Friday, November 30, 2007

The Kid in Pink Pants

When I made the video of Liam yesterday, you may remember "the kid in pink pants". He eventually came over and was curious about the camera. I took a picture of him and showed it to him. I am not sure he had ever seen a digital camera before. He smiled really widely when I showed him his picture. This smile is a guaranteed thing in India, except amongst that small, but growing, social stripe of kids who have "everything".

Thursday, November 29, 2007

More fun

This video is not the best quality, but it still provides some insight into the adventure that is experienced in waiting for the bus with Liam. I cut the video off, but he was asking me, "What is your problem?"

What is my problem, indeed.....

The highlights, as stated, are I) the kid in pink pants, II) the wild dogs, III) Ragesh getting on the bus for a high school, and IV) Liam's empty demi-tasse on the sidewalk next to him. Maybe coffee isn't good for him, but we let him make the choice.

The "oh, look, look" part was an attempt to get him to turn his head. It appears not to work any longer.

Hidarious - that is my neologism for the experience of raising a 13 year old, a combination of hilarious and hideous.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

While the rest of you slept....

^ You may think from pictures such as this that I am nothing but a big cheerleader for the Bank here in India. In reality, it's the only part of my job that they photograph! And it's the only part that is fun to mention....

Here I am teaching a crowd of about 300 folks how to cheer with gusto.

As you can see from the people behind me, the predominant reaction to me when I do things like this is amusement, the second is bewilderment, and the young woman directly behind me is in the decided minority, she appears to be suffering a fool.

It was a loose and puffy shirt, I have actually lost weight over here. Mom, that was to head off any questions.


^ Then I divided a group of them into three and one third made a drum sound, one third made a guitar sound, and the remainder sang lyrics. It's a song Bhool Bulaiya, a huge hit here. It was a ball.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A look backward

We were looking at the years of photos that are on our Apple and we found this one to be incredible beautiful. In a land far, far away....

Monday, November 26, 2007


"A teardrop on the cheek of time."

This is a way that the Taj Mahal has been described. We found that to be a beautiful description of the tomb that Shah Jahan built for his queen. Above is a picture we took of her grave.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Spiritual Reflection for a Sunday

This morning I ran a 10K race and did well. It was about 10,000 people and I finished in about 50 minutes. 6.2 miles and 50 minutes - above 8 minutes. OK, so I am not a very fast runner. But, I was the picture of consistency. I ran faster on the second half than the first.

When I got home we had "family church", as we have taken to calling it. During that time I explained to Aidan and Liam (Tara and Jonah were doing something else) that one of the sponsors of the race was "Save the Female Child" campaign, which seeks to address the problem of abortion as a means of gender selection. I explained about how female babies for many Indians were seen as being less valuable than male babies, and how this is a symptom of a much larger problem. Then I applied this to the Galatians 3:28 which says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." The idea I was imparting was that having diminished value for women flies entirely against our Christian teachings.

As an aside, it is an interesting dilemma for some people on the left - are they more dedicated to the freedom of a woman to choose to have an abortion, or to gender equity? I think even the most rabid pro-choice person finds abhorrent the idea that gender alone would cause a woman to end the life of her baby. I don't mean to imply otherwise. It's just a thought....


Living in India has made a huge impression on us froma spiritual perspective. Although our faith is a small minority in a sea of Hinduism and Islam, it is growing, and where it exists it has a vitality that is uncommon in the US. But even Hinduism, Jainism, and Islam have lessons for a Christian. Here's what I mean.

Faith is a very public facet of life here. The idea that faith is a private matter to be left out of public life is very non-Indian. To see facets of spiritual belief in every nook and cranny of India is the norm. Spirituality is anything but a private affair. Be it the calls to prayer five times a day, the seemingly endless flow of Hindu festivals, Jain ascetics walking the streets naked (yes, we have seen this more than once), or religious declarations emblazoned on the back of rickshaws, there is a consistent visibility of faith here. Even if we do not concede anything about the validity of the faiths in question, we have found it inspiring to see that India's day-to-day life and spiritual beliefs are so intertwined.

If the US develops a common life which is functionally secular in the common areas we will become a very sad place indeed. If we develop a common space where it is mandated that faith be disregarded, ignored, quited, dismissed, and altogether absent, we will have lost the vitality that makes us a special place. Our common life is *exactly* the place where the big questions need to be asked and explored, despite the age-old rubric which says that polite conversations does not include politics or religion. In India, all public questions are asked and wrestled with within the context of belief. Despite the fact that it can be rancorous, and even dangerous at times, to have faith such a central part of life, it is also noble and inspiring. I think this openness to faith is the precise reason that faith in Christ is growing here so rapidly.

The counterpoint to my idea may be that the US is becoming increasingly plural and multi-faceted in its faith communities. India addresses that concern, as well. India has the ultimate melange of faiths - there are Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Muslims, Christians, Jains, Buddhists and a variety of other communities living together in relative peace. I cannot say that the country is without its tensions and sectarian violence. But with a billion people of such varied economic levels and spiritual beliefs, it is remarkably peaceful.

We went to Jonah's school the other day for an assembly (you can see the picture on a blog entry from the last week or so). During this assembly there was singing. One of the songs in the homemade song book was "Morning Has Broken", one of my favorite hymns. It was in a setting which is made up overwhelmingly of non-Christians and secular Europeans. It was ironic to me that this hymn was in front of us in school located in a land where Christians make up 2% of the population yet in the US it would have almost certainly been absent from a song book, or it might have been present, but eventually met with a complaint from a parent who was offended by it.

May our lives be enriched by the Truth, and may that Truth be evident in the US from coast to coast.


Morning has broken,
Like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken
Like the first bird;
Praise for the singing,
Praise for the morning,
Praise for them springing
Fresh from the Word.

Sweet the rain's new fall,
Sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dewfall
On the first grass;
Praise for the sweetness,
Of the wet garden,
Sprung in completeness
Where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight,
Mine is the morning,
Born of the one light
Eden saw play;
Praise with elation,
Praise every morning,
God's re-creation
Of the new day.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


^ Here is Aidan engaged in cricket practice on Saturday morning. He has a great time with the other kids, and is learning the game really well.

Friday, November 23, 2007


We went to a Thanksgiving party at our friends' house tonight. What an amazing event, we were on their roof patio and sitting around a low table of about twenty people. Everyone was great company. Indian Americans, British Indians, Singaporeans, a couple from Seattle - he is Indian and was raised in South Dakota from about the age of seven, and his wife is Canadian. People were from all over, and we were the only born Americans, although various people present were raised in the US who are coming back now for their time back in India. It was the ultimate eclectic crowd.

We sat around a table of candles and had wonderful food. The moon was almost full. It was the kind of setting where you are sitting at ground level with a large pillow behind your back, traditional Indian style. Indu and Krishnan hosted and they are from Charlotte. He works for the Bank, as well. We did not know each other until Hyderabad.

Their home was absolutely beautiful.

So, I spoke about Thanksgiving and then gave the blessing, as well. A unique honor.

This is truly an amazing experience being in India!

I have not been on the blog much, here is a picture Tara took of me being pensive at brunch last week.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a great time, thanks go to Mike, Gulshan and Jason for joining us for dinner.

Being away from the US is hard during times such as Thanksgiving, but it made it easier to have great company for the dinner.

We were so busy making sure everything went off well that we forgot to take pictures.

This is the centerpiece we had. Tara has found a great florist in town, as you can see.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Jonah went to a birthday party and had his face painted. He slept with it like that and went out to brunch on Sunday with it like that.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

We're not in Kansas anymore....

...and the evidence is literally on the face of this kathakali dancer.

At times India is so very much like the US, and other times it's so absolutely weird that it leaves us speechless.

Monday, November 19, 2007


^ Aidan and Jonah are playing a game called "bulldog", wherein you attempt to run past someone in a pool. It's good fun.

Aidan gave his friend Matthew a cheap shot.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Funny things from this weekend

^ When we drive out to the pool on Saturdays we pass through kind of a crazy part of Hyderabad. Just alot going on, and chaotic..... This advertisement caught our eye. It is for an English-teaching service. Click on the advertisement and see what it says. Yes, that's right - this business runs on pictures of babies talking to each other with the motto - "Hoyi, you are so bilaku!" "Please speak correctly."

I believe it is supposed to mean, "Hey, you are so black." Wow.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Jonah's assembly at school

Jonah's class did a presentation one morning at school about India. The kids dressed in traditional Indian clothes. Very cute.

Here's a picture.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Yes, camels walk the streets even in Hyderabad's city streets

Check out the movie advertisement, as well. It looks like some theme where a guy goes back in time and becomes a king. Maybe.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Write us!

It means a great deal to hear from everyone back in the US, please do reach out to us. My brother sent pictures recently and they were a big hit with everyone. Please do write, it's a great thing to be in contact with those we love!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jama Masjid

I finally made it into Jama Masjid today. When we tried to enter as a family a few weeks back we were turned away due to the third prayer of the day going on inside. Today I timed it. They publish the calls to prayer in the newspapers, so I went between call number two and call number three. There are five calls daily.

FYI - the papers also publish astrological events of the day, like what planet is aligned with what star - for the Hindus.

Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India. The second largest is in Hyderabad, Mecca Masjid. Been in there, too.

Both Hindus and Muslims make you take your shoes off before entering their places of worship. For Jama Masjid one would hope, in vain, that the shoe prohibition would spawn a corresponding attention to cleaning pigeon scat within this open-air mosque. No such luck. Slogged through it, I did.

For your edification, masjid is the Indian word for mosque. It is pronounced like "mosh-eed". It is said quickly, like it is one syllable.

Very neat experience walking up the minaret and getting a good view of the Delhi's Old City.

On the minaret I met a young wanderer from London named Garrick. He was off to the Pushkar festival in Rajasthan next. This is where you get the best deals on camels and livestock. Tourists have nice high-end tents set up for them and stay in the midst of this camel swap. My friend Bryan is going, as well. Virtually all of the tourists in India are European and Australians. It's rare to see Americans.

I saw the American Embassy in Delhi. It gave me a stirring feeling. I loved seeing our eagle symbol. The place was far more fortified than the other embassies.

We are next to the Myanmar embassy. I hope we yell ugly things over the wall at them. That country is run by a brutal junta that recently beat the tar out of Buddhist monks marching for more freedom. Part of me hopes someone on our embassy staff throws banana peels over the wall from time to time. I would. I suppose that explains, in part, why I would not make a good embassy staff member.

I intentionally typed "more freedom" instead of "more freedoms". Freedom doesn't come in small dispensations. It is a full edifice that you experience or you don't, it's not something you receive one brick at a time. That's the way I look at it....

One of my friends was commenting in an e.mail on how boring America is and how "awesome" India is. That is a sentiment that can only be construed from within America. As Tara said, "He needs awesome lessons.".

If you're in America today, push all the stuff out of your mind about what you think/know is wrong with America and focus only on the positives. It is truly an exceptional place.

India will always be my personal second home here on earth, but I consider myself to have won life's lottery by being born an American, to borrow and alter a phrase from Cecil Rhodes. I think everyone else in the family feels the same way about being American. I know my love Tara does.

Just another great day in Bharat! Jai Hind!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

India made...... what?

It's Byl, I am traveling in Delhi.

I noticed out on the web that the NY Times wrote an article entitled "India Made Easy". Yes, Mom, this is the article you sent me a few months back.

The title made me laugh. Did the person who wrote it ever even come here? If so, I am not sure how they came away with the idea that anything is easy here. India.... easy. These words don't often co-habitate in the same sentence without their friends "is" and "not". India is anything but easy.

As an example, I was walking Liam to the bus one morning and we had a bit of an event. One thing about India is that it has many funky smells. This morning there was a very funky smell on the street. Additionally, many, if not most, people here clear their throats very, very loudly every morning. It's an amazing thing when you consider the intensity the Indian people bring to the endeavor of clearing their throats of phlegm remnants. So, there we were, walking up our nice street hearing hacking from every side and smelling something that was just gross. And Liam started to throw a fit.

So, I stopped and said, "Liam, did you ride an elephant a few weeks back?" "Yes." "Did you ride a camel that same day?" "Yes, but this is all so freaking gross...." "Liam, have you seen castles and forts that are older than the US itself?" "Yes." "Were those things cool?" "Yes." "Well, India doesn't offer one without the other. You have to wade through things like this to have those amazing experiences. Now, deal."

He got quiet, but I am not sure he was really "dealing". Again, raising a thirteen year old is a hideous and ghastly experience - but most of you already know that.

Anyway, India is anything but easy - and anything but dull. It is Incredible India, as well as India the Incredible.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Team Building

One of the things I have taken on here in India is making sure the teams here know how to have fun. Recruitment and retention are the big issues here in India, due to the competitive nature of the market. As a result, people really need to enjoy their work to decide to stay on. This is one thing I am working on.

Here are some pictures from an event that I ran. One activity I had the team members do was to build devices comprised of straws, balloons and a string. The device had to protect an egg from a 12 foot drop.

As you can see, it didn't go well. But one team did create a device that maintained their egg without any fissures or cracks. They won!

A guy from Atlanta named Mike was the judge. He's over here for about 6 months.

In one of the pictures I appear to have some messianic complex, but it was just my declaration of the winning team. ;-)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lazy Sunday

Some days in India are not terribly engaging. Just a restful Sunday after several days of explosions......

Saturday, November 10, 2007


It's hard to explain Divali (hard to spell it, as well).

We have never, ever seen this many explosions in one place. Extremely strong, and unbroken through a multi-day period, these explosions occur throughout the country. It was amazing. Here are some videos we took of a party we attended. An Australian family, an American family, an Indian family and a Norwegian family attended. We stayed on the roof of their place and watched the explosions all around us until we decided to contribute our own to the melee, as seen in the videos.

^ Then we went and visited the landlord and landlady. This is her Pooja room, set up as a place for Laxshmi, the goddess who they are trying to attract the attention of, as a place to please and have her stay the night. Take a close look, there are materials of all sorts on this alter.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Duvali, Divali, Diwali, Duwali, etc.

Today is the peak of the multi-day holiday named Duvali. There appear to be as many ways to spell this holiday as Qadaffi.

It commemorates a king returning home after he slew (slayed? smote?) a demon. It is colorful and *loud*. There are firecrackers day and night, and some are extremely powerful. Plus colorful fireworks. As always, our patio has provided a great view of the fun. It's a festival that involves lights and fireworks and sweets and new clothing and general good feelings. It's very fun.

The picture of a home is our place. It's a bit grainy, but the flash would have diminished the lights' visibility. The Goels appear to be having a party soon, and their many trial runs with the Duvali lights kicked the power out in the house no fewer than 10 times. Amusing. All in a day's life in the sub-continent!

The rest of the pictures are of rangoli on the entrances to people's homes in the neighborhood, as well as marigold garlands strung here and there.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

More video

Dad/{Jonah} :: Jonah, good morning, how are you this morning? Did you have alot of fun in India so far? Have you enjoyed yourself? {Yes, sir} What was your favorite part? What's your favorite part?

Jonah :: The pool and the Taj Mahal

Dad :: Aidan, what was your favorite part of India so far?

Aidan :: The Taj Mahal.

Jonah :: {Pizza Hut}

Dad :: Aidan, do you play cricket here in India?

Aidan :: I've already told you, I did it down there.

Dad :: Show me where.

Aidan :: I told you already, Daddy.

Dad :: That's your cricket zone with the kids?

Aidan :: Yes, I've already told you!

Dad :: Show me your muscle.

Aidan :: I shouldn't have to.

Dad :: Just show me your muscle. Alright!


^ The rangoli looked cool the other morning.


^ Flowers continue to be beautiful.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


^ Here is a video I made of Liam while we waited for the bus. His nice haircut and contact lenses make him look a bit older and a good bit better.

The transcript:

Dad: "Liam, what would you like to say to the people back in America?"

Liam: "I don't know." Shrugs, disgusted by his Dad.

Dad: "Liam, what would you like to say?"

Liam: Shrugs more forcefully, looking away.

Dad: "We can sit here all morning unless you say something."

Liam: "Let me think of something...." trails off to an inaudible level.

Dad: "What's the best thing you've seen in India so far?"

An untouchable girl walks by and is curious about the conversation.

Liam: "Taj Mahal."

Dad: "You like the Taj Mahal?"

Liam: "Yeah."

Dad: "What was your favorite part about it and why'd you like it?"

Liam: "Um, I just liked the scenery."

Dad: "Teak hai, teak hai." This is Hindi for "OK, OK" or "That's fine, that's fine." Liam hates when I speak Hindi, as evidenced by the look on his face at the end of the video.

Mr. Agarwal walks by, followed by his security guard.

I get a hearty chuckle from watching this, raising a thirteen year old is a hideous experience, but also kind of funny.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Some flowers pictured below. It is heading into winter here, post monsoon and many things are blooming.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Interesting tidbit

It is not legal to advertise alcohol in India. And drinking is not as public a phenomenon as it is elsewhere. There are also differences on men and women and how they are supposed to act, respectively, in a drinking situation.

The first point is a pretty interesting one. Truly, you cannot advertise alcohol in India, but that doesn't mean it does not happen.

Initially, when you get here you see many advertisements that have the appearance of being an alcohol advertisement. Upon closer examination, you see they are advertising music. Or cassettes and CDs. Or golf accessories. And you naively are amazed that Seagrams has a line of golf accessories. Or that a well-known whisky company sells compact disks.

But upon asking more questions, you find out that anyone wanting to sell alcohol in India must also have a shell company that sells some other product. Then it all falls into place. The alcohol companies have to embed their true product in a product that generally fills the role of "male accessories". Golf accessories, electric guitars, blank music CDs, etc.

Kind of ridiculous. Kind of interesting.

Just another quirky thing here......

Sunday, November 4, 2007


^ This is our official logo ~ CameronsinIndia™


Saturday, November 3, 2007


There was bombing a week after we moved here. Here is a story about the same.....


Oh, no. We just moved to Hyderabad with the kids a week ago and now the place is being bombed. There's no way..... This is huge. There's no way, this cannot be. No freaking way.

I have heard different estimates of the killed, but I think it is around forty people. All innocent. They made a choice to eat some cheap food at Gokul Chat, to buy cheap text books for their college courses, or to see a lazer light show at Lumbini Park. Some group of sociopaths deemed these an offense worthy of death. The first thing that you think of is Islamic terrorists seeking to punish those of us who won’t join the “Ummah”. It is not only 9/11 that cojoins the bombing of civilians with Islam, it is the seemingly constant flow of such crimes committed by one jihad group or another throughout the globe.

The Indian government believes that these events were in fact perpetrated by Islamic radicals. The story that has been attached to these events is that Bangladesh-based radicals have been filtering into India through the Maldives Islands, which has weak policies when it comes to validation of proper travel documents. Apparently, going into India-proper through the Maldives is a ticket right into the country for anyone who wants to enter.

Being in close proximity to a terror attack is a harrowing experience, and we had never been this close to one before. This was just a few miles from us, maybe five miles. We watched the news to learn more. Most of our stations are in Telugu or Hindi, so we had to zoom past various reports that were coming out about the bombings in languages we did not understand. When we finally got to CNN IBN, we knew something really, really bad had happened. The US media, despite its many faults, generally has the good taste not to show a great deal of gore on the evening news. Not so in India. They were showing bodies slumped over stadium seats, blood splattered over a tile floor, people being dragged around by screaming friends and family members. It was absolutely hideous.

“Shit,” Tara said.

It captured the mood well.

I just kept thinking, how are we going to live here? One simple phrase kept echoing through my head - we’ll have to approach life here differently now. It was a ridiculous understatement. Tara’s sentiments seemed to capture the events more clearly.



I got into the car two days after the bombings. It was after work, and I asked Wajid, our driver, what he thought of the events. We like Wajid, we want him to stay around as our driver. But, in the final summation, we are Americans and Christians and Wajid is a Muslim. I needed to figure out his thinking on the events of the past few days.

“Hey, Wajid. Good evening.”

“Hello, sir.”

He pulls out of the parking lot of my building. We start the tedious journey back from my office to home. We start the first phase, driving past the massive buildings of HITEC City. Accenture, Motorola, IBM, they’re all there. We’re all here doing the same thing, cashing in on a hungry and inexpensive workforce.

Ok, here I go....

“Hey, Wajid, I have a question.”

“Yes, sir.”

“The bombs in the city two nights ago, what do you think happened?” I was speaking in that 50% speed that is necessary with many people here. I was pronouncing very clearly.

"Sorry, sir?"

"The bomb. You think it is bad, yes? What made the bomb?"

He just stared through the windshield, navigating through the chaos that is Indian traffic. He made a small clicking sound with his mouth, a universal indication in India that disapproval was being felt. I was not sure what he would say. Would he go into a diatribe about Israel and their treatment of the Palestinians? Would he mention Hindus in a disparaging way? I waited anxiously.

“Government.” It was his only word.

“I am sorry Wajid, what do you mean?”

“Government did it.”

“You mean that the government did the bombing? The government bombed those people. Which government?” I was probably not speaking slowly enough, But I think he got the gist of my questions. He also could tell from the tone that I was nervous and incredulous.

His logic was simple, albeit unbelievable. He did not believe any radicals had done the acts of terror, he believed that it was those in power who were seeking to foment inter-community anger and instigate violence.

He continued, “Many people, the government make them angry to fight with each other. If it terror, they will to attack government building, not people.” His logic did not hold in light of the attacks in New York, the night club in Bali, the pizzeria in Tel Aviv and a myriad of other bombings that targeted civilians. I tracked this stuff pretty closely, and I wanted to cry foul with his story, but I decided to learn more about how he thinks, perhaps how the “Islamic street” of Hyderabad viewed the event. Incredulous or not, I decided to allow him to plug on further.

“Wajid, are the Pakistanis involved in this? Many times people say that Pakistan is involved in these things. I do not understand. In America, we have India and Pakistan both as friends now.”

Entirely problematic statement, especially when you consider the proper meaning of “friend”.

Wajid responded with a simple statement, “Pakistan, they are not good Muslims. Sometimes when they play India the Indians who are Muslim will fly Pakistan flag during match. They are not good.” I am not sure I could piece together the two ideas that he had imparted, but I was pleased that he was not a fan of the Pakistanis. It occurred to me that maybe he did not like them because they were not strict enough in their Islam. By this point in the drive, Wajid was taking me through the squatter camp that exists in a ravine behind HITEC. A bad place to have doubts about your driver’s allegiances. He could have easily pulled into one of those alleys into the tent camp and gotten some of his fellow jihadis to surround the car....

What in the world was I thinking?? Wajid is one of the best people that we have met since arriving here. Calm down. Focus.

A few moments of silence passed between us. I watched the shapes of India jump out of the emerging darkness. It seemed that a bunch of people had gotten wise to the short cut, it was pretty crowded on this dirt road. There were huts all around, woven from dessicated palm fronds, filled with the lowly who did menial work in HITEC.

When we slowed down, I saw a woman belt her kid in the head. Hard. He fell back into the road and screamed. A motorcyle swerved, almost hitting the kid. He could not have been more than three. Hard lessons sometimes come early in India. She was the kind of woman who had just spent the day doing the backbreaking task of sweeping the streets and gutters with a broom of twigs. She was probably aching in her back to the point of being irritable and the kid did something to make her fire off that smack. Man, that looked like it hurt. She also probably is so low in the social structure here that she was looking for a reason to belt someone.

Too bad the kid got hit like that.

"Wajid, why would the government do this?"

"Sorry, sir?"

"Government make bomb. Why they do, you say?" I needed to employ my pidgin English in this case. I think he was pretending not to understand as a way of avoiding a difficult subject, but he could not deny being able to follow my pidgin.

I wanted to dig into his logic, to the degree that our language barrier would permit. We were still stopped in the traffic. He opened the door and spit out the red juice onto the road. I think his bottom lip was filled with betel nut.

"They.... like to make people..... people are angry. Make fight. Divide."

If that was the best we were going to do, I was going to stop pursuing it. I now knew that he, as a Muslim, did not believe that Muslims did it. I read once that a majority of Egyptians believe that 9/11 was not committed by Muslims. I think they believe that every Jew that worked in the Twin Towers was called to stay home that day. Actually, I did read that once, this was an idea with millions of adherents. Inconceivable. Wajid's words may have been an aspect of that mentality. Instead of seeing the horrors within the Ummah, it was possible that Wajid focused all of the available possibilities against the enemies of Islam, in this case the government. Or maybe he was right.

Actually, no. I wouldn't concede that. He wasn't right.

The traffic picked up and we proceeded home. He pulled up the front gate, jumped out and opened my door. We exchanged smiles at the front gate.

He was a good man. I hope he thought the same of me.

Our fates had been joined, who knows why. If our faiths were at war, we would abstain.

"Salaam," I said.

He smiled and said, "Sir, salaam."

For tonight, we would remain friends.


Friday, November 2, 2007

Tara in a mosque

You know you're in an unusual mosque when the tourists outnumber the faithful.

When we were in there, I pinched Tara's butt and whispered, "Don't say I never goosed you in a mosque."

Thursday, November 1, 2007


We are on some pictures at the Twin Cities Expatriate Association website.

Here are all of the pictures.

Here is one of Jonah.

This one includes Aidan.

I am in the background of this one.

This day was one that was in an earlier blog post. Tara was sick.

If you're curious, the exercise that I participated in was one where you dress in a sari and run with a jug in your head, thereby losing a small segment of your dignity forever..... ;-)