Well, it has been raining cats and dogs here (and, since this is India, you might say oxen and goats as well). Light to heavy since Sunday night. The dams are so full that they had to let some of them open, which only added to the chaos downstream. Trains and planes running within the monsoon-affected areas have stopped (expected to restart tomorrow or the day after). Roads are flooding in places. Some schools are closed. And, if the potholes in Pune weren’t already bad enough, they’ve now become swimming pools. My office mates and I went out to lunch yesterday and drove through standing water up to the doorway of the car!
The monsoon is big news here. (It was on page 1 through 5 of the paper today, whereas the labor riots in Delhi were on page 6 and the shuttle launch made it only to page 12.) One reason is because, of course, the destruction it causes. (Down in Kerala (pronounced CAIR-eh-la), about 600 miles away, they have resulted in mudslides where over a 100 people have been buried alive). The other is because they fill the dams that provide the water for the whole rest of the year. Plus, there is a crazy imbalance of irrigation water here. The rivers might be overflowing, but an hour and a half away (which amounts to about 60 km), crops are suffering for lack of water. No water means no reaping which means no work for many people. (About 70% of India’s population makes a living off of agriculture.) The monsoons are really a mixed blessing. Just another of India’s pairing of extremes all in the same locality.
The rain is supposed to stop tomorrow. And I don’t expect any problems for my flight Sunday morning from here to Mumbai (also affected by the monsoon), where I join the tour group. Monday, I’m headed North and out of the rain and towards the Thar Desert. In the meantime, I’m not concerned. I’m in a major urban area in very clean, stable, quiet working and living conditions. In fact, I wouldn’t even know it’s raining if I didn’t have to drive (or rather, be driven) between the hotel and the office.
In other news, the Immodium AD improved on my diarrhea but didn’t clear it up. Fortunately, I had discussed this potentiality with my personal physician (who is also a travel doc) before I left and he said that if the OTC drugs didn’t clear it up after two days then to break out the antibiotics (which he prescribed for me and I filled before I left). I really didn’t expect it to come to this because what I’ve got hasn’t felt like a bacterial overgrowth–I mean, I haven’t been feverish or tired or nauseous or even had to be glued to the toilet–but last night, I hit the two day mark and followed doctor’s orders and, this morning, things seem to be back to normal. So, there it is. My stomach, however, seems to have shrunk (which is, interestingly, what happened when I went to Jamaica for 3 weeks), which might partially explain the stomach cramps I was having. I mean, I have an appetite but seem to get full really quickly. But don’t you worriers worry, I’m drinking lots of bottled water and I’m not wasting away. According to the scale in my bathroom, I’ve lost only 3 kilos since day 1. Plus, I’ve been taking a daily multivitamin since I arrived and certainly haven’t lost my affinity for chocolate. 😉