Well, I've been here for four days now, and it's still hard to wrap my mind around that fact. It is both exciting and disturbing to revisit certain childhood places, now through the eyes of an adult. I'm not sure why - perhaps it's the fact that the passage of time becomes all the more felt. The city has changed considerably - it's now very much oriented towards presenting tourists with an exoticized, idealized version of the Middle East. It was like that when I was here, but it's like I've entered a world where very extreme polarities are mixing together without problem. Last night, my cousins and I went to a high-end hotel for some drinks, and it was like being an entirely different country altogether. All the services were being performed by migrant workers, and it was uncomfortable being in the place of a privileged traveler. I guess taking South Asian Studies and Women and Gender Studies courses is the reason why - it's a very strange feeling. I suppose this experience isn't any different than one I would have in any other country which depends heavily on Western/European interest. Anyways, I'm still having a wonderful time; it's not like I've been trying to behave like a know-it-all Canadian university student eager to deconstruct everything and catch politically incorrect statements. Ugh.
The heat is so intense that it's virtually impossible to walk outside in the daytime: try it, and you'll be drenched within minutes (read: seconds). We spend mornings and afternoons inside, and when the evening comes around, that is when we venture outside. Nighttime is only somewhat better in this regard, although the humidity is just as lethal. Morning hours (from around midnight to six a.m.) are the best times to take strolls or go running. My family is having a great time bonding, and a wedding always creates an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation. We've been eating out every night (the food is ridiculously cheap here), and so far I've had fantastic Gujurati, Lebanese and Pakistani dishes. It's good enough to make you want to move here. For the rest of the time, I've been sight-seeing (my camera SD cards are filling up everyday), shopping (oh dear), eating (of course) and trying to get LSAT preparation squeezed into whatever hours are left.
I have to apologize for my awful Benicio Del Toro write-up; it was done hurriedly in a packed internet cafe at two in the morning. I will try to post another one in the next day or so, but if not, please forgive me. I am too busy sleeping or fighting off the furious gaze of the sun.
As for more movie talk, on the plane ride(s) over, I watched 16 Blocks (well, five minutes of it before losing interest), Failure to Launch, and Philadelphia. None of them were anything to write home about. At the airport, I lucked out and got a two-pack of the Dardenne Brothers' Rosetta and L'Enfant for about 20 dollars (after conversion). Ridiculous! It's region two, of course, but my computer is not discriminating in this regard.
Hmm, what else? I wish I could post pictures, but the computers here won't really accept my memory cards. I'm starting to miss my HP Pavilion, which had those card slots so conveniently mounted on the front panel. It is, of course, still in the computer shop back in Unionville (my mother is keeping me updated). Le sigh. Hope you're all well, and I'll write more later!