Hey! Wow! Finally I made it back. How was everyone's week? What the hell happened to the last seven days?! Yack.
I'm dedicating the last of my days in India to a new routine: rise early, go for a nice long walk in the coolness, spend the next several hours indoors under the fan plugged in to the internet, eat some cooling fruit salad, sleep during the heat of the day, go for another nice long cool walk, and stay up late so as to enjoy the relative coolness again. Why didn't I do this sooner?! Yack.
I'm growing ever grumpy with my college guest house mates. I'm just like Thomas, only not so good at having fun with my grumpiness. Thomas is from Austria, and has been in Brazil for the last several years. He loves being a tourist, he likes playing (harmless) tricks on folks, and he regularly slings himself into his hammock (at his self-made Kodaikanal, if you'll recall) to escape 'the kitchen chit-chat'.
At first I loved the kitchen chit-chat. I love hanging out with people and yakking. But lately, I'm feeling inharmonious with the chit-chat. Because a lot of it comes from white male lesson-talk. You know, it's not really conversation, it's when someone interjects on every subject, in the form of a lesson, instead of a conversation. How's that for a circular sentence?
Oh I know, as a blogreader, you probably want to hear about the good times; and as a blogger I feel a certain responsibility to convey that. But right now, I am overheated, my shit has never stank so bad, I'm swollen with the humidity, disappointed that India and I aren't simpatico, feeling very frustrated with the difficulties I'm experiencing just trying to communicate and understand people, even with people who speak English, and....
Hey wait a minute! I'm leaving on Monday! Isn't that great news?! I think so!
I'll be visiting my Uncle Chuck and Aunt Marty in Arizona. Ha ha haaaa! Where it's hot! No, but not as hot as here. And not as humid. Uncle Chuck contacted me out of the blue last December, just as I was readying flight plans for India. Haven't seen these folks since I was a young'un...Chuck visited my mother and I in San Diego when I was 12 years old.
They live outside of Tucson, which looks like a fairly fun and happening place. Huzzah!
In the meantime, I'm going to cut loose some baggage (It's true that when you stay in one place it is easy to accumulate stuff), eat some Indian food, kick back in the hammock listening to the myriad bird calls....and count the minutes until my departure.
Romeo don't come knocking now, because I really mean it: I am leaving India!
Last night, I was up so late, and there were birds of all sorts still singing. It was so strange, and surreal. I liked it though, it's one thing that really drives home to me that I'm in a completely different place, on a completely different continent. I mean sure, I see Indians all day long, and the smells are different...but there is something about the bird sounds. There were even different ones last night that I hadn't heard before. I guess I was up really late.
Hey I forgot what a great weekend I had :) Here are some pictures, thank god I took those! On saturday I hit up the market outside Solar Kitchen - great organic food and amazingly cheap kombucha (a big bottle of soda with rose petals 'for cooling' is about fifty US cents). There was a beautiful rangoli outside
And I saw Anna, who is a ceramics artist and in a past life, a librarian also:
On sunday I showed Kathy, Clemens and Victoire the way to Johnny's. He's the Australian guy who lives in the woods (uh....don't we all, here? but him, moreso than others) and has been here since The Beginning. He wears a turban and a lungi (the skirt) anywhere he goes. Even London. I'm not kidding. And he makes kick-ass dosai. I found a wall of didjeridoos, grabbed one, started playing and getting a groove on...Clemens and a young lad joined in with drumming, Kathy did some of her signature booty-shaking (she does claim to be a channeler of sorts and I totally believe her), and so did Victoire. The obligatory photos around the Shiva were in order as well.
I love the cymbal. Typical Johnny and Company. I'm always relieved when I see a bit of the irreverence around here. I think that The Mother has a healthy sense of humor. Had. She's passed on and way now. But they say her eyes are always watching....
I love her haircut, I am trying very hard to coax and cut mine into a similar semblance. So far very little joy in that arena. It's been a nearly year-long hair crisis for me, folks!
Victoria/Victoire, as shot by Kathy.
And Johnny (guess which one is Johnny), with the young lad who has a keen sense of rhythm, actually!
The other night I went to Kirtan. It's a chanting circle. Two hours of chanting. Initially I was reticent. Skeptical. Scornful even. Anything that reminds me of singing in church gives me the willies. But I was told this was light and fun. Well I think I am hooked! We sang stuff in Hindi, or Sanskrit, or something very old and ancient, and felt old and ancient. Certainly the tones, the chants, feel vibey and good to me. And Jivan, who is a resident music maker and soul shaker, led most of our chants in his amazingly sweet and resonant voice. Ok. I could just sit and listen to him for hours. It was nice to chant in a language I don't know -- I think the syllables carry a sort of power in them anyway, but instead of focusing on a meaning I could focus on the feel and get out of my head and into my body. Kathy certainly did! She popped right up off her cushion and danced in a circle around us, shaking her head and her hands and hopping around like a bird. It was great.
Last night I tired of the kitchen chit-chat and went to a movie. The News and Notes (a weekly publication in Auroville) outlined a french film WITHOUT subtitles (they used caps). I figured why not go, maybe I can just get out of my head and into something else, watching the actors and body language, yeah? So off I rode on my newly configured bicycle, to an air-conditioned, soft-cushion-seated theatre...
(David, the Englishman who gave me a cigarette a few nights ago, and who is very kind and very a lot of thing and very good at talking in lessons and who I told I would want on my Trivial Pursuit Team, fixed the front fender on my Hercules mountain bike, which was dis-attached and clanging against the metal bar it was supposed to be affixed to - for the last two weeks, yack. Also the chain kept slipping off and I kept spewing very unladylike epithets when this happened. Fortunately every time it happened, I was either in the broad of daylight, or near enough to a rare streetlight in the dark of night, and manage to put it back on)
The movie was subtitled after all. Typical :) Hee haw!
No really, it's so typical. Around here, and in India, you just have to go for it, and see what happens (I guess that is true the world over, but I am really with it in my face here, as Camille would remind me). Maybe if I could overcome even a little bit more of my anal-retentiveness (I've come a long way, baby, believe me), I would enjoy my Indian carnival ride even more. Or, if Romeo and I had hooked up before I left. Anyway, the movie was good enough (Yael would love that...it wasn't perfect, it was good enough - you can read about that a few posts back), which was good enough for me, and I felt chilled out, which was also good enough, and the weather was cooling down enough so that my chubby thighs didn't chafe together with sweat when I walked back to my newly configured bike! Yay!
So now I am off to eat that fruit salad, after I check the bulletin board at the Solar Cafe, to see if anyone is offering a taxi share to Chennai airport on monday. If not, I'll book one myself and post an ad for share-riding. It'll be worth it (about thirty bucks! I'm so in the red with my carbon footprint now, even with the years of bike riding, public transportation, and carlessness!!). I'm not up for the bus. My flight leaves at 8pm from Madras (Chennai), to Delhi, then on to Chicago, Phoenix, and finally Tucson. That oughtta keep me on my toesies. Yack!
**teriadoo is a really bad phonetic spelling of the Tamil word that translates most accurately into "I don't know"
ps - no I'm not smoking cigarettes. I mean yeah I smoked one the other night, and it was FABULOUS, but I haven't taken up the habit/haven't smoked any others. Also, I gave up coffee and have now recovered from the after-effects. I hadn't been drinking coffee on a regular basis for years (since I was a smoker) but several weeks ago picked up the habit again. Decided I needed to quit that shit before I became too addicted and had to kick another bad habit. I spent the other day drowsing in a hammock with a headache, but now I am one hundred percent better!