saturday night was not all it had cracked up to be, so i was forced to bust out the monster under the bed; i downed approx 400ml of it and made my to the roof to chainsmoke shitty indian cigarettes under the moon.
soon after i was seated, a mosquito alighted on my arm. i shouted: your insatiable bloodlust, sir, will be your undoing!
..and i killed it. a curious washerwoman, upon hearing the commotion, came over to investigate and found a young woman in a salwar SMOKING, which is basically the same as if i was naked and dancing, burning the bible, etc. she conveyed this to me in handspeak and i shrugged and tried to tell her 'different strokes for different folks', but it turns out this particular saying doesnt translate so well into sign language and i think she left even more offended and i was unable to supress my laughter any longer.
then, today it is my great joy to announce that the Penguin has been replaced, happily, with a young italian woman who will be in india for 3 months. she is great and refreshingly unweathered by tribulations. her suitcase contained, perplexedly, approximately five towels, a disney english workbook, and a litre of disinfectant. almost nothing else.
i also find myself the instigator of small rebellions. during dinner every night, we serve the patients according to the direction of the Boss, a priest in training with whom i often have what you could call 'polite disagreements', ie, i observed one day that women should have equal rights, and he called me a feminist with a curl of his lip.
anyway, he recently decreed that Pickel (a spicy condiment of green mango, chili sauce, and oil) was not to be served with dinner any longer, as it could interfere with digestion. i told him that they eat spicy food all day, and half a teaspoon of pickel wouldnt kill anyone. but he persisted. now, everyone loves pickel; it is the small variety in the otherwise very similar meals they are served every day.
so two of the female patients and i hatched a plan (i should add, using only sign language). they summoned him and ordered 2 Ragi porridges (something they are given when they are too nauseous to eat regular dinner) to be brought from the kitchen. we knew he would be occupied for several minutes with the order, so i appointed a lookout and dashed about with the jar, serving pickel to everyone who wanted it. my moves were Secret Agent in nature (hugging the wall, leaping from behind furniture); my impetuousness was infectious. and they were all laughing and laughing. when the big Boss returned, he asked what all of the commotion was about but i smiled sweetly and said they were merely basking in the glorious opportunity of being alive. his grasp of english being tenuous, he didn't get the joke and while he was busy restoring order in the dining hall, i winked conspiratorially to the patients and departed into the night