Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Welcome to Robin's blog

Hi everyone:

In the old days, I used to write lots of letters. Now apparently the thing to do is write and publish a blog in an attempt to convey impressions and thoughts more efficiently, so here goes.

For those of you arriving here, the likelihood is that you know me from my life in Washington (or Texas, or Mexico, or Bolivia, or maybe even Niagara Falls), so you know that I have studied Latin American economics for a long time. I am currently in India on an adventure with my son and husband to live in Bangalore for a few years (still undetermined). This blog will attempt to capture some of my thoughts and impressions. It likely will focus primarily on India, but given that I am from the US, and an international and Latin Americanist economist, I will certainly include commentary on some non-India issues from time to time. I will try to post pictures to capture our daily life, and the life around here. I'm sure I will come off as very critical of India some of the time -- I don't mean to be too negative, but will try hard to be balanced, which is hard in a country with such extremes, and full of folks who are so sure of their opinions.

I've been visiting India every few years since 1991, so I have seen lots of changes. All of my trips included visits to Bangalore and Chennai (even back when it was still called Madras), and they all included visits to my now-husband's extended family. I've seen Bangalore change from a lovely, sleepy garden town to a sprawling metropolis and global brand-name. As a result, you will realize that my reaction to things I'm seeing is both muted and amplified by my inclusion in a TamBram (Tamil Brahmin) extended family that gives me a particular insertion into society here. I will include some reflections upon past events (along with pictures) like weddings and other thoughts from past trips (the tsunami, for example) as well as some background on why we decided to come here anyway. This seems especially relevant as I write at 2 in the a.m., tremendously jet lagged, after a day of frustration in setting up life here.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts and observations with you, and hearing your comments and questions.

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