Or, When the Guest House starts to look like Prison.

Because of the security situation, we’re not really allowed to go anywhere this week. No restaurants, no hotels, no public markets, no crowded places, nowhere much farther than the few thousand square feet of this guest house that I could now describe in painful detail even with my eyes shut. This means we’re forced to get a bit creative when it comes to entertainment. We’ve already compared and swapped all the DVDs we brought from home (oddly, no one seemed very interested in my collection of sustainable agriculture documentaries. ?!). We’ve sent the drivers out to pick up watermelons so we can remember it’s summer here even though we’re in an air-conditioned cave all the time. We’ve checked out despair.com’s collection of demotivators and picked out our favorite. Mine, most definitely = “It’s Always Darkest Just Before It Goes Pitch Black.”

To make things even more boring, today is the day that pandora.com (free, perfectly customized internet radio that I love and am addicted to) decided to stop working in Pakistan. Something about not being “licensed.” Tell it to the shops with the thousands of bootleg DVDs! Since when do we care about licensing around here when I can get a copy of “I Love You Man” for $3? Anyway, my source of hip-hop is now shut off and it looks like I will have to start buying music like everybody else.

We can’t go to the gym to work out, so today I decided to solve the problem of the lack of exercise AND the lack of entertainment in one fell swoop. After the “workday” was over (I put “workday” in quotes because when you’re locked down, there really is no end to the workday…all the hours just flow together), I pulled out the video I made of my favorite Pilates class in Boston before I left and projected it on the big screen in the conference room. The entertaining part is that I made two of my colleagues do the video with me, one of whom is a self-admitted exercise-phobe whose grunting and heavy breathing noises made me laugh so hard it was difficult to do my ab work. Thank you, Imran. I’d take you to Alcatraz with me anytime.