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2008 – A Year in Review, Chapter 3: Twenty20 Vision

3 January 2009
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Well, I attempted to get Doctor Who to come along for this short jaunt back in time, but it appears he’s too busy saving Christmas from the Cybermen or something of the sort. So it appears we are alone again as we head back to …

– April 2008 –

In April, I continued my quest to conquer the Indian heat. It didn’t help much, though, that my host had to go back to the U.S. for four weeks for a conference and training, leaving me to provide my own initiative to leave the house. Due to my aforementioned hermit tendencies, it didn’t work much.

However, about mid-month, cricket tickets coaxed me out of my heat stupor, and I attended a Twenty20 match with some co-workers and friends. We arrived an hour early, and the stadium was already packed. The fans were chanting and dancing, and someone started a wave that went around the stadium three or four times. The atmosphere was frenzied and got under our skin. By the time the game started, we felt ready to explode. Every four- or six-pointer brought us to our feet, and we yelled as loudly as anyone. We must have been a sight, though – bunch of westerners amoung the sea of Indians, without a clue as to the rules, working ourselves into a feverish state of high-pitched cheering.

My favorite part of the game had to be the cheerleaders. The Chennai Superkings were playing the team from Bangalore, and the cheerleaders showcased better than anything the cultural differences of the two cities. The Chennai cheerleaders were male and female, wearing loose t-shirts and long pants with suspenders hanging around their hips. They danced in a stilted but generally hip-hop way. The Bangalore cheerleaders, by contrast, were all shapely young women, light-skinned (including a couple who appeared vaguely Eastern European), sporting tight tank-tops and short skirts. Their dances involved a lot of hip-swiveling and shoulder-jiggling. Even though I had only been in India one month, I was already feeling vaguely uncomfortable, wanting to shield the eyes of the men in our group. The conservative culture of Tamil Nadu had apparently already invaded my brain.

The Chennai Superkings won the game, and we celebrated by breaking the rules about cameras, eating pani puri made by street vendors, and paying four times the normal auto rate to take us to our respective flats.

After the Game - We're all shiny because it was freakin' hot in that stadium, even at midnight.

After the Game - We're all shiny because it was freakin' hot in that stadium, even at midnight.

A couple weeks later, Amy and I went with another friend to Pondicherry, a small, formerly French territory situated in the middle of Tamil Nadu. I basically spent the entire time at our hotel due to the unbearable heat. I mean, other than the times I spent being groped by strange men (not by choice, of course) and hitting at least one of them. Hence, Pondicherry and I have a very strained relationship, and I’ll leave it at that. The French food was good, though.

Also in April, Amy, P., and I finished a major project at work and marked the occasion by jumping up and down… a lot. I would not complete any major projects for the rest of the year.

The other two really meant to jump and not make me look stupid. Really they did.

The other two really meant to jump and not make me look stupid. Really they did.

Tomorrow: Chapter 4: Superman V – The Rise of the Comb-over

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