Saturday, August 01, 2009

An extended trip.

Months and months of searching has finally come to a close. Starting mid-September for about half a year, I will be a resident of New Delhi.

I applied to dozens and dozens of jobs, heard back from some, turned down a few, and was rejected by many. By July, the process had become disheartening. After having anticipated the excursion for so long, the mere possibility of not being able to go was an idea I dared not entertain. All the Krakauer books I read this summer didn't help either; they stirred my romantic sensibilities and made me long for the road, toward unknown places with unknown people.

My job is straightforward enough. I will be working for an education company called Educomp (the joint venture of Pearson in the US), designing math curriculum, lesson plans, and worksheets for K-12 level. The salary is a modest $100 (around 5000 rupees) a month, but the company offers free transportation, free breakfast and lunch, and $60-a-month accommodation. Financially, I should just come out even. India is cheap, and I'm counting on using the money that I have saved to fund my trip and more.

I'm going to India not because I got a job there; I got a job there because I wanted to go to India. As I learned with Australia, living somewhere is a vastly different experience than just stopping by, and I think the country I have chosen will have more than a few things to teach me. New Delhi promises to be an uncomfortable place in many ways. I will be probably be lonely sometimes. I'll probably puke my guts out on occasion. People will stare at me, and I won't understand the language and certain customs. There will be heavy pollution, public pissing, undrinkable water, and slums. But isn't this the point? The lack of the familiarities and amenities of home is the entire allure of going.

There is a grittier side of life that I have never lived around or observed seriously, and I consider that something of a character flaw. There's nothing like learning about what you are by learning about what you're not.

(Aside: for the upcoming birthday, book donations will be received with much appreciation. See my to-read-list. Does New Delhi have English bookstores/libraries anyway?)


Cara said...

I am so excited for you! Are you going to be able to take your bike?

Lexie said...

your trip sounds quite exciting. i hope you're able to post while you're in india - i loved reading about your australian adventures and i'm eager to read about india.

Tina said...

Have a safe trip and stay in New Delhi!

As for books...I'm not a fan of Middlesex. But if you're looking for a long, thought-provoking book to sink your teeth into, try Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Fountainhead's good too, but Atlas Shrugged's a must read.

Jacob said...

faye, i know you have a question for me dangit. now ask!

good luck on the GRE btw! :-)

-Lexie (too lazy to sign off jacob's name!)

Lexie said...

yeppppppp my "punk rock" started with blink 182 and green day and then matured into ramones, operation ivy, rancid, etc. i went round and round with my mother alll the time about my music, my clothes, etc. nothing too crazy.

i will tell him to get right on that.

Jacob said...

We can't move to Australia because the skin heads would kill me for taking their jobs.

Jenny said...

Hi Faye,
It's Jenny here, from

I'm so glad you did stumble upon our blog via Freakanomics, and we are very grateful to you for making a donation. Maybe you can visit the school sometime.

I got curious about you moving to Delhi, so I followed you here. All bookstores are in English, with just a few books in Hindi - if you can believe it. The libraries aren't worth mentioning.

How exciting for you and very brave.

Do shoot us an e-mail if you have any questions. We also have a bunch of friends still there, so let us know if you need any introductions. If you haven't already, you really ought to join this group:

It's super useful.

take care,