Sunday, February 05, 2006

High life - the summary post

Sorry for the extended absence. I was overtaken by events, as they say. I fell prey to the embassy lifestyle.

In the last week I:

- wrapped up the raw food cleanse (cheating all the way home)
- tried some kundalini yoga
- started a twice-weekly hatha yoga course
- began feeling overwhelmed by work requirements
- continued my 7am tennis lessons three times a week
- picked out plants at a nursery and shopped for housewares
- played in the local soccer league
- continued reading the latest Thomas Friedman book
- hung out with MTV India's artist of the month

Does that sound ridiculous, indulgent, and kind of bourgeois? It certainly felt that way. Also, you'll notice that work gets just one line in that list, which is not good. I'm all for a balanced life, but I need to make sure work gets the attention it deserves.

Of course, that one line comprises about 10 hours of each day. In addition to my 6 hours of consular non-immigrant visa work each day, I have a number of other duties. I'm focusing on in-depth fraud issues in specific types of visa cases, updating on our regional disaster prep plans, working on an NIV process map booklet, making a new introductory consular video, and some other tasks that I'm forgetting right now. I actually need to go into the office outside of work hours to get organized and make some personal project plans. I find myself waking up thinking about consular work now, which is both a good and bad sign.

(Will someone who knows about these kinds of issues let me know if discussing my duties is in any way compromising in terms of security? I don't think it is, but let me know.)

Regarding my social and extracurricular life, it's been quite enjoyable, and slightly surreal. I spoke with some Mumbai officers, and they said that they often hang out with Bollywood stars because they just travel in the same circles. But Delhi is different (not oriented toward media stars, per se), so when I went out to a dinner last night I was not expecting one of the guests to be a pop star. He was very nice, and came with an entourage of about 6, including his 7+ foot tall bodyguard (also very nice, enormous hands). He sang a couple of songs at dinner with his acoustic guitar. After dinner, everyone went out to the Sheraton and danced until about 3am. All the Indian folks there knew exactly who he was, and there was constant whispering. He was quite the extrovert and danced with everyone, men and women, doing his best Justin Timberlake impression. Ah, India!

Saw another elephant on the road, this time in traffic. Seemed pretty placid.

Now I'm off to soccer with the embassy guys. I generally embarass myself at these games, but I run more than anyone else, so they keep me around. (Perhaps for entertainment value?) There's little to no ultimate frisbee here, so I'm making do.

Ok, posts of more substance coming!


At 11:45 AM, Blogger Alizarin said...

Whew! You're doing a lot! Good luck with the balance ... never my strong suit.

Mika Singh looks more "gangsta-sikh" on his website than like Justin Timberlake. I guess maybe it's just one of his many faces. Like Cher.

At 1:42 AM, Anonymous shrinkwrap said...

Good looking guy in the picture...should I know him? And is he the pop star or his 7 ft. bodyguard? (His hands DO look really large....) A full, active life, there Crawdad!

Did you see the Superbowl? I bailed out before "the aged ones" came on at half.

Great blog, btw.

At 1:49 AM, Anonymous shrinkwrap said...

I am in the library and clicked on the Bollywood star's link and much to my surprise out came a loud MTV like, ah, noise? sound? music? maybe. Had to click OFF before I got embarassed here in the quietude...small world, n'est-ce pas? Si. Ja. Da.

At 11:49 AM, Anonymous sloan said...

Jeez, I dunno. Lots of people are saying that Mika Singh peaked with that remix 12" of Gabru, but personally, I think he's still got another Sawan Mein Lag Gayee Aag in him.


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