June 24, 2004


Some of you have been wondering what ever happened with me playing badminton. Well, I actually went to the gym on Monday to play badminton, and I had my ass handed to me by the members of the IITK badminton team (they didn't tell me that they were on the team until after we finished playing). I haven't played since then because my right wrist (the one I broke in April) was really hurting afterwards, so unfortunately, it seems like it still isn't quite healed and so I've decided to rest it. But still, "How are these guys so good at badminton?" I wondered. And then it dawned on me:

Badminton Practice

These guys have a had a lot of practice.

Posted by Michael at 05:41 AM | Comments (2)

June 15, 2004

Slippery When Wet

Here at IITK, they put a lot of effort into making sure the campus looks prim. Every day, I see people mopping the walkways, trimming the grass, pruning the hedges, etc. Coming from a place like MIT where there is little greenery at all and aesthetics are a low priority, this is a rather nice change.

However, one of the side effects of all this cleaning is the most advanced piece of technology that I have seen at IITK to date: the frictionless sidewalk. I don't know how they do it, but when it rains and the walk gets wet here, it's nearly impossible to walk on -- you can't help but glide back and forth across it. While I was stumbling along this pedestrian rodeo yesterday, bicycles and mopeds drove by, and I was just waiting for one of them to wipe out right into me.

I haven't tested this yet, but I'm pretty sure that if I got my heading set correctly, stood flatfooted with my feet shoulder width apart on the wet sidewalk, and let out one decently sized fart, I could propel myself all the way from my lab to the visitor's hostel. Guess I'll have to find some beans...

Posted by Michael at 09:36 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2004


For those of you who check my blog regularly, you may have noticed the new link to Kanpur weather on the right sidebar. As you can see, this looks to be an exciting ten days of unbearable heat in the forms of both sun and lightning:


Posted by Michael at 01:27 AM | Comments (2)

June 11, 2004

Crickets Lay Siege to My Room

So last night the crickets laid siege to my room. Because I still haven't recovered from jet lag, I woke up from my 2pm nap around midnight. When I tried to leave my room to get some purified water, I discovered a swarm of crickets knocking at my door, trying to get in. I slammed the door shut, and the few who got through were quickly introduced to the IITK directory book which has now registered at least twenty kills since I arrived here on Tuesday. (To quote Jack Handy, "Probably the earliest flyswatters were nothing more than some sort of striking surface attached to the end of a long stick.")

I tried turning the lights out for awhile to see if the crickets would lose interest in my room, but they refused to relent. I decided that they needed to be introduced to my good friend, Mr. Bucket, which I filled with water and then used to douse the little buggers. Thus, I was now free to leave my room; however, apparently they also made an affront on my left flank, invading the bathroom.

Due to the nature of random walks, a couple of them decided to drown themselves in the toilet (the little bastards don't flush, either) whereas the others decided to do a little song and dance where I shower. Feeling defeated, I decided to lock the door to my bathroom and wait until they adopted the kamikaze tendencies of their erstwhile brethren.

Anybody want to come and visit me?

Posted by Michael at 01:42 AM | Comments (0)

June 09, 2004

My Room

My room in the guest hostel was much better than I expected (though I admit that my expectations were pretty low). The first thing that I checked out when I walked in was the bed. It looked pretty comfortable, but when I bounded onto it, I discovered that it had as much give as a wrought iron park bench. Stellar.

Then I checked out the bathroom. To my surprise, there was toilet paper and an ordinary Western toilet (thus far, my room is the only place on campus that I have discovered with such amenities -- I carry TP around with me now).

There was also a showerhead in the bathroom; however, when I turned it on, I was only able to get between one and three streams of water (maybe four if I really jacked up the pressure). But next to the shower were a bucket and a cup, so I filled the bucket using a tap from the wall and dumped cups of water all over me in order to wash. Since it was warm outside, taking a hot shower wasnít really necessary, so this worked pretty well.

But then the toilet only flushed after the first time that I used it. This concerned me, so I decided to look under the hood. Apparently there was no water in the thing because each flush completely drains the tank, so I have to refill it upon each use. Iím growing pretty attached to this bucket, let me tell you.

I tried not to pack too many clothes for this trip, so everything fits easily into my closet. It was just a little depressing that the rod fell down after I put my first hanger on it. I think that Iíve balanced it out so that it stays put nowÖ

Most importantly, yes, my room has air conditioning and a ceiling fan! (It also has electrical outlets that didnít blow out my iPod when I plugged it into the international adapter that I bought at BestBuy.) There is also a small terrace, three chairs, and a desk. The only things that Iím missing here at the Kampur Ritz are a clock radio and a Bible in the nightstand drawer. I guess not even the Gideons could make it all the way to Kampur.

Posted by Michael at 03:41 PM | Comments (2)