October 16, 2009- Happy Diwali

October 17, 2009

It is now actually the morning of the 17th and is the Diwali Festival (Festival of lites), which usually comes the same time as chanuka but this year is very early due to the Indian calendar.  So, back to yesterday, my first full day in Rishikesh this year:

Friday-October 16, 2009

Planned to bring in laundry, go to internet, change money, and then go visit dr. arora and girls, go for lunch at my favorite restaurant and then do my initial shopping and ask them to deliver.

Everything was going well, took and easy morning, had mixed fruit porridge and hot ginger, got dressed and was ready to go out when they told me the plumber, who didn’t come yesterday to fix the toilet which Is not working properly, was on the way.  “coming just now”…So I waited, spoke to some friends downstairs, he came, supposedly fixed it, made a real mess of the bathroom (and in the end it is not working and now is also leaking in another place and so he will have to come back, but tomorrow is diwali so I will wait until Sunday and suffer through the mess another day)….so I finally got out around 12, and DID get to the internet and to change money;   $$ is very low to my dismay….would have been better off with euro but what to do…no choice now.  Chatted with my Mother and another couple of friends, and finally went down to visit.  Spent a lovely 1 ½ hours with dr. arora (says no swine flu in rishikesh but one case reported recently in dehradun)  Asked him why the roads which were being worked on when I left 6 months ago didn’t look any different than they did then.  During the 4 months of monsoon, no work was done and they have just gotten back to work about 2 weeks ago-it is all supposed to be done by November but I have my sincere doubts that this will not happen.  He says it doesn’t matter –either it will be done, or, it won’t be done ! This is what India is all about…saw devi, one of the massage girls,  and my friend reingard from germany who is already in the middle of her panchakarma and we also had a nice visit.  Then went down and had a lovely lunch in my favorite restaurant.  It has changed and doesn’t have my very favorite dish anymore, has been redecorated but is still nice and it was pleasant seeing everyone again.  Also stopped by the wifi internet place and said hi….then went to the grocery with my list and he agreed to deliver.  So I bought everything I could think of to get started and it came to 2200 rupees which is about 200 shekel but I am set for some time now.  He delivered to my room and I also stopped to get some fruit and veggies, and sweets.  The grocery was out of many things though like tehini and ghee.  Being diwali, seems the big companies cannot keep up with the demand so they are making “fake” ghee to sell and the guy in the shop told me to go directly to the dairy and get homemade ghee which I did.

All in all it was a successful day and found myself back in my room at 4:30 very happy.  My legs are now a little cramped from all the walking which I am not yet used to but I didn’t find any of it difficult like I usually do when I first arrive, especially going up the hills, so guess I am in good shape this year.  Everyone who sees me tells me I look much younger than last year and the truth is at home I’ve also been told this so guess I look good because I feel so good.

One of the internet guys here is getting married end of October and has invited me, and this time I might think of going as it is INDOORS and could even be nice!

Came back to my room, got a few more things put away but still have to wait for Sunday to get the rest of the things I need for the room.  Gas cylinder will also not be here until Sunday…and my parcel with stuff I need has not arrived yet but hopefully will be in here in a couple of days also.

I fixed up the bed this morning and am now comfortably under my own blanket cover, using the nite lite my friend left me, and quite comfortable and at peace.

Sat out a lot this evening also and will now go happily to sleep, with plans of getting a massage tomorrow although things may be closed for diwali in which case I will just rest

It is funny how I can feel so much at home, as if I never left….and knowing everyone makes it all so pleasant.  Some friends will be arriving over the next couple of weeks as well and I’ve checked prices for several day trips, and hope to make them together with my friends…to share costs of taxis but also to have someone to share the fun with.

I will begin my panchakarma probably in 3 weeks or so  and until then make every effort to enjoy each and every day to the fullest.

Being here is once again a dream come true….I am truly blessed.

Love to all

Namaste

Jane


October 15, 2009 – Update

October 17, 2009

Hope you’ve already read the first post…continuing where I left off:

We got to rishikesh in record time (just 5 ½ hours including a 45 minute rest stop), it is now 8 in the evening…I am exhausted but very happy…I visited my dear friend seema for about an hour today and it seems like I left just yesterday…

I managed to eat brunch, unpack, get my kitchen unpacked and then the rest of my clothes from seema, have my room 90% set up and will finish tomorrow….need to do lots of shopping but Saturday is diwali so was advised to stay away from the market until Sunday, which I will do.  Met some nice Israelis this evening and had a light supper with them, am now in my room, in bed, with my laptop just like at home…I even have a nite lite this year which ilse left me last year so I don’t even have to get out of bed to shut the lite…will finish this up and then go to sleep

Had a nice shower…room has new curtains, new shower head, but the toilet still leaks all over the place and am waiting for the plumber to come tomorrow…but no new mattresses as promised and I will speak to nandu about this…

I was given everything I asked for with no questions asked and even took 3 pillow for myself this time…am waiting for a nicer blanket but all in all, with my rugs down, my pictures hung, my table set up ….it is already home,

Tomorrow just want to go walking and visiting, have a nice lunch in my favorite restaurant along the ganga, and on the way home do a big grocery shopping and hopefully they will deliver for me.

And that’s it…my eyes are closing as I type this so will just drift off to sleep and will hopefully sleep through the nite and wake up to a bright new day.

Ah..by the way, the clothes I left with seema had absolutely no smell or dampness in them while the couple of things I left with my kitchen stuff (a couple of towels and shawls) here at swiss cottage all smell terribly from monsoon and are even damp…I will have to wash them after hanging them overnite outside.  Good thing I took seema’s advice and left all my clothing with her…it is good as new.

Namaste

Jane


October 15, 2009 – Back Home

October 17, 2009

October 15, 2009 – FIRST 5 HOURS IN INDIA

First 5 hours in India…total sensory overload….kamikaze drivers continue to rule the roads….brilliant color….amazing scenery, enormous variety of wildlife and smells,….from pollution to the scent of flowers….monkeys, dogs, bullocks, wild pigs….bicycles, rickshaws, motorbikes, pedestrians, cars, trucks, all trying to get “there” faster….]

I arrived at the airport ½ hour EARLY and was out in less than 20 minutes…this included a mandatory health check and sworn and signed affidavit attesting to the fact that I am not nor have been exposed to swine flu (a large number of airport workers were wearing masks –a little disconcerting to say the least)…getting through immigration, picking up my luggage and coming out to find not only my driver, but my friend seema’s husband, ashish, waiting to take me home to rishikesh.  His sister was going back to Delhi and he heard I was arriving so he decided to get a ride with the taxi for his sister, escort her home and then accompany me from the airport…it was realty a lovely surprise to be greeted on THIS side by a familiar face.  And of course we spoke and had breakfast together a cheetal, a lovely rest stop ½ way between delhi and rishikesh..  my first parantha this trip and of course chai. –and then both of us actually felt into a sort of sleep during the next part of the extremely bumpy, stop/start trip along a road which is still under construction.

And he told me so many things….although rishikesh had plenty of rain this monsoon, the rest of India is experiencing a terrible drought….sounds like home

That Saturday is diwali and it would really be good for me to do any shopping I need to today or tomorrow as there are big sales.  (doubt it…the market will be flooded with people shopping..not my cup of chai)….and then the really surprising thing….rishikesh is patrolled by policemen and each area has had 3 regulars coming around each day to the guest houses checking to see how many Israelis are in each place….they are afraid of attacks by el-Qaeda…..and now that the Israeli festivals are over and most have left…the police have thinned out but there are still two armed commandos in each area just to be sure

Backroad being built while traveling on it…mud from the river, bullocks pulling carts filled with it and spreading on the “rode” while cars are traveling along the road…I haven’t the faintest idea how this road gets built at all

And of course the noise….i never quite get used to that…

That’s it for now…I am with my little laptop in the taxi actually…there is no way I could be writing this with pen and paper on the road but having this little laptop makes it a possibility and makes it easy to get this down “on paper”…

Namaste

Jane


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