Skip to main content

One More Big Day

So, as far as I can tell, the Telenganu people have decided that the best way to show they deserve independent statehood from the rest of Andra Pradesh is to hold rallies and strikes every now and then. They get a bunch of students together, they make shopkeepers close down, they get the police all riled up, they cause traffic jams. But they're very nice about announcing these actions several days ahead of time so you can run out to get groceries before the bandh (strike) and plan your day around avoiding the traffic jam areas. It was exciting and felt so revolutionary when we first got here. Now it's more ho-hum, making arrangements for our housekeeper to take an auto to work because the bus isn't running through her neighborhood, but otherwise business as usual for me. There are always some unfortunate protesters who have run-ins with the police, but it's always foggy as to who was in the wrong in those situations.

For a couple of weeks rumors have been floating around about a Million Telenganu March, inspired by the protests in Egypt. Tomorrow is supposed to be the big day and it's supposed to be the final protest before the statehood decision is made (I think). I don't think they have a million people, but what they apparently don't have is permission to hold a march or rally. The police seem to think they need permission. The protesters seem to think that they don't if they promise to remain peaceful. And student exams are tomorrow so a parents' group has pressured the march organizers to hold the rally in the afternoon, after exams are finished.

I'm curious to see what happens. Either it will fizzle out and be just another day on the protest lines here, or it will be a day of massive protester vs. police clashes and we'll make CNN as the latest regional hot spot.

To all parents and other concerned readers who panic at the phrase "Egypt-inspired": We live no where near the march site and we are staying home all day watching events unfold online. (And hoping the electricity doesn't go out while we run our air conditioner, because afternoon temps are already reaching 100 degrees and it's barely the start of the hot season.)


Popular posts from this blog

The Acid Bug

My blog will now join the short list of results that pop up when you search for "nairobi fly, acid bug" on Google. Mike was hit by one over the weekend.
The Nairobi fly is a small beetle that does not bite or sting, but based on its nickname acid bug, guess what it does? The insides of the bug are toxic, and if you smack it against your skin the juices cause a burning rash. They are common throughout East and Central Africa, and it's the season for them here in Burundi. We think Mike and his friend rode through a swarm of them on their bikes over the weekend, because his friend has some burn spots, too, and the spots appeared on both of them after they returned from the ride.
We've heard of two remedies to soothe the burning, but Mike hasn't tried either yet. One is to use toothpaste, the old-school white kind, and the other is to cut a potato and rub it on the burn area. Both the toothpaste and the potato are supposed to draw out the acid. If you wash the area imm…

What Goes Through My Head When I Lock My Door

When I'm alone in our apartment, or alone with Muffin, I lock the deadbolt, day and night. Here is my thought process:

I'm walking down the hallway toward my door. I nod "Hello" in a neighborly way to a man also walking down the hall. I enter my apartment (having had my key ready since I first got into the elevator because women are conditioned from an early age not to be fumbling for their keys in an area where the distraction of doing so might make them vulnerable to an attack) and close the door. I put my hand on the deadbolt but I don't turn it right away.

What if the guy who just walked by thinks I'm locking it because I'm afraid of him? 

It's not about him specifically, though, it's about being a woman alone in an apartment building. 

So what if he's offended? 

It's none of his business if I lock my door or not, unless he was planning to enter the apartment, in which case fuck him, I did the right thing by locking the door.

I'm a nar…

Book Review: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

After you've read something, please consider leaving a line or two on Goodreads and Amazon. The authors appreciate it!

Here's my review as it appears on Goodreads.

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked this book in the beginning. I grew up in an old haunted house in New England, yet I'm always a skeptic. (99% of supernatural activity ends up being the wind or a cat — and cats are creepy as hell.) I liked reading the stories behind the stories, whether they debunked the legends or gave credence to them. I’ve always been interested in history and nonfiction and ghost stories are the old “fake news.” Entertaining but you shouldn’t necessarily take them at face value. As the book went on, I found the stories themselves no less interesting but the format became tedious.

A couple of the stories really stood out to me. There are many cases of ghost stories being used to control a narrative that makes people feel sa…