13 January 2009

Odds and Ends

A few words about everyday life at NLU-Jodhpur. It’s great. In fact, my colleague Jim Duane would be particularly pleased to know that we’re following several of his prescriptions for healthy living: no TV and virtually no meat. There’s not a single TV in the NLU House. We haven’t missed it. We brought DVDs of several old and a few newer movies. So far we’ve watched two on my laptop. We’ve also listened to several interviews on the latest Mars Hill Audio Journal. We had a TV in our room at the Green Meadows Guest House in Delhi; the news here is as repetitive and shallow as in the States.

Sravan would cook meat if we asked him but everyday it’s dal (Hindi for lentils (there are 14 varieties and Sravan uses many of them, each with a different blend of spices), subgee (vegetables) of typically three sorts (usually, however, including tomato) in a masala (sauce), and chipati (soft, unleavened flatbread, otherwise known as roti). Panir (cottage cheese) sometimes substitutes for meat. And occasionally we get chaval (rice) as well as chipati. Sravan cooks almost everything from scratch, without any recipes, with a pressure cooker (my Mom had one of those, I wonder what happened to it?), and a small non-stick pan over a gas flame (and sometimes directly over the flame!). Breakfast for us is Western—toast and jam plus tea with milk and sugar for me. Monday’s breakfast was a special treat: anda (eggs) in an omelet with onions and green chilies, a little zippier than my usual cold cereal at home. We eat a relatively late breakfast, 7:30, but lunch at a typical time of day in India—1:30. Dinner is usually around 7:30 or a little later. Indians generally take tea twice a day, mid-morning and around 4:30 in the afternoon.

I attended the final round of arguments in the international law moot court on Sunday. Two justices from the Supreme Court of India plus virtually the entire bench of the Rajasthan High Court attended. Security was noticeable but not oppressive. The arguments were solid but I think a team from Regent would have had a great chance to take away an impressive trophy and the 12,000 Rs. first prize, assuming its members could get used to calling the judges (sitting as the Court of International Justice) “Your Excellencies.”

On Monday I joined Dr. Amar Singh in the LL.M/M.B.A. class on commercial transactions where we’ll be teaching the Indian Sales Act of 1930 and Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code. We’ll get to negotiable instruments/payment systems later this semester, which gives me time to learn something about that topic. Together with the second semester Contracts students, this graduate-level course will give me a good cross-section of the students at NLU. The number of Contracts students coming to my office is also picking up. Until someone tells me otherwise, I’m operating under the assumption that it’s because they have a deep love for the subject, not that they can’t understand my American accent.

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