#3, India, Living in Bangalore, Oct. 11, 1997

Dear Everybody,

I’ve got good news and bad news:

The good news is:
*I just had a 21 oz Kingfisher Indian beer and I’m all mellowed out,
*I finally have a comfortable davenport to sit on—it certainly beats the upside down plastic pail,
*The sun is shining—beautiful weather,
*I had such a good masala dosa this morning at the stand-up place.

The bad news is:
*My sofa and two chairs arrived last night, NOT in the fabric that I selected, but in a semi-hideous gray,
*When I counted my 10,000-rupee packet (they’re stapled at the bank) it was 35 notes short ($100),
*My ‘boy’ came this morning, bringing the plumber to discuss hooking up my washer, and then disappeared before doing any work,
*My street is noisy—lots of tooting horns and dogs howling in the night.

The good news is:
*My street is lively—an ox cart just went by with 6-ft wooden wheels and bells on the oxen horns,
*I have now received most of my furniture,
*I am playing Mozart on my newly rented CD player with good speakers (well pretty good),
*My new bedroom curtains exactly match the walls.

The bad news is:
*My furniture was promised on Monday, and then on Tues.—Wed.—Thurs—it came Friday night,
*The sound on my TV is abominable—it comes out of the back of the set and I can’t understand the words,
*A big cockroach came out of a sink yesterday,
*My landlady is the most money-grubbing person I have ever known.

The good news is:
*I managed to connect the TV to the CD player speakers—pretty good sound,
*I bought some ‘HIT’ and got rid of the cockroaches (and probably caused cancer),
*I CHANGED $700 at Thomas Cook and insisted on counting every bill (249 of them)—it was OK,
*Cashews are very cheap and good here—I bought some yesterday and ate them!

The bad news is:
*When I go to the hotel to pick up my email and phonemail, they act like I’m a criminal,
*My dining room chairs look stupid and are horribly uncomfortable,
*My steam iron spit rust on my new curtains,
*I have been promised the book of instructions on my phone/fax for four days.

The good news is:
*The book of instructions just came so a fax should work,
*My Abu Dhabi project will begin shortly,
*While only working one day out of three, my ‘boy’ did good work, and is good-looking, besides,
*Mozart really is good, isn’t he?!

The bad news is:
*It looked like I couldn’t get my curtains on the rods,
*The autorickshaws are on strike,
*The milk separates into cream and skim like in the old days,
*And I’m not sure that it’s pasteurized unless ‘toned milk’ means that.

The good news is:
*Yes, I could—I just had to unscrew those little things on the ends,
*I got a car with driver for two hours for $6,
*I’m getting a daily paper delivered to read while I have my morning tea,
*The milk tastes like it did when I was a kid living on the farm.

The bad news is:
*There’s no way the soap will stay in the soap dish in the shower,
*The fat roll of toilet paper that I bought won’t quite fit in the holder,
*I still haven’t got phone international capabilities, although you can call/fax me,
*There’s noisy construction going on next door.

The good news is:
*I now have a washing machine,
*The plumber will connect it in one of the bathrooms,
*He will only charge about $4.50 for connecting it, or so he said,
*I now also have a great big desk.

Well, what do you think? Is it good or bad?


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