Dec. 19, 2008 – Trying to Catch Up – Treks, Restaurants, Toilets, Visits, People and more..
This will probably be in more than one post….
PICTURE OF ME AT WATERFALL – This was my amazing first mountain walk in Rishikesh thanks to Nobu’s persistance and confidence in my abilities…I will write more and post many more pictures. You’ve already seen the video with the wonderful sounds of this lovely day.
I don’t really know where to begin this post, so will begin it with today. I went to sleep yesterday knowing that the time has come. Meaning: Whenever I come to India, I find myself completely surrounded with people, and it is always very pleasant, but defeats the purpose of being in India. This has happened to me on every one of my trips, and at some point, I always realize that I need to get back to myself. I’ve been feeling this for some time now but yesterday I finally put my mind to it and had my first alone day (not completely, but better than any other day so far.). This morning I decided to be COMPLETELY with me, myself and I, and God decided to make the decision easier by providing me with the first really nasty day since I arrived (it rained one day but by 11 in the morning the sun was out again). It is now after 11 in the morning, completely overcast, no sun, and with an uncomfortable chill in the air. And although I had made plans to do JUST one thing this morning, I have no inclination to even get dressed. After my morning stuff and shower I just got back into my “hanging around the house” clothes, had my breakfast, and now will begin to catch up on all the past days as much as possible. There are many things to write about and I will try and keep things short and just give you a general idea of the events and the feelings I experienced as a result of things which happened. There will be pictures to try and give further detail.
I am thankful every minute to God and the Universe for always providing all I need at each moment to make each day just as perfect at it can be, including today. With the need to finally sit down and write, and the weather as it is, I am quite happy sitting in my room, bundled up in my blanket shawel, listening to music and being at the computer.
My lovely daughter Shlomit had taken the time to burn and mail to me enough episodes of our favorite TV series to keep me busy for a long time. When they arrived however, for some reason my computer was unable to read them. But I found that the computers at the really good internet café could all read them, and so went down there a couple of days ago with my laptop and memory stick and spent a couple of hours filling up my hard disc, with as many episodes as possible. I will have to make a second run like that when I finish what I now have, but I can now enjoy my dinner in my room while watching a couple of episodes each evening. The evening begins early now as it is dark by 6 and much too chilly for me to go out. So if no one comes to visit me (a rare event), I have many hours alone in the evening and the TV series are just the thing. She sent me a large variety of genres so I can pick and choose according to my mood. Really nice.
I have been basically cooking two meals a day for myself, breakfast of porridge cooked with raisins, almonds, prunes, cinnamon, ghee and fresh sliced apple. Quite delicious! And in the evening, either kitcheri most nights, or pasta or vegetable soup. I eat my lunch out at various places which is always pleasant. Below a few pictures of some of the views from the restaurants I eat in. It is so lovely in these places that I can sit for hours just enjoying the Ganga energies PICTURES taken from a couple of my favorite restaurants…both for the food and the view…perfect combination of energies.
You can see more pics of restaurant views following this…still want to get pictures here in the morning…it looks like some lovely place in Europe…
Yesterday I discovered a restaurant which has sour dough bread available (I am not supposed to eat bread made with yeast but it is hard to find here) and had a lovely grilled cheese sandwich and perfectly made pumpkin soup to go along with it. I’ve been wanting
to eat here for awhile, also for the view, but they have no toilet and that is always a problem for me. I mentioned this to the guy and he said no problem. He showed me just up the road there is a free, clean, public toilet (yes, really clean) that I can use. So now I not only have a lovely new place to eat, I have a handy, centrally located public toilet whenever I am out in Laxman jhula!
I am particularly enjoying my music as well, as at home I don’t live alone and cannot always play what I want, at the volume I want, as it would not be considerate. Here I can do as I please and am really luxuriating in the music which surrounds me, each day something different, or sometimes the same thing for days on end. I dance a few evenings a week also, or just listen to my folkdancing music. Since I do cooking (which also involves washing dishes, which I must do in a bucket, squatting on the floor!), I have more “housework” than I have in the past, and music makes it more enjoyable. A couple of days ago while do a good housecleaning, I had Simon and Garfunkle playing quite loudly, and my neighbors were thoroughly enjoying themselves as well, singing along!
So, maybe I’ll just being telling the stories of all the “missing days” as concisely as possible, with the addition of pics where available. If I don’t get to all of them in this post, I will post them separately.
Last Wednesday, I finished a Reiki Workshop for two nice Israeli kids as I mentioned, and then went straight out to meet Devi and go see her Mother’s new sari which she had bought with the rest of the money my friend had donated. First I took Devi to the fruit and vegetable store and told her to pick whatever fruit she wanted for her family (they never eat fruit, cannot afford it), and as long as she would be carrying it home, she could get as much as she wanted. She bought a kilo each of oranges, apples, bananas, pomegranates and was not interested in pineapple, papaya or grapes, coconut, or chicho. What she bought cost me all of 19 shekel!, but that is quite expensive for an Indian family like Devi’s with barely enough money for rice and lentils. She was already in ecstatic, and on the way home to her house, I told her I was also taking her for lunch. You should have seen her face!! But I told her no Indian food…and she was then even more excited and asked if she could have PIZZA! I agreed happily and we went to the restaurant with the lovely Ganga view (I will still try to get more pics during the day here). I had pasta, which was great, and she completely enjoyed the pizza (I will post a picture tomrorow…forgot it on my laptop!), but only ate 3 slices, making sure she would have enough to take home to the rest of her family! Which she did. I also bought them some ladoo, Indian sweets, and then we headed back to her house. She didn’t have much time as she had to be back by 3 at a local charity hospital where she volunteers two afternoons a week. We had to walk quickly, and even so, we would get there just in time for her to leave again. And I wouldn’t have a chance to see her Mother dressed up for a picture in her new sari, and will be going back.
Well, as we got closer to her house, but still about 15 minutes away, a neighbor man came along on his motorbike, and offered her a ride. It would save 15 minutes of walking and she insisted we should get on the bike. I said “BOTH of us????? There was barely room for one person behind him, but she left me no choice. So I asked her to get on first so at least she would be the one up against the guy, but she refused…it is not proper…and made ME get on behind him. I did, but left enough space between us to make it fairly modest, but as she jumped on behind me (side saddle as all Indian girls and women ride), she said “move, move, up, up, closer, closer, more closer…more more more…” Until I was closer to this man, in the most intimate embrace, than most of us are even while making love!!! It was quite embarrassing…I have no idea if he was uncomfortable as I was, but she seemed oblivious to the whole situation. It was only when we got to her house, and we were sitting with her mother and sisters, that I told them what she did to me, and we made a big joke of it, but once she understood what she had done to me, she was quite embarrassed….. In the end we were all laughing hysterically as I sat her in front of me, between my legs, and demonstrated how close I was sitting next to the guy, all the time asking her if she was enjoying herself…saying that I hope at least the guy had a few moments of pleasure …etc. We were all laughing so much, including her mother, that it was dangerous, because remember, there is no toilet in her house!. It has now become a joke between us, all in good nature of course, but it was really an experience for me.
When I arrived at the house, her mother grabbed me and began hugging and kissing me, and this went on for the whole time I was there. Every few minutes she would turn around and hug and kiss me again, with an enormous smile on her face and tears in her eyes from great joy. It is amazing that so little can bring so much joy to another person. Her sari is red, and quite beautiful and she promised next time I come she would put it on me first. Everyone enjoyed the pizza, and Devi elicited a promise from all of them that there would still be some fruit left for her when she got back from the hospital in the evening, and with that, we had to leave so she could get back on time. It was a completely elevating and inspiring couple of hours. To be witness to pure joy and family togetherness despite great poverty and lack of all things we consider necessary for happiness. I look forward to my next visit.
And since there is still soooooooooo much to write about last week and this week, I will end this post here and write some more later in a new post. Don’t want this to get too long.