Well Color Me Disappointed
So if red is anger, yellow cowardice and green is envy what color would disappointment be? Well whatever you just decided, go ahead and get out the crayolas and get started (please stay inside the lines) filling me in.
One of my large tasks after moving to India is learning Hindi. You know, so I can actually talk to the people around me. A silly thing I know but I thought it is important. I tried to start learning back in the states with Rosetta Stone. Not a bad program but without someone there actually telling me that it is a ba sound not a pa sound made it a little difficult. I realized that even with English how much I relied on the written language to tell me the difference between sounds that are soft like that. If you don’t grow up with a language like Hindi, it is hard to distinguish the different sounds with out seeing the words written. Rosetta Stone does teach you to read as well but only in script so that does not help much. Add to that that I usually have to yell a bit for the program to register that I am talking and I don’t know if I am yelling like a crazy person that the woman is cooking or insulting someones grandma. I figured it would be easier to learn once I was in India and would just find a class I could go to. No problem right? In US we have ESL classes all over the place. Ooooohhhhh I should have known.
Once we got to Agra I started a web search for Hindi classes. Most of them were actually for learning Hindi literature (like we take English classes) NOT to learn the language. It just so happens that my land lady is a professor of Hindi at Agra College and said that there is a program at a nearby school. It actually caters to foreigners. People from around the world come and do an intense 6 month program to learn Hindi. Cool right? You are darn tootin’ that’s right. She said that she knows the director and would speak to him for me.
Here is where I made the mistake that I commonly make here. I got excited.
She said she spoke with him and that I should go by the school and talk with them. I did a little checking on the internet and it looked like this program actually had a lot of requirements that I was no where close to meeting to get accepted. She didn’t think that it would be a problem since I don’t need or want the certificate that they offer at the end of the course. It turns out that the Indian government pays for all this education and it is for foreign teachers to learn Hindi and go back to where they came from and teach it. That is what the certificate is for. The government pays for the classes, provides food and housing on campus and gives a stipend to the students. Well, I don’t need all that. I just want to sit in the room and learn.
I went and spoke with someone in the admissions department and they suggested that I either go through the regular application process (which involves being nominated by my embassy) or write a letter to the director and explain my situation to see if I can just sit in on the classes. Ok.
Long story somewhat shorter, I am not going. After months now of waiting for the next session to start, my land lady told us that the rules had changed and that I will need to go through the regular application process. Well, since that won’t work for me, I am back to Rosetta Stone. We did ask if there were any other classes or schools in Agra and they told us no, they were the only ones. I would have to go to Delhi to take classes. I can’t travel to and from Delhi everyday or just come home on weekends, it just isn’t feasible.
Why did I get so excited? I should know better by now that nothing happens here the way that you want. I was looking forward (a little) to getting a scooter (but not so excited about driving), leaving the house everyday and going somewhere on my own, getting the chance to be able to talk to the people around me and not have sign language involved.
Oh well, chalk another one (in whatever color you picked) up to India. Rosetta Stone and Sanjay it is for learning Hindi. I hear by promise that I will NOT get excited about things here til I either have it in my hand or am actually there. India is determined to teach me patience and I guess it is time for me to learn it. I just hope the lessons are not in Hindi cause I have not learned that yet.