ethics india

Ugly American

I’m not on the trip I had last posted about because on the way to the bus station the camera repair place called and said my camera was ready, back in Chennai, so i hopped a 4 hour bus plus a 40 minute rickshaw and went to get it. Everythin worked fine with the camera until the following morning when I was looking at some images and deleting a few when i got the dreaded Err 99 code again. It’s been much more fleeting. I went to the repair place and for the life of us, we couldn’t get it to repeat, although it happened several times while I was waiting there for the technician. Anyway, I’ll spare you the rest of the details, but the camera is working but I’m afraid it won’t continue that way. thinking it may have something to do with the memory card at this point, I’m finishing making dvd’s of my last memory card and i’ll send one back to the states. I want to be able to reformat them and start clean.

I’m not sure how many pics you’ll see on this blog as I’m concerned about viruses appearing on the memory cards. Already one which I had backed up to DVD and sent off I can no longer find the images. it’s touch using so many different internet cafes to work on stuff where they all have their differing levels of virus protection.

So, as for the ugly american part, I went into an internet cafe (10 rupees an hour – quite cheap ~20cents) and after using the computer for a half hour they asked me if I used USB and I told them yes and they said I owe them 10 more rupees for using USB. None of the 10 other internet cafe’s every charge for that, so I rudely tossed a 20 rupee note on the counter. The lady there definitely set me straight and she was right to do so. She said that they are providing a service and that I can’t do that and that I should give the money to the lady. I picked up the money, faced it politely (like a japanese business card) and presented it to her. I sure felt ugly though. I think I’ll bring a peace offering there if i make it back to that side of town. I hate being ugly like that. It just doesn’t sit well with my spirit and it feels simply unloving. I strive for more and I’m sorry.

Not sure what my plan is from here. Want to go to the shore before the sun goes down and see if I can find the gypsie family I met there on my first night when i didn’t have a camera and wished I had. I need to shoot a bunch and see how my camera behaves. May hop an overnighter train somewhere, perhaps to catch up with Shiv and crew.

2 replies on “Ugly American”

Dear Ted, You might not remember me. I’m from Thailand and met you while you were visiting your parents in Thaton. I’ve been glued to your Blog since you started out in india. We talked about India. The Love/Hate thing, The Intriguing thing. Your photoraphs are so beautiful, you made me yearn again for India and realise why I’m scared about it as well.I have the idea that you got more out of that place than most people are able to. I’m very much in Awe (knowing that’s not what you are waiting for!). Still I wanted to tell you that. Love, and Thanks! Liesbeth

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