The Universe Archive

  • blog 17

    Don’t Judge Me

    Last week had an odd theme, and a particularly unsettling one for my American bones. On three separate occasions, three totally unconnected people complained to me that the prestigious school I work for was going downhill. And the reason was simple, the school has started […]

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  • blog15

    The Economic Mysteries of Trash

    For the past two weeks, my classroom joking and exuberant lectures have been complemented by chanting. Now, a lot of chanting happens in India. I have already discussed my enjoyment of the Islamic prayer chants that come through our window on quiet evenings, a calm […]

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  • blog10

    Man Love

    In America, when I see a couple of guys walking down the street holding hands, it makes me happy. I am a big believer in love, and believe telling people who they can or can’t love is morally wrong. I vote for gay-friendly candidates, and […]

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    My Indian Village

    Well, mine for the time being anyway. I live in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India. And this is my tour. Woodstock is on a mountain above the town, so when visiting town, we typically walk down the mountain, along the long winding road, to Mussoorie city center. […]

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    Indian Recycling

    One of the most shocking things about India is the juxtaposition between the intense beauty of the landscape and the trash littering everything. And I mean everything. It is impossible to find a path of land not befouled in some way with refuse. Coke bottles, […]

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    The White Man Tax

    I have become fascinated with visiting Bhutan. A small country bordering India, China and Myanmar. This small country sets a “Tourist Tax” in an attempt to preserve the Buddhist culture of the nation. To enter Bhutan, you must pay $200 a day, a price set […]

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  • new-delhi-station

    Welcome to India: My First Scam

    Every guide book for India spends several opening pages detailing the scams that unscrupulous hucksters use to trick gullible tourists. The books make special note of taxi scams, shopping scams, money changing scams, and “tour guide” scams. Merideth tells the story of a taxi driver […]

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    Welcome to India: Here there by swastikas

    An eternity ago, when I was in high school, I bullied one of my best friends, Alon Weizer, into letting me read a creative writing assignment for his English class. The assignment was to write a story involving a catharsis, so Alon wrote a story […]

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  • autorickshaw

    Welcome to India: Honk, Honk, Honk

    There is no preparing you for driving in India. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is a relaxing ride in the country compared to driving in India. I have driven in the UK before, and despite my wife’s claims to the contrary, I was successful. I can […]

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  • HBFAA5waGuf

    Professional Development Hell

    People who train teachers call us the worst students on earth.  And for the most part, this is true.  We snicker, whisper to each other, plan and surf the internet while these people attempt to tell us something they believe will help us.  The problem […]

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