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Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I sit in an internet cafe with a long wall mirror which is decorated with scrunched al-foil around the edges. This compliments nicely my recent obsession with the mighty glad-bag when packing for overseas excursions, it has become my best friend.
This morning at breakfast the man at the next table let out a mighty deep growl. A sigh of satisfaction. You see the pastries are so good in Rome that you can't help but be at peace with your surroundings as you down a caffe and cornetto.
The jet lag sends me into deep sleep between 5pm and 9pm, then able to enjoy a late night leisurely dinner of pasta or pizza with a quarter litre of house wine (ie. alcoholic ribena).
The weater is crisp. The Colosseum is large. The pizza is good. The tourists must be avoided at all costs. Pity I am one. The coffee is best where you see the policemen drinking it.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

today we went to the house of TS Satyan and looked through his photographic prints.

an amazing 80 something year old man with a life of beautiful photographic work.

what a privilege on my second last day in mysore.

English? No.
Kannada? No.
Hindi? No.
Cricket? Yes.

"Which country?""Australia"
"Cricket ... Yes".

Monday, January 23, 2006

can't sleep? be like sharath and do your practice at 2am. do it in the dark. challenge your dristis. fall asleep in savasana and be woken up by the mist rolling in through the windows that you left wide open.

one interesting thing about not being able to sleep is that you start to hear the sounds that become audible as the rest of india quietens down. like the clock next door that plays B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, and Bingo was his name-o at a zillion decibels every hour, followed by a number of chimes corresponding to the time. if i can hear it going off every hour, how on earth does it not wake the family up who live with the clock? i guess its india, the noise is comforting. you are more likely to be woken up by some sudden lack of sound here, than any sound.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

in india, fries or chips are called "finger chips", lychees are called "litchees" and rickshaws don't understand the word 'left', but understand the instruction "lefting" or "leftah".

k asked s why i wasn't at practice the other day and he aptly replied: she is broken, india has broken her. she doesn't want to play anymore.

retreat to the safety of your apartment, turn up the music and plough through novels. i read the life of pi, the no. 1 ladies detective agency, and some real trash that i wouldn't recommend and/or admit to reading.

eat as much chocolate as you can.

eat litchees.

order chinese food, bean curd and mushroom stirfry.

consider going home a week early, but decide you don't want to be defeated in that way.

drink ginger and lemon tea with honey and a few cardamon pods.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

garbage disposal

it is fully accepted that india is a giant garbage disposal and urinal all in one. yesterday i had to empty my own rubbish as my maid hadn't come for 3 days. i wanted to go and just throw it across the road as seemed to be the general mode of operation, but my western sensibilities made me feel guilty about doing it in daylight hours. so i went down with my overflowing bin and asked my landlady where i should dispose of it, and she pointed exactly across the road where i was considering.

and the best thing was that as i was chucking out some stir fry and rice that i didn't eat from a saucepan, goat lady* came and the goats raced over and started eating the rice off the floor and then about 10 of then were putting there mouths in my saucepan and i couldn't get out. i was trapped in by goats gnawing my saucepan and goat lady was laughing her head off.

*goat lady = the lady the walks the goats. or tends the goats. she has a big staff and yells at them and they follow her direction in a general sense while wandering all over the road, getting in the way of traffic and entertaining the crazy westerner who stands on her balcony in hope of goat and goat lady sightings.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

i'm dirty, unhealthy, exhausted and laughing at myself. i thought i might make it through india without being brought to my edge, without having true "india meltdown". but combine 2 days of fighting with an indian family and 3 days of lying in bed sick as anything with india, hardly getting up at all and you pretty much hate india. you reach your limit, your threshold. if you had any energy, you might scream at the top of your lungs at the passing rickshaw with the ridiculous horn, the guy yelling papaya papaya papaya (i always did hate papaya) how mad and awful their country is.

but then wait a few days, when you can make it outside. the sun is shining, the rickshaw driver is beeping, the guy is crying out papaya and suddenly you love it, its charm is back in glorious form. you give in and you give in. and then you give in a little more. and then give in to whatever is left. theres nothing you can do. no defence. no facade. it teaches you a lot about what you cling to, what makes you secure. as you watch it piece by piece be stripped away.

inhale vishnu

exhale shiva

Sunday, January 08, 2006

what wonder the chopsuey dosa and the MP dosa filled with kesari bath. mad combinations, but somehow made for each other.

what wonder in diamond chai recommended by the lovely praveen and shalini at the tailor supply shop.

i keep this in mind as i fight the fight that is having an indian landlord.

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