Update of Life in General

It’s been too long since I’ve written on my blog. I apologize. Too many things, which are not really excuses, have got in the way.

Since I don’t know where else to start, I’m going to bullet point my life for the last few months.

1. I was going to write a blog post on this same topic two weeks ago. As I was hitting post on tumblr, my hard drive crashed, giving me the blue screen of death. I had to get a new hard drive for my laptop, which has convinced me that I need a new computer.

2. At the end of February, I got Typhoid, which effectively knocked me out for a month. It was pretty horrible. Cyclical fevers, once every five days. The fever usually came in the afternoon, on feb 23, 28, and mar 5. Same symptoms each time—fever, weakness, loss of appetite and headache. The first time Probably contracted in Sri Lanka since I left to India on the 24th and had the first symptoms on the 23rd. Luckily I was with a doctor: Sheela’s mother, during all of this, and had good care at he hospital. After the treatment I felt nauseous for weeks.

3. Had food poisoning too, while I had Typoid, from some fruit custard in Hyderabad. Projectile vomit everywhere on the street. Luckily, I had just got off the back of the policeman’s motorcycle from whom I had been hitching a ride (hitchhiking is accepted as a form of transport in India).

4. In the meantime, I’ve been back at work at Borderlands, which is incredibly ineffectual. Something new is always going wrong with the company and the office. For instance, yesterday we ran out of drinking water, which baffles me. How do you run out of water in an office? The water company refuses to come and give us water. Our phone lines also don’t work, and each telephone company says its the other company’s fault so we go in circles going nowhere. Additionally, we apparently had a server at one point, but that no longer works—it would have been helpful to have a server to share files. The managing director of the company is constantly distracted or never in the office. Nevertheless, we have new webdesigners so we will hopefully have a new website! (If our managing director’s design sense from the 1980s doesn’t get in the way of it.)

5. I GOT A FULBRIGHT! … to research the Early Press in India and the Bengal Renaissance! I’m incredibly thrilled. I have a pre-departure orientation in June (12-16th) in D.C. and I leave for Calcutta in late July/early August. My grant will last for at least 9 months, and I am awaiting news on a Critical Language Enhancement Award, which will allow me to study Bangla for an additional three months in Kolkata. In total, my grant will last from August 2013 – August 2014. Fulbright will be the culmination of my research at the British Library and at Rochester into British Colonial Newspapers.

6. Fulbright U.S. State department is paying for my flight back to the US from Sri Lanka. Hell yeah!

7. My friends are still getting harassed. The latest involves our teacher friends in Matara, as well as some Jesuit priest trainee who thinks it is acceptable to text one my friends love messages and threaten suicide if she doesn’t love him back, and to do so despite repeatedly being told to BACK off.

8. End of May I’m done with Borderlands. YES!

9. Travel & plans. Sheela and I have been doing more traveling. We went down the Matara again to visit J and A, and we went up to Negobo where we had an aborted plan to rent a scooter. Negombo is a hell hole. Avoid at all costs. We also traveled to Trnco and spent an enjoyable weekend with lots of friends at S and S’s place. Snorkeling among the coral and fish at pidgeon island is something I’m not likely to forget—especially the sunburns. The bus ride on the way back was unreal—elephants munching on greens on the side of the road at dusk. Great stuff. This weekend Sheela and I (likely also a few friends) will be visiting K in Mediwachiya. We’ll likely also travel to Mullativu, where the war ended. While I don’t condone war tourism, I do think visiting this area will give me a different sense of life in Sri Lanka and is important to better understand Sri Lanka. Week after that, we plan on going to Jaffna, the Tamil cultural hub of the north. In June, when N comes we’ll be going to Ella and Sigiriya.

10. There’s much much more. But I’ll reserve all for new blog posts. In the meantime, I’ll be praying for cold and monsoons.