Monthly Archives: January 2010

This morning, Bridget Jones=Me

I woke up this morning feeling like Bridget Jones. I haven’t seen the movie in forever, but I just read Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason last week, and I think I felt the way she felt on a regular basis.
Something like this:
Cigarettes (0). Alcohol units (8?). Calories (8 gazillion). Mouth: dry. Head: aching. Legs: sore (I really don’t know why).
Anyway, all that was going through my head this morning as I dragged myself out of bed and towards the coffee. Last night, Elaine, my boss, and I went to this swanky cocktail party thrown by a PR company. I guess they used to do work for our NGO, but also I think the owner or the boss is friends with my boss. After a while she left and Elaine and I stayed… we didn’t succeed in finding much food, but there was an open bar and we were really hoping to meet some people. Unfortunately, people were impossibly hip (it was a PR company, after all) and therefore intimidating and so we succeeded only with the drinks and not with the friends. When we finally got home, we destroyed the tiramisu nuts (so sad, a casualty of war) and then fell into bed. I made the misguided effort to call Simon, who was still awake, and then fell asleep while talking to him on the phone. Yikes. When I woke up, I was surrounded by piles of clothes around the room.

The “I’m-Researching-Domestic-Violence Blues” and a trip to the Naschmarkt

Right now, I’m editing a manual that has been developed by one of our contacts in India to help Indian women identify and seek help for domestic abuse. I’ve been researching current statistics on domestic violence in India for a day and a half now, and I am thoroughly depressed. Physical abuse, psychological abuse, even abuse during pregnancy—unbelievable.

Even worse is reading the specific breakdown of what kinds of abuse the women surveyed experienced, how often, and during what time periods (the survey differentiated between “ever in your married life” and “in the last year of your married life”). Oh yeah, this is all domestic violence experienced by women in marriage.

Just one statistic, disturbing but safe for the squeamish: in a study done over three years by the International Center for Research on Women on Domestic Violence in India, more than 55% of women reported that they perceive violence as a normal part of marriage. It’s really sick.

On a happier note, I had a totally delightful trip to the Naschmarkt last night, which is this huge amazing open-air market where they sell fruits, vegetables, meats, dried fruit, nuts, falafel, THE BEST HUMMUS I’VE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE, pickled peppers stuffed with sheep’s cheese….. etc. As you can tell, my entire life revolves around food. Whatever. A very nice old Iranian man let me try all sorts of delicious dried fruit and then gave me some extra Turkish Honey candies on top of it. It was great. Then I got completely taken in by this guy who was such a good salesman. I started out just wanting hummus, then he kept insisting that I need falafel to go with it, and who can argue with that, plus he gave me a free sample. Then he gave me a sample of the aforementioned pickled pepper with sheep’s cheese and it was delicious, and I’ve never even heard of a pickled pepper being available in quantities smaller than pecks, so I got two of those, and then two stuffed tomatoes… and then he offered me tiramisu, and I was like “mmm tiramisu….” It turned out, actually, that what he had were nuts dipped in tiramisu somehow (maybe just the mixture you normally sook the cookies in?) and they were heavenly, so I got those too. It’s brutal there at that Naschmarkt.

We finally started working at our new office, and it’s beautiful. I now have a desktop computer all of my own to use at work instead of toting my laptop, and I am in a room with Elaine! Hooray.

Lastly, my motivation to learn German has been reinforced by a new long-term perspective on my time here. My boss offered me a full time job to start immediately after my internship, so I guess I’m staying! It looks like I’ll be here for at least a year starting from April. I also recently received a Swedish residence permit until 2012, so I can go live and work in Sweden any time I want, which was more likely before this job offer, but still… always a possibility. Or at least until January 2012. Things are really coming together, and I’m excited about all these options for the future. Researching domestic violence might be depressing, but hopefully it will be useful to some person in India when it’s done. And I might get to travel some, and I’ll learn a lot about the world. So all good things.

So that’s all! I loved all the snack suggestions from people. And the concern for my well-being. More to come later!