and planting seeds in places you would not expect. That legacy will live on for many years. He leaves behind 12 grandchildren, now spread throughout the world, and Charles was looking forward to meeting his first great-grandchild in the fall. Patricia passed away suddenly October 22, 2003. Charles received his undergraduate degree from Carlelton College and his medical doctorate from the University of Illinois. He practiced as a general surgeon with privileges at St. Mary’s, St. Lukes and Saginaw General (Covenant) hospitals. He began the Michigan State University Residency Program in Saginaw and was a full professor at Michigan State University. He was also the Director of the Surgical Residency Program at Synergy. He also served as Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery in Saginaw General Hospital. For over two decades he was the only surgeon performing Pediatric Surgery in Saginaw. As a medical leader in the community Dr. Koucky also performed Saginaw’s first laparoscopic cholecystectomy, ushering in new medical technology in the region. He received the Physician of the Year award. He served as a Captain with the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Together with his wife, Charles was an active supporter of the Saginaw Symphony and Saginaw Art Museum. Surviving are four children, Charles Koucky Jr. and his wife, Nancy, Pine Island, FL; Kenneth and Sharon Kousky, Saginaw, MI; Katherine Ackerman and her fiancé, Mark Schrag, East Lansing, MI; William Koucky, Traverse City, MI: twelve grandchildren, Lahren and Caitlin Koucky; Bradley, Corey and Alyssa Ackerman; Rebecca and Carolyn Kousky; Luke Koucky, Alex and Laura Adams; Megan and Jason Breen. He is also survived by a brother and his wife, John and Mary Ann Koucky, Decatur, Ill; several nieces and nephews. A brother, Frank Koucky, predeceased him. The family wishes to thank Kathy Lonsway, Ruby Rodriguez and Melissa White, as well as many other caregivers for their tremendous patience and loving care of our dad. Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, April 10, 2010 at First Congregational Church, 403 S. Jefferson Ave. Saginaw, MI, with a reception for friends and family to follow. Dr. Charles Guerreno Jr. will officiate. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider the Saginaw Art Museum or the Saginaw Bay”
http://obits.mlive.com/obituaries/saginaw/obituary.aspx?n=charles-joseph-koucky&pid=141348946
As far away as I am, until today I have felt completely disconnected from everything I have been hearing from my family. Hearing words over the phone can only do so much, apparently, because when I finally started searching the web for the obituary and read people’s comments in the guest book, it was completely different.
He got me my very first orchid

April 8, 2010. Tags: . Uncategorized. 1 comment.