Dec. 21, 2008 – Day Trip to Dehra Dun
This will be a quick post, just so that I don’t fall behind again. The catching up business is terrible for me, but I have such lovely stories to tell. One of these days!
Yesterday I was invited to join a taxi going up to the State capitol. Three young Israelis…the lovely couple who did a workshop with me and the wife of the guy with the injured leg.. She had to go pick up a CD of his MRI to send back to Israel, and we all joined in for a day out.
The weather was again overcast, but OK, since it was easier walking around in the cool weather. Surprisingly, the last 3 overcast days have actually been warmer temperature wise, with no wind, but since the sun is covered, it feels cooler.
It was a pleasant 1 hour ride up the mountain roads (sorry.,..no pictures…didn’t want to carry the camera…if I get some from the other people’s cameras, I will post them). I’ve been wanting to take this ride for awhile for one reason. One of my all time favorite Indian writers is Ruskin Bond..I’ve read all of his books…and he spent the major portion of his life, including now, living in this area, especially in and around Dehra Dun where he grew up.
When I go walking in the mountain paths, I feel as if I already know them just from the way he always so beautifully, eloquently and lovingly describes his own walks in these hills in all his books. So having the opportunity to get to Dehra Dun was something I couldn’t turn down, even though I felt like having a “lazy day” at home.
the roads and hills are exactly as he describes them, and I can just imagine him walking here. When we got to town, one of the first things I noticed was a book shop with a sign outside “Books signed by Ruskin Bond available here”!. almost went in to buy one, but resisted the urge…
So, what do you do when you come to the big city? It IS a big city, but an Indian one, so no skyscrapers or fancy roads or even traffic lights. There are still policemen (and women) directing traffic at all the big intersections, and the town is still just two lanes, one in each direction…so you can imagine the conjestion. This used to serve the buggies and horses etc., but now with the enormous amount of rickshaws, motorbikes and cars, it is truly a polluted and congested mess!
So…aside from window shopping, which we did lots of in all the brand name shops…very expensive…not just by Indian standards…the first thing we did, at my urging (the kids didn’t know this kind of thing existed in India and were amazed and extremely pleased)…we went to one of the local branches of the national coffee shop Barrista. I first found this in 2003 in chennai…and it is as lovely as ever. Expensive, but lovely. I had my first REAL cup of coffee in over 3 months and it was heaven. I drink very little coffee even at home, but if a truly good cup is offered, I relish every drop. I also had black forest cake! The kids all had their choices as well and it was a lovely way to spend an hour.
And to our great surprise (I next stop was to be the MRI place to get the CD, but since the computer was down and the place closed on Saturday, it was not sure how we would do this. She had spoken to the guy from the clinic and he said to call when we got to Dehra Dun and not to worry). Well, while at the coffee shop, she called this guy, he asked where she was, she told him, and he said sit tight. He would meet us there. Which he did!! And, after coming into the clinic on his day off, and getting his boss to do the same, they somehow managed to get together a CD, which he delivered to her! He even offered to mail a receipt-which he didn’t have since the office was closed- to any address she wanted. This is one of the beauitful things about India. No matter what, people will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you when you really need it.
From there, we went walking and eventually, at the request of the Israeli guy who had been waiting all day and basically only came with us for this reason…we went to eat at McDonald’s!! Now I haven’t eaten this kind of stuff in maybe 30 years. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at the vegetable burger. It was quite tasty. I stomach was not too happy later on but Reiki kept it quiet.
At the table next to ours, a girl, about 12 or so, was having a birthday party with 5 of her friends, just like any other kid any where else in the world. It was really nice. And a fun adventure for me.
Got home in the evening and to complete a lovely day, I watched episodes of Heroes and had a wonderful time before happily to sleep.
Today I am meeting an Indian guy I met…which I didn’t write about as it is part of the “catching up” I have to do…he might have a way of getting me a permanent resident visa which would save me lots of trouble and money in the end…and I will meet him in about 1/2 hour.
I will now try to go back to my “being alone” for a week or so…but haven’t had much luck so far. I have a Reiki workshop coming up for a son and his mother who is coming to visit him, but nothing else planned.
Want to begin walking up through the villages…time will tell…enough for today