Sorry for the problems with the pictures. I can't figure out how to get them online, but it appears that Aaron has it figured out. Check his pictures at home.uchicago.edu/~awebman. Just imagine me standing in front of the camera and not him and you'll get the idea.
I have been in town for three days and can say that Pune is a nice kind've city. It is about the size of St. Louis with like 3.5 million people or so. It is a little crowded, but we are in a more tree-lined residential part of town than either the highly residential slums or the very neon-colored business/restaurant district. The city is somewhat scenic, being based around the fork of a river. Two days ago I went walking with Cady Susswein and Joanna through one of the slums. We walked right into a procession of a statuette and guys playing drums. They pulled me in and had me dance with them. Kind've a bizarre experience that I will be glad not to repeat, but a good memory nevertheless. Yesterday I went with someone else to a "hill station" called Mahabaleshwar, which is about 120km outside of Pune. The town has a population of about 11k and is located deep in the hills. We had a 4 hour public bus ride to get there. The bus climbed along very scenic cliff roads that were more than a little scary though the driver took it very slow and stayed on the inside lane whenever possible. One of the drops was more than 600m down. We got to the town and went on a hike down one of the mountains along a cow path (Indians only going hike when they are moving cows around). We actually ran into some of the cows and a couple of bulls which was pretty scary. We then walked along somee country roads and found some abandoned estates and a college with squatters living on the premises. We eventually made it back to town and ate at a restaurant with no silverware (1st time so far). The food has been really excellently. We then went to a mountain lake for a little bit before heading back. We decided to take a shared cab back to Pune but about halfway into the trip the car broke down. Eventually 18 men and 2 dogs surrounded the car trying to figure out the dilemma, but to no avail. Luckily we were with an Indian couple who spoke the Marathi, the regional dialect, who found us another cab. Today we had our first classes. A lecture on indian histroy and politics and an introduction to Indian lanuage. Namaste and Namaskaar both mean hello... chalo and jow both mean get lost. Had dosas for lunch today, which was really excellent. Everyone on the program is very nice, fun and interesting. Unfortunately there is absolutely no nightlife in Pune so we will have to see what we can do.