Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back from Belgium!

My life is a whirlwind right now. I just got back from a 3-day holiday in Brussels. It was very last-minute, my friend was suddenly left with a spare plane ticket and I jumped at the opportunity to go with her. Suppose that's one of the perks of working freelance, you can take days off whenever you like.

The weather was perfect, 30C everyday, with the sun only setting around 9pm. Cindy and I were in love with the city, there was beautiful architecture everywhere and waffle stands around each corner. We did a lot of sightseeing but not much partying. The men were too aggressive there, their me-and-my-five-other-boys-over-there-would-love-to-show-you-around approach put us off from the get-go. We both decided we'll visit the city again, but next time, with men by our side.

Anyhow, I'm back and got my new work schedule. I'll be reporting a few days each week until my departure date. I also just got hired by another company for freelance editing and am busy training for that. I'm thankful for the work but am realising it's left me with little time to plan my trip. Some of my family says this is a sign that I shouldn't be leaving for India, as good work opportunities don't come often.

I've finally made an official announcement to all my friends that I'll be leaving in September, partially to make myself realise that this is really happening. I still have this inkling that I'm gonna bail out of this idea at the last minute, if not now than perhaps at the airport! Everything about this trip is very unlike me.

I'm applying for my Visa next week. I'm doing some shopping today, will be replacing all my tanks with T-shirts instead. My to-do list needs a lot of work, right now it's a confusing jumble of random notes (such as, buy adaptor; get vaccinated; buy gifts for host family; need sunscreen, etc). Looking at it is stressing me out, I need to find a way to prioritize the tasks by importance, but the problem is, it all seems important to me.

Anyhow, I better get a move on. Am also trying to squeeze in some time to watch Love Aaj Kal tonight.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

India Here I... Come!!

Guess what? I purchased my ticket for India! I'll be leaving in September, just a few weeks away. I am incredibly nervous, I've been keeping myself very busy until my departure date as a distraction.

In the past month, I got more than my usual number of news reporting shifts at a local tv station. I think I'm getting better at the job. Although the stories I cover are different each day, there is a basic flow to the chaotic day that I'm getting used to. You get to the station, briefly discuss the latest headlines, see what story the director wants you to cover, make some phone calls for possible interviews, update your cameraman on the day's plans and head off to whatever you have scheduled (even if it's nothing). This is just a basic guideline of course, there are always things that go wrong during the day (such as having no leads, or being told your story has been switched with another reporter at the last minute, etc.). But each day, no matter how stressful the hours on the run are, I get back home thinking how much I love reporting. I would feel incredibly lucky and thankful to be doing something I enjoy so much. But as a freelancer it's a temporary high, since the days (sometimes weeks or months) that I don't get called in to work make me feel hopeless about my career (if I can even call it one when working so little).

I was really hesitant about leaving the tv station, after all it had taken me years just to land an internship at a station. Perhaps it's crazy of me to delve into the unknown in India. I may never get my foot back into tv again. But I think at this point in my life it's a chance I have to take. I'm going to stop wondering 'what if,' have no choice but to try and stay positive about this jump, and pray that something good comes out of this move.

A few people have told me to watch out for the casting couch calls in Mumbai. Apparently it's not just Bollywood employers that expect women to sleep with them for a job there, it's happening in tv news as well. The audacity of some people, taking advantage of their positions, disgusting. Some of my family has talked me into looking for work in Bangalore and New Delhi as well, they think Mumbai will eat me alive. I'm finally down with that idea. The only thing is that if I end up working outside of Mumbai, my blog title won't make much sense anymore now, will it?