Daily Archives: August 6, 2006

The country

Unfortunately, posting to my blog is pretty low on my list of priorities. Anyhow, I’ve taken some travel notes on my Treo that I’m now putting online. Enjoy!

Events of July 2nd 2006.

I got to see the Indian countryside. From Pune to Aurangabad to Ajanta there is a progression from city to county. Buildings become sparser, the land more open, more cows. Also, as we move towards smaller villages, usage of the Latin alphabet becomes less frequent and Devanagari soon takes over. Ditto for English/Hindi usage vs Marathi. One can survive pretty well with English and Hindi in Pune but in the country people speak mostly Marathi. Also, the level of technological sophistication decreases dramatically as you move away from the city: things are done manually or with animal power.

We stopped in a village to try to get food. Us whiteys wandering the streets and looking for a food store were a source of entertainment for the locals. As we were looking for a good store to buy food, we were soon surrounded by our “groupies”.

On the way out of the Ajanta park, there is a small shopping area. There I bought things for my wife. I must say it was quite harrowing. The sellers are rather aggressive. Thinking back about it I realize that being surrounded by a throng of people made me lose my situational awareness. It would have been easy for someone to steal my stuff or substitute and item for another.

Strange thing: during our nights in Aurangabad I heard what sounds like a pack of roaming stray dogs. There seem to be one leader howling powerfully and while the rest of the group laments. It’s very eerie… like some sort of dog voice recital.

On the road I’ve noticed a number of concrete buildings that had only their ground floor finished. The beams necessary to build the next floor had been started but left there unfinished. I have no clue why it is done that way. Did they run out of money during construction or is it planned ahead that way for future expansion? It is so common that the latter option seems more likely.