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Read some thoughts on issues affecting daily life and life around our world. Read and join in the conversation. What moves you? How do you respond to the issues we face today?

the real india?

i hope you visit india someday. and i hope you love it. and i hope you leave, still loving it. i'm reaching a point where i wonder if my formerly rosy perspective is redeemable. 2+ years in this emerging market has made me cynical.
we were in gulmarg, kashmir this past weekend and it was a respite from the pollution, from the touts, from the traffic, from the deception, from the ad hoc-ness. we returned monday afternoon, descending through a thick blanket of brown. we purchased a pre-paid taxi voucher inside the airport and proceeded to wait outside in the very long line. the taxis were not queuing; instead, they were waiting down the street for permission to queue. when we pushed our way to the front and demanded a taxi assignment, the taxi drivers refused to take us because our proximity to the airport meant they would not earn much money on the trip. my boyfriend stopped one taxi by blocking it with his body while i hopped in and dragged my bag inside. the taxi driver nearly refused to drive until i began shouting at him. once we arrived home, i had cooled off a bit and gave him a 12% tip (tips are still uncustomary). he began arguing that the tip was insufficient. we hauled our bags out and went inside.
that's one example of how india has gotten to me. when we pointed out the inefficiency and unfairness of the taxi system, we were targeted as trouble makers. when i feel moved to be kind (tip), it rarely suffices. when i agree to help out (ballet performance), the other party doesn't honor their word. when i want to stop fake drugs, the government officials deny the problem. when i'm walking down the street, unknown men approach me and consider me rude when i don't respond.
i consider it God's grace that i'll be in the US for awhile. i pray for an attitude of hope and grace.


today i decided to focus, to not get distracted, and to not multi-task. i want to test the theory that multi-tasking is actually LESS efficient. i reason, "i can be DOING something while waiting for this ppt to open," and then i end up on my friend's blog when the ppt opened minutes ago. living a 5S life may not be so pleasant for those around me and i'm not striving to achieve that. i do wonder, however, if the frenetic, multi-tasking lives we have become accustomed to living inform the exorbitantly stressful lives we experience.
i've been thinking about stress a lot lately. i recognize that i've become stressed out. i listened to a podcast from "speaking of faith" defining stress as a natural, beneficial response to danger. prolonged periods of stress, however, weaken our immune system which may result in illness. after trying shorter work days, prayer & meditation, ballet, getting outside, taking quiet evenings for myself, and removing myself from stressful situations, i'm still coming up short. i know Jesus had a way through this. i also think He dealt with it, actually going through and not around it. i'm looking forward to time in the US to explore this more and to "go offline."
and with that, time to return to my ppt (well, maybe after i write a quick FB message).