Monday, August 10, 2009

2009 08 10. Monday.

After breakfast I went to the Admin Office to see about moving to another room. The group of Indian ladies next to me make a lot of noise as I'm trying to sleep. I've talked to them a few times but it doesn't seem to help. I usually try to get in bed about 9:15pm or so. The Admin Office guy said a room won't be open for a few weeks and asked me if I could hold out till then. They were very polite. I said I'd try. One of the Admin staffers (they're all western men) said he lived with some Indian white clothed brahmacharis in a dorm style room for a few years and they had no concept of respecting someone who is sleeping. Just not part of the Indian culture. I asked him how he handled it. He shrugged; "Somehow with Amm's grace I got used to it." Well, if he can get used to me, maybe so can I. He said that in the Indian culture the burden is on the sleeper. Meaning that its totally OK to turn on lights and talk loud when someone is sleeping. For Indians, apparently the right to talk is higher than the right to sleep. I guess when you grow up in that culture you can learn to sleep thru almost anything. I'm in India so I guess I have to adapt. Sigh... I'll try. It helps if I crank up my ceiling fan and turn up my MP3 of the "OM" chant that plays on my laptop. Helps to drown out the noise. I feel very good now that I never learned to understand Malayalam. If I could understand what my neighbors were saying it would really drive me batty.

I went to the lunch line today and there were only about 30 people in front of me. Not too bad. I'll get served pretty quick. Then one of the usual Indian servers came up to me and said in a slightly urgent tone of voice "Please! Come help serve." He motioned for me to come with him. I shrugged and followed him to the big pot of sambar (a spicy red tomato sauce). He handed me a ladle and said "Please serve!" I shrugged again and said "Sure. No problem." I then started serving everyone for about 10 minutes, trying to chant my Amma mantra while doing so. I was also wondering why he happened to pick me, especially since I'm a westerner. Have no idea. I don't think I've ever seen a westerner serve the Indian food. After about 10 minutes another Indian man showed up and the server who snagged me for service said "OK. Please take food now." I handed my ladle to the other Indian man and got into line and had the usual delicious lunch.

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