Welcome to India–zap!

Ah, welcome to India. It has been a frustrating couple of days of delayed jet-lag and nasty technical difficulties. In a solid and until now largely successful stab at wishful thinking, neither my road film producer nor I had fully wrapped our brains around one of the more obvious perils of trying to do any technical work here in India: electricity. Or, the lack thereof. 

Or, even worse, the unstable and potentially dangerous nature thereof: today we almost fried one of our two 750GB hard drives, almost losing the captured-to-date footage and the editing work done so far in the process–major bummer, though t’was a tragedy narrowly averted in the end. Our whole room ended up having just two good plugs in it–and with a slew of electronics to power, myriad batteries to constantly recharge and mobile digital workstations (a-k-a laptops) to edit on, we need some serious juice, always. It’s a minor miracle we didn’t lose everything today, but after spending all day regrouping, we finally got back to where we started–which smelled like victory by then!

And while I rarely think this, it also revealed one of the ways India is more responsive than the US. After pulling a goodly portion of our hair out, I finally called down to the lobby, showed the hotel guy the blackened, ‘Cajun-style’ outlets dotting the wall, and requested help. Within 10 minutes max, an electrician was there re-wiring the offending outlets–within 30 minutes we were up and running again. With no offense meant to my good buddy (and electrician) Geno, when was the last time any needed emergency service got to your house within 15 minutes? (Well, Geno got there pretty fast last month when my basement was flooding earlier this month, but still…) Another good moment for Indian ingenuity.

Still, nerves are rattled. After all, in Mumbai we already fried our ill-fated $60 surge protector, to the point of smoking the sucker after a few minutes in use. The other “protector” blew the room circuits five times in four minutes–and that was without anything even being plugged in to it yet! It’s one thing to not have juice a few hours a day–welcome to the industrializing world–but when every room we’re in has the potential to fry all of our work to date, well, that makes things a little dodgier than hoped for. Just another example of life and work here being fraught with perils and much more difficulty than my western-lubricated brain wants to remember. 

Anyway, hopefully we’ll have the first edited road videos to share within another couple of days. Looks like my path to moving-picture stardom will be just a bit delayed. Meantime, Sara is like a kid in a digital candy store shooting footage on the journey so far. If nothing else, India is rich with imagery, that’s for sure.

Still working on getting the web’s scratch-n-sniff technology to work, so you can share the sublime pleasures of the full olfactory experience. Beholding the random sweet admixtures of something like a combination of the advanced and fetid decomposition of vegetal matter and your grandfather’s breath is difficult to convey in words alone. Don’t hold your breath though–we’ll be doing that over here, so you don’t have to!

More soon, with talkies…


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