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June 24, 2008 / calebdresser

Interior decoration and other mutterings

I’ve pretty much given up on my handwritten journal for now, since I have a laptop and can type a lot faster than I can write by hand. I’ll pick it up again when I’m traveling, but for now, its a lot easier to put down each experience on my computer in the comfort of my armchair at home. I write in the evenings and then upload in the morning when I can get a few minutes on the lab’s flickering desktop. Of course, this means some of the things that go up here that may not be terribly interesting  – they’re just snapshots I want to record for myself and anyone who’s interested.


For the mothers out there: My new family here is wonderful. They are a family of five: a son named Kushagra in engineering college here in Modipuram and two slightly older daughters who are in IT outside New Delhi. Mr. Mittal is a professor of Commerce at a university in Meerut, and Mrs. Mittal is a full-time housewife, though she has a master’s degree and was a teacher for some years. All five speak some English, which is a tremendous help, though it can still be difficult to understand one another at times.


My sleeping room here is now sporting a sharp new bed with a proper mattress rather than the folded blanket that was my only padding over the boards up till now. Seems everywhere I go, I spend the first couple weeks in my new home sleeping on hard surfaces, so if I ever marry it will have to be to a remarkably understanding woman… They also found an air-cooler that has me thinking of Ben Franklin, a cobbled-together affair that involves a fan, a tub of water, metal gratings, and some fibrous web of wicking material that is always moist to touch. I’m still looking for the gnomes that keep the thing running, though it won’t be running far, considering it must weigh sixty pounds and is about knee-high on an elephant. Its so big that rather than put it in a window or even in the room, it is simply sitting on the ground just outside double doors, blowing right through the screen! Tomorrow the electrician comes to fix the wiring in my apartment, but they’ve already fixed the light in the bathroom, so now I don’t have to hold a flashlight in my teeth while pouring cups of water over myself to bathe.




An interior shot of my rooms here, looking from the storage area through the couch/hallway and into the well-ventilated, screened sleeping room. Bathroom is on the right. Note the sweet floor and the bare wiring – don’t worry, mom, this should be getting repaired fairly soon 😛



Leave a Comment
  1. Leigh / Jun 24 2008 11:09 pm

    I know you have never been much for actual beds, but I am glad to see that you are settling in to your new home. Hopefully your research will pick-up, or you will slow down, either way. 🙂 i love the blog, as usual. -lk

  2. Amy / Jun 25 2008 4:46 am

    Lovely home and fun-sounding family! And not only mothers care about that (either that or I’m headed that way unbenownst to me).
    Good luck laying down some roots!

  3. bengolas / Jun 25 2008 6:03 am

    I think that our experiences have been very similar in many ways. The open wiring reminds me of my four walls + roof in Uganda. (I’m hesitant to say house.) I was just writing in my journal yesterday that each day can go from annoyingly slow to wildly fast. We will definitely both be taking away some very important lessons from our experiences.

    Also, I think that the elephant should be a new standard unit of measurement. The only question is whether we use the African or Indian.

  4. Margaret McCandless / Jun 26 2008 1:53 pm

    The Elephant as a standard unit – Yes!
    As a measurement of height: One elephant; knee high to an elephant …
    As a measurement of mass: Three elephants on the moon have the same mass there as those very three have when in India or in Uganda.
    As a measurement of solemnity: Two elephants walk into a bar, and meet up with that cricket named Harvey….
    Can we read a weblog by you, Ben?

  5. Becky / Jun 26 2008 2:04 pm

    It should be the smaller Indian elephant, as it is easier to talk about multiple elephants than divisions of them. 1 3/4 elephants… which quarters? Like the legs, head, neck, and tail, but no body? How does one divide an elephant?

  6. bengolas / Jun 27 2008 6:27 am

    I vote the African because they’d win against the Indian in a fight. 😛

    How does one divide an elephant? First make sure it’s not concious, or you’re asking for a world of trouble.

  7. Margaret McCandless / Jun 28 2008 2:03 am

    Mmm, how about the Indian elephant as the standard unit, the IE, and variously young elephants for the fractions, such as a .5IE or a nine-tenths IE. Then maybe Five Indian Elephants equals Three African Elephants (or whatever the facts are), thus 5IE=3AE, for the larger measurements.
    And if you ask elephants themselves to multiply, would they stick with the times tables or giggle?
    But if you really have to divide an elephant, I imagine we can just take turns and share.

  8. calebdresser / Jun 28 2008 8:29 am

    and THAT is a fairly good summary of my family! anyone with questions about why i am the way i am need look no further. hehe. i think the puns come from my mother’s father’s side…

  9. Home Interior Decor / May 5 2010 4:11 pm

    I love your journal on The Tense Present

    What I truly like is your statement on how families are.

    I’m looking forward to seeing more of your great postings.

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