January 6, 2010 – Putting an end to the Doldrums, Sun and Shadow, Mountain and Blue Sky and REAL Italian Food!
Decided this morning I could no longer allow the weather to determine my mood and promised myself I would get joy and pleasure out of today no matter what the weather brought. And as soon as I awoke I realized this was an intention I would have to actively work at, as the day dawned as dreary as all the past days.
Following my morning stuff, I decided to prepare my own breakfast, and MY porridge always makes me feel good at the beginning of the day. I then got dressed nice and warm, and decided to first check out some cosmetics one of my daughters asked for. And following that I would go down to the bookshop and exchange some books for “new” used ones for the rest of this month.. Figured by then I would be hungry again and would stop at the German Bakery for nice chai and good cake which they are known for and which I haven’t had yet since arriving in Rishikesh. Well, the day began as planned but quickly took its own course. Arrived at my favorite pharmacy to ask about
the cosmetics and was offered chai. Which I could now say “yes” too, and it was lovely to drink chai and chat with my friend for awhile. From there I took a rickshaw back up to Tapovan and stopped in for a short visit with Dr. Arora and the girls and had fun chatting with them as well…Then off to see my friend lalita who was at the hospital yesterday for tests…and where I also left 2 layers of clothing as it was just slightly warmer than yesterday, even though still dreary and fogged over.
I then walked down to laxshman jhula where I exchanged my books, but instead of staying there for chai and cake, decided the time was right to check out the new Italian restaurant which opened up 3 weeks ago…run by Italians. I was really hungry by then and figured chai and cake would be a waste of time if I could get REAL Italian food. As you can see, I DID have expectations , and the bottom line is, every one of my expectations was lived up to.
[as I sit here the sun has come out enough to create a shadow…the first one to be seen in 5 days!- Hope for tomorrow? – don’t know, but it brings a smile to my face as I sit here and write!].
I had ravioli made with homemade pasta dough, rolled out really thin and filled just perfectly with spinach and cheese, topped with perfectly cooked and seasoned tomato sauce and REAL parmesean! It was worth waiting for. Seeing I was cold, Erika, the owner and chef, even brought me a blanket to cover up with. I read, ate my main course and read some more. While waiting, I was offered a taste of their foccacia and it was so good I ordered one to take home (stuffed with veggies and cheese) and so I now have my supper waiting for me as well. After the main course, I sat cozily comfortably and warm, reading one of my new books, and waiting until I was ready for dessert. The restaurant is not near my guesthouse and knew I would not go back today, and really wanted to try the cappuccino to see if it was also “real”. Erika recommended here lemon cream cake as well, and when ready, I ordered both. And these were even beyond my expectations. A truly lovely cup of cappuccino and melt-in-your-mouth lemon cake. It was one of the very best Italian meals I’ve eaten anywhere, and certainly the very best meal I’ve eaten since arriving in India in October. I left completely happy and content for a slow walk back home where I now sit writing and looking at the sun which is slowly disappearing again, but even 5 minutes worth was enough to raise my spirits once again. Between the lovely meal, and the hint of nicer weather, the day has been wonderful so far, and I am sure more lovely things still await me.
Sure enough, my friend Eli came around to visit and she offered to take my second parcel down to be shipped for me. I put the final items in this afternoon after my walk and so am very happy to have that taken care of as well. And while she was in my room, the sun REALLY came out and we went outside to absorb the warmth and thrill at seeing the mountain and the blue sky for the first time in almost a week. The two of us were literally jumping up and down for joy and oohing and ahhing while we sat outside in the sun.
I will now go and enjoy the last ½ hour or so of sun for the day and then head off to the internet to post this, looking forward to a beautiful day tomorrow and who knows what I will find myself doing?