India kicked my ass today, and it sucked. I think that score is something like India 115, Jenny 3. Or at least that is what it feels like.

Carrie tried to make me feel better after the latest debacle of a day with “but India is much bigger than you. Its not a fair fight.” Thanks for putting it into perspective dear.

I’ve had no internet, no phone at the apt for about a week now. When I tried to use the phone last week the message said that the service had been cut off due to non-payment. The management group has now taken a week to file a complaint since the Internet was not working. I suggested to them that they pay the bill and then it might magically work again. They still insisted that filing a complaint is the best way to take care of the problem. A week later, nothing!

My cell phone had no credit left and because it is not a local number no one wants to give me more talk time and “recharge” the phone. I went to the Vodaphone store to buy more credit and usually for every 100 rupees of credit you buy you should receive 86 balance credits. I went to the store because I figured that they would be the most helpful and they will be able to give me a receipt, something that I am severely lacking and need for my grant records. Well I gave the store 200 rupees and they gave me 11 credits. When I said something about it they basically ignored me till I made myself intolerable and then they basically said, ‘tough shit.’ I did what I should have just done in the first place and went to the shopkeeper I usually go to and got the proper amount of time for the amount I paid. Even the stores here fleece you right in front of your face. There is absolutely no shame and they don’t care. I can’t wait to return to the country where the customer is always right.

On my dads last day he went to the toilet museum, which was really the only thing that he wanted to do still in Delhi. This was very exciting for him as he used to design waste water treatment plants throughout Asia (although these plants did not deal with human waste, the concept was similar). As far as toilets and plumbing, India is about where Europe was in the late 1800s AFTER they figured out what they were doing wrong. It only took the black plague for Europe to figure out that open sewers and lack of proper utility planning will not bode well for them if it keeps up. About 1/3 of the population of Europe was wiped out before this realization occured. I got enough shots before I left that hopefully when the streets flood and the human waste that sits in the open sewers by the sides of the street spills out after a heavy rain it hopefully won’t affect me. One of the biggest reasons you don’t drink the water here.

After my dad left I finally was able to get back to the social life that I was just beginning to discover here. I went with some friends to TGI Fridays of all places and true to form the service was horrible and the food overpriced. I find that there seems to be an inverse relationship between the price of the food and the service. Whereas in the states the more expensive the meal the better the service, here just the opposite exists. The worst service I have received here has been some of the most expensive meals. Afterward one of the expats leaving wanted to get a drink, which turned into more time than I really wanted to spend in this smoky bar we ended up at. There was a table across from us with two guys and a girl. They had been drinking for awhile because the guys were obviously drunk and the girl looked pissed. One came over to us and basically told us in no uncertain terms that they were the Thai mafia and that we were not leaving. So we sat down and when we finally found a break in the action slipped out as inconspicuously as possible. I wish I had discovered this night life a long time ago, then again just last month there were 26 more cases of people taking taxis and ending up either murdered, raped, robed or all the above. So I guess by reducing the number of taxi rides I take I thereby reduce my chances of encountering one or all the above.

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