Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hyderabad, June 15

A "share auto" - haven't you learned? Google image search it! :) It's a big autorickshaw that can carry 6 to 12 people at a time, that travel along major highways and bus routes picking up and dropping off people. Share auto drivers do it for a living but are joined by two groups of people.

(1) Private cab and bus drivers. These people pick up and drop off call center and other outsourcing people working night shift, as well as, less common, some people with extremely good corporate jobs on day shift. However, when they're not doing that they have nothing to do with their cars and often run the bus routes along with the share autos. Also many companies will have private buses to get their employees to and from work, and the bus drivers will do the same thing, which is very lucrative but will also get you fired if anyone in authority finds out and presses the matter.

(2) People driving to work.

There is an analogous name for this in the US, which I forget at the moment. I remember reading that these used to be somewhat common in cities until cities instituted the licensing system for taxis (because taxis and buses resented competition and leaned on city councils to stop it).

So no, we are not driving. Anyway, can you imagine Americans driving along Indian city roads?

We had our last zone conference with President Nichols, which was nice but at the same time very sad. He and Sister Nichols will return home on July 1. I will miss him very much, he's perhaps the most understanding, insightful, and genuinely loving person I have ever met. I'm sure the new mission president, President Funk, will be good also, but he will always have a special place in my heart.

These last few days I've been getting better about my exercises and timeliness. I've been pretty bad at these because Elder John is new so he looks to me as an example instead of gently reminding me or inspiring me to do these things. Ie, I have to motivate myself.

It's my experience that if I can discipline myself to do those things, which are entirely within my control, it becomes easier to discipline myself to do harder things. On the most basic level if I don't have a good morning it's difficult to have a good day -- and I can tell that our days are better as I focus myself in the morning. On the time management level, I find myself hanging out and chilling less when we need to go and do something. I engage less frequently in that perennial delusion where I look at my watch and say "well, it won't really take 20 minutes to travel there." (This is of course more tempting in India where the "Baba 5 minutes" is a universal phenomenon.) It's only been a few days but I already feel happier.

There are many side tangents I could go on, but I think I'll leave it at that for now. Life's good, with love,

Sam

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