*All pictures are taken with permission of those in them.
I’m not too busy this week. Right now, we’re still waiting to finalize game protocols and get them translated. I get a little break to take off from Thanjavur to explore other parts of India. A friend in Bangalore, who is working his dream job at Dreamworks, promised me good food in the city and so here I come.
There are a couple of things I simply don’t get here – stuff people do, some traditions, and customs. First of all, I’m not saying these things don’t make sense, just that I can’t make sense of them yet. If anyone knows, I would really appreciate some explanations.
- Eating with hands. Why? I would understand if you’re eating something more solid like sticky rice, but rice with soup? Is it because you won’t need to wash spoons? No way. Look at all those small bowls that we need to wash in a meal. Saving the environment? But then you need to wash hands with soap before and after anyway. Good feeling from touching your food? Maybe. Some of my friends claim so. (just one, actually. She can be odd sometime. haha.)
- All the honking. Car drivers here honk at everything – literally everything – a cow, a pedestrian, a car in front of him, a bike, a tree, a dog, a chair… I notice how nobody ever looks at side mirrors. Some cars don’t even have them. Just keep your ears open for what comes behind you. They also use high beam at all time. Nobody bothers to look at the rear-view mirror, so high-beam doesn’t really blind anyone. This whole system seems to be in equilibrium itself. The question is how it got here? It seems to be a bad equilibrium to me. Maybe there is a hidden explanation to all these.
- Late mealtime. Here in the tropic, the sun sets at about the same time all year round. It gets dark around 6pm, yet people eat their dinner at 8. Why oh why? It’s dark and a lot of time electricity goes off. People then go to bed early right after that. Seems like a very unhealthy habit. Similarly, lunch starts around 2pm. Again, does this make people more productive? Shouldn’t we be maximize the natural lighting from the sun?
Today is my first time going to the field! (by that, I mean going to work/observe/collect data in rural villages). We drove for two hours East of Thanjavur toward the coast. Why going so far? For a pilot, we need to steer clear from the villages in the study since we might contaminate the actual survey.
We were trying out three games that measured risk aversion, trust, and solidarity today. The main goal was to see if people had trouble understanding the game protocols. We also needed to check how people responded to a group of strangers including three locals, a white and a Chinese (yeh me, but not really) coming in to ask all these questions. Though, in the actual survey, there would be only local surveyors. Continue reading
I finally got to visit the big temple (after seeing many signs on street for a week). This ancient temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Great Living Chola Temples”.