California Dreaming

I'm still at work. Phoo.

I’m told today is the last day of Diwali (or maybe yesterday was? I’m not sure how time zones affect these things) but for whatever reason there’re lots of yummy little exotic sweets around the office. Most of the technical work in my company is done in Bangalore, and even in the California office most of the people are East Indian* so the celebratory patterns of the workplace take on a distinctly Eastern rhythm. That also means that going out for an office lunch to an East Indian place is fraught with complications, since everyone has very high standards.** We finally settled on a place that serves goat brain curry… not that anyone ate it, but it was a badge of authenticity and purity of intent.

So RastaChad has a blog now, which is a very nice thing. I love it when people about whom I idly wonder “How are they doing? Where are they now?” spontaneously e-mail me blog information. His post today concerns atheism, a subject dear to my heart,*** but it gets right up my nose when people use phrases like “The Church of Atheism.” Like the man said, if atheism is a religion, then not collecting stamps is a hobby.

Yet more cool links!

Best headline ever
Virtual punkin carving – so much fun! Such a time waster!
Great explanation of schadenfreude - I want to see Avenue Q more than ever. I wonder if it’s on DVD? It is! Joy!
Air Travel Guidelines – from The Onion, a followup to the last post

* It’s a Canadian thing, I’m finding out, to specify “East” Indian to indicate someone from India, with the default unmodified “Indian” taken to mean “Native.” It’s always interesting going to some place with different defaults. In England, for example, unmodified “hockey” means field hockey, not ice hockey. Most places in the American South, “tea” means iced tea, not hot tea. There’s always a period of adjustment.

** They are willing to settle for really mediocre Italian, on the other hand. I guess it’s all what you’ve been exposed to.

*** Modified by courtesy, of course. At lunch just a few minutes ago, a white American in our office asked what Diwali was all about, and got an explanation of the Hindu background, full of gods and demons. He then asked “So does anyone really believe all that crap?” (“crap” being pronounced “stuff”). I mean, I wonder the same thing (I also wonder it about most Christian practices) but I really really hope I’m not as rude about it. Any more.


  1. T. said...

    Also, in places that don't have what we consider winter, "skiing" means waterskiing. I've actually heard people use the phrase "snow-skiing". Weird.  

  2. Drang said...

    I was playing summer ice hockey, and told someone (in July) that I was "playing ice hockey" and they accused me of being un-Canadian.

    Which I thought was weird.  

  3. Cori Quite Contrary said...

    Diwali is the best holiday ever because you get sweets and new clothes.

    And yeah, Ashwath stared at me when I first used the term 'East Indian'. He uses 'Asian Indian' when he differentiates at all.  

  4. chad said...

    Thanks for the link (and fantastic philatelic analogy).

    It safe to say that I wouldn't have bothered with a blog, had I not seen what you accomplished with your own. :)  

  5. Amy said...

    Chad, imitation is the sincerest form of philately.


  6. xenophile said...

    When Alina was in Fiji, she had the hardest time explaining her race. To them, the ONLY Indians are from India (since there are so many Indo-Fijians), and they've never heard the terms "First Nations" (which is VERY Canadian), or "Indigenous". Aboriginal means "Australian black guy" to them. So the only way she could explain was to say "Red Indians", as in: "you know, Red Indians, like in the old westerns".  


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