June 17, 2004

I Leave Fake India

So today was by far and away my most exciting day yet in India for the following three reasons:

(1) I left campus for the first time today. After spending two days getting my IITK id card (which required the help of 4 IITK students to communicate between the administrative staff and me -- thanks guys!), I found out that I needed to get an id photo taken for my id for the gym. Apparently I could get my picture taken someplace just outside the gates of IITK, so I figured that I would just walk over there, get the photo, and come back.

However all of my senses were set to DEFCON 1 once I hit the streets of Kanpur. Seriously, I it was like I was Judy Garland and I had just stepped into Technicolor for the first time (except it didn't go nearly as well with The Dark Side of the Moon). Cows, carts -- just craziness everywhere! I only had to travel about 50 meters from the gate to get to the photo place, but those 50 meters were something else, let me tell you. I wanted to explore more, but it was raining and I was in my gym clothes, so I decided to defer the full exploration until this weekend. So if you want details of Kanpur, stay tuned.

(2) I went to the gym for the first time today. The guy who I was supposed to give all of the paperwork to wasn't there, but that also meant that there was no one to stop me from going in and using the equipment, either. As expected, the gym wasn't very fancy (the benches are mostly wooden without any padding), but I'm not a hardcore gym guy, so it's more than enough for me. But the exciting parts of the gym were:

(2a) After a semester of some dedicated imbibing, I'm back down to my normal weight (at least according to the scale at the gym, which is the only scale I've got here). Looking in the mirror, I didn't think that I looked much thinner, but then I remembered that even at my normal weight, I'm not really what you'd call "slim." (FYI, you can convert from kilograms to pounds by googling "N kg to pounds" where N is the number of kilos you want to convert.)

(2b) I found two indoor badminton courts with people playing on them! Everyone seemed pretty into his game, so I didn't have a chance to jump in, but I'm going to ask around and see if I can find a group of people who will let me play with them. Since the rain and the traffic around here don't make running the safest form of aerobic exercise, I'm really excited about playing badminton. The people I saw playing were pretty good, but I'm pretty sure that I could hold my own with them after playing for a week or so -- I'm sure my high school phys ed teacher Mrs. Florek would be proud!

(3) When I got back from the gym to take a shower, I swear a cricket jumped out of my bellybutton. (Come on, you knew that at least one of the three things would have to do with crickets. Or bellybuttons.)

Posted by Michael at June 17, 2004 11:18 AM

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