Without further ado, my Study-Abroad-India-2010-No-ReGreTzZz Bucket List…
1. Visit the Taj Mahal. Obviously. BREAKING NEWS: I’m Agra-bound in T minus two hours!
2. Buy (and bargain for) some serious Rajasthani bling. Jaipur is a gold mine of gorgeous jewelry, and the world’s largest market for cutting and polishing stones. I’m thinking I might need an advance on my Christmas money…
3. Have a conversation with a stranger in Hindi. I can spurt a couple of useful phrases (Mai thik hu./I am fine. Mera nam Dede hai./ My name is Dede. Mai Amerika se hu./I am from America. Jao./Go away. Nahi/No. Nahi! Nahi!/ Seriously, no! and recently, some good ol’ fashioned “abuse” language–courtesy of dear Bulbul–that I dare not transcribe) When I can say, “I don’t want your stupid elephant figurine, especially for 500 freakin’ rupees, and stop undressing me with your eyes for the love of Shiva,” mission = accomplished.
4. Watch a Bollywood blockbuster at a local “talkie.” Girl’s gotta get her four-hour-long Shahrukh fix somehow.
Put my doodling skills to the test and 6. learn the henna-desinging art of mehndi.
8. Get an Ayurvedic massage. But before I can lie stark-naked at the mercy of some strange Indian lady’s indiscriminate hands and aromatic oils, I’ll have to 9. conquer my fear of eyebrow threading first.
10. Rock a sari. And I mean rock, not wear.
11. Explore some classic and contemporary Indian lit. Currently reading Arundhati Roy’s poetry-cum-prose in God of Small Things.
12. Watch a professional cricket match and finally, figure out what the hype’s all about. (scroll down to the last paragraph of this article.)
Get my non-veg on and 13. chow some tandoori chicken. And considering my tragically mediocre Indian meat-eating experiences thus far, this task only counts as completed if the butchered bird rivals my auntie’s drowl-inducing Chinese New Year recipe.
And #14 on would have been to make it on the front page of our Hindi-language local daily, like my friends Ellen and Sam here.
But in a city where meeting a real, live white girl is the American equivalent of–oh, say–this, I think I upped the ante when a TV news reporter interviewed me at Ganesh-ji’s bday festival a couple weeks ago. Celeb. status = achieved.
Here’s the proof:
So finally, I refuse to leave this country until my host momma teaches me how to rev. 14. make her panacean masala chai and perfectly round chappatis.
Expect a blog entry as I cross each item off my list, beginning Monday after my Agra trip!