19 January 2006

no scratching

Ruth has arrived as you will see from her blog here. We managed to keep her awake until late in the evening to get a decent night's sleep. The pace has slowed quite a bit in the interim for me, as I'm not getting up at 6:30 to depart for a site at 8 am. Feels like cheating a bit. I keep meeting interesting India travelers at the guest house; last night we had a conversation about being a "wife" and feeling worthless with the guest house owner Ushi (she and her husband run it), a young woman from London and an older woman from Sydney. Ushi was the one that started the discussion, despite the fact that she seems to "run" the GH as much as her husband Avnish, if not more. The woman from Sydney agreed with Ushi and I about the pressures and the way you get painted into a corner--suddenly you're the one cooking all the time, or suddenly you're the one staying home with the kids because it's "easier" or you're the one decorating the living room because you're interested in it--and yet you then fall into these easy norms that add additional restrictions to your movements and identity. It was very interesting. The young woman from London said her male friends were just as interested in cooking and entertaining as she is, but admitted that things would likely change once folks had partnered off....Such is the discussion in the guest house these days.

I'm off to visit the Belgian embassy on the invitation of the ambassador (very posh, no?) from whom I asked permission to photograph the building. More reports to come.

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