Day off, Errands

Saturday is the weekly day off from practice. Tova, just arrived from the US, came over to the guest house where we are staying and we had breakfast downstairs on the outdoor patio. Susan and Angie came over, along with some of Tova’s friends. So a nice, leisurely breakfast.

Then Anna, Susan and I ran some errands. First off, a phone for me. Everyone around here has Indian phones so they can text each other. I’d held off on getting one because I have my irrational desire to do everything via the iPad — but really, a phone will make things easier. The phone store is across the street from the coconut stand — a tiny place with phones and other technology on display — and you need to bring paperwork in order to get a phone; namely a copy of your passport and visa, as well as a passport photo. I’m not sure why these are required, but there you have it. At the place where Susan got her phone, they took her fingerprints. Mysterious.

The phone man asked me how long I’d be in India and whether I was learning yoga at the shala. He collected my paperwork, asked me to write down my US address and sign a couple of papers. He told me that service and texting are free for the first month, and that I can use the phone again when I come back to India. He set up the phone, told me that it’d take an hour for it to go online, and collected 1500 rupees from me ($28). MUCH faster and more pleasant than a trip to the Verizon store in Scottsdale.

After the phone store, we went looking for booze. When Dion and I were skyping, he challenged me to find tequila. Um, no. No luck at all. We did, however, find a shop with other spirits. I saw vodka brands I recognized (Smirnoff, Absolut) but we were shopping for whiskey. No luck, in terms of bourbon (what, no Jack Daniels?!) but there was scotch. I asked the man behind the counter which whiskey was best and he took a box off the shelf, opened it to show us the bottle, then repackaged it. Okay — sold. Along with a couple of liter bottles of 7Up.

Whee! We can have happy hour in the garden!

After booze-buying, we stopped in a little shoe store so Susan could pick up a pair of shoes suitable for her lengthy exploratory walks. Then off we went to the Silver Nest, where Meena brought us into her house and showed us tray after tray of silver jewelry. Pendants, chains, bracelets, earrings, toe rings. Anna found a Ganesh pendant and toe rings, I found an Om necklace and chain, and Susan found some earrings and a Ganesh bracelet.

As Meena was showing us her wares, she had to keep leaving the room to tell the kids to quiet down. She explained that today is a holiday, so the kids aren’t in school. Then she noted that hers is the house where all of the neighborhood kids come to play.

Speaking of children, it’s very cute the way kids around here want to say “hello” and “how are you?” and interact with us as we walk down the street. I’m shy about taking people’s pictures, but I hope I can get over it a bit before we leave. I’d love to get some photos — the kids around here are just beautiful.

After jewelry was purchased, we walked up the hill to visit the Chocolate Man’s stand. Yes, he has chocolate in beautiful wrappers, but he also sells all kinds of other (kinda random, but very appealing) items: vanilla soy milk, juices, corn flakes, Cocoa Puffs, jams. Here’s this tiny stall and you look inside and there are all these familiar looking items from home.

Here’s a dark chocolate/coffee bar, a milk chocolate butterscotch, and a dark chocolate/cashew. Decadent!

Booze, silver and chocolate. What more do you need?

Well, some lunch would be nice.

Today we walked over to Tina’s Cafe for lunch. Tina’s serves both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals.

Susan and I got dahl (beans) and Anna tried the chicken curry. We had rice and raita (a yogurt condiment) and aloo paratha (a delicious bread stuffed with potatoes).

After lunch, Susan went off to continue her marathon walk-all-over-India project, and Anna and I headed back home for some down time.

We’ve seen a lot of beautiful houses today.

And more modest homes.

And here’s a gateway — I’m not sure of its significance. We were just walking down a dirt road and there it was.

Okay. Now it’s rest time, following which we’ll do the civilized thing and have cocktails in the garden. Tomorrow it’s back to practice, starting at 6 AM. But for today it’s rest and socializing.


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