Sunday, June 04, 2006

Prologue to the 2nd Edition

Ah life. It's about 11am on a Sunday morning, and I am coming to grips with my new lifestyle. All is well, but the plain truth is that I have to work now. I've been in India now for 6 months, and a steady accretion in the amount of responsibilities I handle at the Embassy means that it is harder to escape at 5:30. Instead, the dreaded 55 to 60-hour work week has been regularly raising its ugly head. It's therefore harder to summon up the energy to blog, and now almost two months have vanished!

It's been a few years since I've come home from my work and just wanted to watch TV or read a book, but I often find I am in that situation now. Since I left my job at the PDC, I've been able to coast, travel to Europe and India as a tourist, and have a more "fun" job in Austin, TX. Now, it's time to get down to work.

But hey, life is good! I genuinely enjoy work, although the visa load every day is fairly crushing, both in terms of the time it takes to adjudicate 100+ visas and the amount of time it leaves for longer-term projects. There is a lunch-pail mentality about doing consular work. I often think of military-oriented ways of describing the experience. Among Foreign Service officers, I think we style ourselves the infantry of the Foreign Service, on the ground and on the front lines. We should have Patton playing in the background while we work. Or would that be bad?

Of course, life here really is not that hard. It can be tough to be away from home, and to have to constantly make new friends even as others leave, but there are hundreds of reasons to be happy here. Life is cushy, for one thing. Here's my situation right now -- typing up a blog entry (hey - from India!) while painters transform my downstairs walls and ceiling from white to a combination of "Maya" and "Deep Beige." On my bedstand table lie great books I'm reading, including "Maximum City" (about Bombay), a book on practice by the Dalai Lama (very good), and "From Curzon to Nehru and After" by Durga Das. There's also my dog-eared Hindi textbook, just in case I get the urge. I'm about to export pictures for the blog from recent trips to Ladakh, Sri Lanka, and Amritsar. I played soccer, ultimate frisbee, and tennis in the past 3 days. I went to a Charcoal Steak Night last night that turned into an evening of tall tales. Truly, life is good. And Araucana and I are off to the beaches of Goa next weekend (another important reason it's harder to blog these days!).

Anyway, I hope this is all prologue for another, longer session of tilting at the blogger windmills. While I really should go into work today (and every day - urg), it's important to me to write and record my experiences here. So, off we go!


At 12:15 PM, Blogger araucana said...

You're back! :)

At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're back and badder (badd w/ 2 d's) than ever!

Rrrrockin' Ladack (and this) postings!

I do wonder what "Maya" is as a color and am reminded of a book by that title by Justin Gaarder--he wrote "Sophie's World" if you remember that, and this is a good balance to that tome, full of fanciful poetry, single-malt scotch drinking geckos (as I recall) and musings on what it means that this entire Universe of ours seems to have sprung out of nothingness.

B has told me of the Dalai Lama's method of "inhaling the bad into the central light and burning it up there" to reduce and paraphrase terribly. This is what he is doing, apparently, with his own hatred and such, and as you say, with the bad karma being generated by others.

Which reminds me of another book I am supposed to have read, is supposed to be laugh-outloud funny, and apparently leads to redemption in the end: Handling Sin, by Mike Malloy (I think).

Anyway, great to hear from you, Esquire.

At 11:07 PM, Anonymous shrinkwarp said...

Indeed, welcome back, C!


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