01.09.2013 - 13.11.2013
Those of you who know me well know that there’s nothing I hate more than a day without a purpose. So imagine, for a moment, the difficulty I’ve had being stuck in the house with no work and not even those dark corners of the internet or daytime TV to distract me from my own boredom. But no longer! For the next three weeks I’m going to back in the classroom of an NGO school, chalk in hand, irregular past participles at the ready. Resources are very low, but the kids are very enthusiastic and that’s what’s important. It’ll also be my first time teaching above primary level, which is a bit intimidating.
But back to the issue at hand; people here really seem to struggle to understand my need to be busy. Yesterday I was actually told that I should avoid doing any hard work! They seem baffled by the hours I spend surrounded by books and my trusty Rosetta Stone or attempting to work out in the middle of the floor, a 21st century Countess of Monte Cristo. Vast swathes of the rural population seem to be pretty content doing absolutely nothing. I mean, serious amounts of nothing. We all appreciate the odd pyjama day, but the streets here are filled with people who are just, well, existing. They’re not buying or selling anything, or waiting for anyone, they even seem to accumulate in large groups in order to not communicate in a strange sort of silent, isolated social situation. They don’t even look like they’re thinking about anything, just existing,
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that Indian people are lazy; I’ve been very fortunate to meet a lot of people who are extremely dedicated and driven and have achieved incredible things. I also know that there are massive issues with unemployment and labour rights, so it is highly likely that these people don’t have anything they can do. I’m not passing judgement, just observing; principally because at this particular moment in time, I too have nothing to do.