Should I Namaste or Should I Go

My time in Hyderabad ends on a bittersweet note. I was exhausted and homesick this week. On Wednesday I spent several hours trying to get help for an injured street dog, to no avail. The language barrier proved too great, but it’s going to haunt me for a while. A poor puppy had both his hind legs broken and was dragging them across the ground. I will share one of the less pitiable photos here; . And in that neighborhood many of the shopkeepers had out water and table scraps for the strays.

At the Kheyti office in Turkapally, I said my goodbyes to DonDon (below), and implored the staff to make sure he remains well watered and fed.

Update on 5/12: It is strange to be home already. At the Hyderabad airport I finally found a fridge magnet with a picture of Charminar; I’m all for chachkes but I was disappointed by the proliferation of Taj Mahal merch-ceramics, glass sculptures, t-shirts, etc-as if that were the only noteworthy symbol in all of India. Imagine travelling to Chicago and all you could find at the gift shops were effigies of the Empire State Building. Hyderabad and environs have no shortage of beautiful and authentic iconography.

I will have to return; there was so much left undone. The two-story tandoori restaurant across from Alankrita Resorts that looked so inviting on my way home each day. The dog park on the other side of Hussain Sagar Lake. The final 45 minutes of 2.0. My brain is very mushy right now.

It is imperative that I travel again soon so that this blog has a motivation to exist.

Final shout-out to the Srinivasan family. For two weeks you made me feel like I was Miss Hyderabad 2014, at least when I bought groceries.



Dakota Escapes the Capital, and a Really Bad Day

First the bad day, two weeks ago I:

  • got fired (which I expected, and would have quit but figured I’d ride the money train to shame)
  • got fired again, kind of sort of, from a different job, in a strange way, more like put on probation but indefinitely, so it was like they were expecting me to quit? But if they wanted me to quit why didn’t they just fire me?
  • got hit by a car while riding my bike and so was
  • late to work for the job I’d just been quasi-fired from.
  • Lost my wallet
  • Broke my phone
  • Went to the hospital with no wallet and no phone and was promptly
  • Harassed by the trauma team who have apparently never treated an anxious person or, more curiously, never taken an x-ray from a patient whose arm is broken or in pain.
  • Left to die and rot away on a hospital bed because………
  • Arrived back home at 1 am, six hours after I’d checked in.
  • Rang a doorbell to be let in (more on this later)
  • Finally resolved to sleep next to the door of the apartment until my housemate arrived home from work to let me in.

Not one to let a horrible day rest in peace, the ramifications of this shit show extended into the following week.

Little did I know that my attempts to avoid sleeping out on the street would lead to exactly that, as the sweet old lady in apartment 1 ran into me in the laundry room the very next day. Having rediscovered my wallet, sans a few items, I offered to pay cash for using her laundry card. This triggered memories deep within of the past Friday and the sweet old lady threatened to report me, ran me out of the laundry room, and then did report me to the landlord, who threatened to evict everyone if the “strange man” hadn’t left the apartment ASAP.

And I do admit, I am a strange man! But I do really wish, if I am to keep getting fired or evicted or thrown into unpleasant misadventures that the impetus be something more grand and notorious than spilling coffee, losing my keys, asking to borrow/exchange $3, looking awkward, etc etc.

Or at least the sex would be stranger.

Lately I’ve been feeling like a walking plague. Almost nothing I leave behind will have ended cleanly. At the job I was half-fired for that I subsequently had to resign from, the manager chewed me out today for losing the room key. A key which I had up until Friday.

I finally got a prescription for new medicine on Friday, lost that over the weekend, was able to get the prescription again, only to find out from a comatose pharmacy staff that my health card was being rejected.

No, DC is a miserable city and my time here ends miserably. Over the week I said goodbye to friends and encouraged them to visit me in prison. The only thing left to do is apologize to people who don’t deserve it, so without further ado:

Javier, I’m sorry I spilled your coffee. And I’m sorry I didn’t mop the floor the way you wanted. And I’m sorry for training at another job which I told you I had when you hired me so I’m not sure why that upset you but I’m sorry for that too.

Sarah, I’m sorry for living next door and making it awkward for you and your drug dealing boyfriend to fight and deal drugs. I’m sorry for judging you and for not coming to you first when I asked for him to stop dealing drugs. I’m just sorry about that living situation in general.

Lady in Apartment 1, I’m sorry I woke you up at one in the morning and I’m sorry for being a subletter not an official tenant and I’m sorry to disturb you with my strange request of $3 cash for a laundry card.

Girl from the Internet, I’m sorry we never met in person but I was starting to become suspicious about how someone who works at a restaurant part time can travel and visit 40 baseball games around the country a year. 

Aranza, I’m sorry that I took away your phone and locked it in the teacher’s lounge but also you should apologize for writing “profesor esta mierda” on that piece of paper because, first of all, that’s really not nice, and second of all it really had nothing to do with the question I was asking.

Marcie, I’m sorry for locking the bedroom on my way out and also for leaving shit in the broken toilet. However, in fairness, you did decline an interest in fixing utilities or turning on the A/C or the lights or not being a scary crazy dog lady. Please accept the towels and piano bench I left behind as recompense. 

I feel better already! Meh.