Sunday, June 29, 2008

The team is here!

The iheartindia team arrived 2 days ago, even though it feels like it's been 10 days ago. We have crammed soooo much in the past 2 days of travelling and right now the team is at the Taj while I am left outside to check on trains, restaurants and internet shennigans for our group tonite. I really love my job - it's sooo cool.

But also excited because it means that I have 30 mins off to myself!

Going to ditch the internet and go for a walk.


Friday, June 27, 2008

A normal day in the life of Jam

5:00pm: Finishing up some last minute work at the internet cafe
5:30pm: Check out of hotel to find out my cool AFP waterbottle has been stolen - oh how I love you Modern Lodge!
6:00pm: Rushed over to the phone place for the billionth time - it seems that getting an India mobile phone after the last terroism strikes has gotten harder for tourist. After a quick call to customer service I wait.
6:15pm: Phone fixed and sitting at Blue Sky having a mango shake with my hippie friend - it's our farewell goodbye our paths my cross again in South East Asia hopefully in Nov.
6:30pm: Mad Dash to the TrainStation after Samson finds me a cab
7:00pm: Got on the nite train to Varanasi - I really like nite trains and this one seems like it is uneventful.
7:45pm: Train is 45 mins late - but I love it as I get to read a cool book.
11pmish : I get woken up it seems like I am some one else's bed - CRAP I jump out and try to find mine.
11:15pmish - I find my bed - it's literally the bunk under mine - however their is a man in it who doesn't want to move and wants me to find a conductor to see if my ticket is accurate.
11:4-pm: I wander the train and for some DAMN reason I can't find a conductor and officer NOT one on this train how weird.
11:4-pm: I tell the man there are no conductors on this train.
He says sorry and lies back down.
I tug him again. Janna. Go this is my bed.
No. He sits up and just stares at me.
At this point there is a nice circle around us.
I ask him for his ticket and he shrugs.
Neha ticket eh? Dadu? No ticket grandfather.
Janna. Go
He just keeps looking at me.
I look him squarely in the face and raised my voice in full broken Hindi.
Koheda thum ticket eh? Where is your ticket.
No ticket. No seat.
Janna,. Go
At this point lights are turned on and everyone in the section is watching.
We have a great debate for 10 mins. And he starts to converse with other passengers.
At the end he looks at me and in proper english says:
I am train staff - you don't have proper ticket. This is my seat.
For a brief second I almost believe him and then there is the comeback.
"If you are train staff - then I am the Prime Minister of India and Father Ghandi is my uncle"
Everyone laughs.
He's lost.
He gets him and takes his sweet time to leave.
I try to go back to sleep but I can't and all nite I keep wrestling with the heat and people brushing up against my feet.
8:00am: I wake up to find TWO ticket train staff and one officer staring at me - tugging at my leg.
So it is you that is sleeping here.
I flinched for a bit and thought - NO that is impossible he really can't be train staff.
Where is your ticket? Is this your seat?
I fumbly hand him my train ticket.
Is this your ticket?
Yes it is.
Accha. Okay. He checks his board and it verifys that it is my ticket - he writes something on my ticket and leaves without saying a word.
My whole train compartment is quite for 5 mins.
After life on the train goes back to normal and people start coughing, talking on their phones and stare the grass outside.
11:00am: I get to Varanasi exhausted. 3 hrs late. I check into my hotel and say hi to the family I have known for the past 6 years.
I took a 1hr nap and by 1:00pm I was on the road verifying hotels, boat rides and restaurant for the trip.
7:15pm: Board a train for Delhi and repeated the whole cycle of train life over again.

Monday, June 23, 2008

In Kolkata.

And it can only be describe in several words right now.


Exhausted and my body is slowing down from school, Canada and Nepal - I need some time off but it's not going to happen until heaven or hell gets me first....

Scared - Kalighat it shakes me everytime I am here and I haven't gone to visit yet mostly because I have had sooooooooooooo much work to take care off for the past 2 days. Weird excuse.

Tired - This trip is challenging from budget shortfalls, to logisitcal nightmare strikes and paperwork. It's sooo tiring it cool.

Impossible - Even Kolkatans are telling me that finding an apartment with the specs I want is impossible.

But I keep striving because I like challenges.

Okay off to see a nun - I like it when nuns smile.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Carbon Footprint

I have taken 6 flights in the last 3 weeks and what is weird is that I don't feel guilty about it - am I brainwashed?
Did my faith brainwash me?

I feel "called" and a sense of peace doing Nepal, India and Cambodia this year. A cool sense of peace about it and it's something that I should be doing until the end of Oct. So with that peace I dont feel guilty burning fossil fuels and being a damn crazy polluter - this makes me feel weird since in Toronto I gave up my license to stop driving, cut almost all of my possessions in my life and I live quite light...

I think something is wrong or am I just ignorant about this?

This emerged from a quick comment about gas emissions and flights - it's great to have thoughts emerge.

Friday, June 20, 2008

a bit lost - I am in Nepal right?

having one of those days in which I

:get up at 6am everymorning [that is soooo weird -- I feel like my body craves a morning beer with cornflakes]
:answer a question or start speaking in either broken Sinhala, shitty Hindi, weird tibetan and even worse broken Engrish
:keep forgetting what country I am in standing in
:mention tourist sites to visit to my friends that are in another country
:and what currency do I use again?
:and today I got lost - yeah I got lost.... it's weird for me since I can actually find places that I have been at 10 years ago from landmarks but I got lost and it felt weird.
:going to be in 5 different cities in the next 10 days and I feel exhausted thinking about it, but at the same time I love the pressure of it...
:sitting at internet cafe doing homework - yup homework - school is still going on and I envy classmate that just have a laptop, coffee and can sit in a non noisy internet cafe with screaming kids - weird frenchies to finish as assignment due a couple thousand miles away.

Okay back to homework.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Red + Green = Yellow

While we were painting the school in the rural mountains of Nepal there was a huge debate between the boys and the girls about what colour makes yellow.

The graphic designers and hunky men aka Kyle and I - decided it was Blue and Green.
The girls aka Kyle and Andrea - said that yellow was a primary colour.

This debate lasted two days and we badly needed the colour yellow to spruce up the school.

Now sitting here with Kyle and Anne Marie in Kathmandu - Kyle found this!
Now I don't know what to do - I thought I had kick ass kungfu skillz on the road. It seems that the MBA, Movie Graphic Designer, lifetime wife and Humanitarian are not smarter than a fifth grader.

Now off to plan the lovely couple's flight to Mount Everest in the morning. I love my job! I wish a little bit of funds came with it.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The crazy life of Bhakatpur

Andrea a long time friend from my toronto and I had breakfast here this morning a overlooking the square - we had some amazing conversations about travel, life and nepal. I feel quite blessed that I am able to have those moments with friends that I can see back home.

Bhakatpur is quite an awesome place to stay - the heritage, the beautiful people and amazing hotels. I would love to stay here for a month and learn Nepali + more Tibetan.

Sidenote: My life of travelling this year is quite fun, for the past couple of years I have worked with teams from all around the world and as I get older some people travel from those teams. This year I should be meeting more than a dozen people from past trips and I am soooooooooooo excited to see waz up in there life.

Okay off to mountains tomorrow to do some work in a rural schools - really excited.
I love this small team it's quite awesome.


Monday, June 09, 2008

Sleepless in Nepal

Since last week Monday I have had no less than 4-5 hrs sleep a nite. In fact with the layover in London I didn't sleep on Friday nite and found myself up for 36hrsraight. I feel like a zombie right now... + India logisitics is driving me up with wall.
The good news is that the Nepal trip is quite fun and I am here with a friend Andrea who just came back from an intense rock climbing course in Darjeeling.
It's also weird to be back in Nepal because I know Kathmandu city by heart and it;s cool that I know all the back alleys + cool locations without evening having to look at a map. I feel like I am in my travelling groove back here...
Okay off to a meeting and hopefully I will get some solid sleep tonite.


Monday, June 02, 2008

Sunday, June 01, 2008

This is the truth
A video that was shown to us in class. Well done.

In other news:
The family BBQ was yesterday I spent over 2hrs on the grill BBQ meat. I loved it.
My hand hurt like a MF and I ocassionally dropped a wing here and there it was kinda crazy, because I felt sooo guilty...

And on Friday spent some time with friends having a pint saying "see you later". It's been cool to hang out with some peeps and I am trying to eat as many non asian food items as I can.

cheers :: jam

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