Boston Confidential

Just a novice runner unhealthily obsessed with the shiny future and trying to collect as many T-shirts as possible

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

March 3 in Mysore - Funkytown Part II

Most of the Westerners I have met here, the ones who come to Mysore to practice yoga, are quick to start a conversation and engage any other Westerner . It's great for me because my friend is basically working all the time (they work 6 days a week here in India - from 9:30 am until 9 pm. Tough for an American) so I'd be alone all day if I hadn't hooked up with this crowd. Now everyday is booked but even though I only do about 3 things a day, yoga class, meet for brunch Gokulam, go to a bookstore and sit by the pool, it takes all day to accomplish all of these "chores". Nothing is easy here but I love it.

One of the pics here was taken outside of Pattahbi Jois's shala where I am sort of an honorary member because I meet the girls there everyday after class to go to brunch. Another is of Mysore city center where we browse the bookstores for counterfeit yoga books and cheap ($1) yoga mats. The thing about this pic is that there are women in the street; first time I have seen women walking around in crowds. The streets here are typically teaming with Indian men and I wear dark sunglasses to avoid eye contact as it is considered provacative here in India to look into a strange man's eyes. I think this part of the city has more women because of the marketplace. Someone has to to the food shopping.

March 1 in Mysore - Another day, another random ox

We walked down the most dung-ridden street last night on the way home from the yogashala. Nathalie was actually put off by it b/c of the filth and the cows tied up all over the place but I loved it. It was just full of families, you could look right into their home and see the laughing kids, dinner being made, etc. A lot of people sit outside at night too so there were groups of old men, young kids...the real India.

India is best experienced at night but my camera does not have the capability to take sopisticated night shots. I so wish I could capture the people and the shops but I could never get the sounds and smells in a snapshot.

Feb. 27, Mysore, India

Here is a picture of Nathalie and I outside of my yogashala. I have been practicing at Mysore Mandala Yogashala with Sheshadri after P Jois told me I could only practice with in his daughter's class which is not until 8:30. Everything happens for a reason though as Sheshadri is the nicest person and his shala has a really friendly vibe, so unlike Pattabhi Jois's. The crazy thing is, I got the feeling that Pattabhi Jois liked me in spite of his rejecting me but his disposition is unlike and Indian person I have met here and he is very gruff. His daughter was nice to me but I still felt like the whole place had a snobby vibe. I am no stranger to coldness, being from Boston where snobbery rules the day but I did not want to deal with that in India.

These boys in the pic live near my Shala and they are among the privileged here in Mysore. They have servants and go to an all-boys school near the shala. I like their confidence but I know now that confidence comes with being in a higher caste than most people. They like to hang around the front of the shala to talk to Westerners and practice their English. At least, I think that is why they engage us. Most of the time, white people here are treated with the same "hands off" policy that the lower castes have with those above them so no one, other than those in the upper class, ever starts a conversation. Could be a language thing too although most people seem to speak a least a little English.

I thought I'd lose all kinds of weight when I got here because I'd have to avoid getting sick and eat only certain things but that has just not been the case. The hotel has na amazing breakfast buffet everyday and they give me a plate of cookies and basket of fruit every night. When I first got here, I would only eat fruit that had to be peeled but now eat apples, grapes and these kiwi-type things I get from the hotel. I eat salad everyday at the poolside restaurant. After spending 4 days, watching all of these skinny yoga chicks eating salads, I figured it was safe to have one myself and I have been lucky so far. It's a good thing but I was sort of counting on dropping some pounds when I got here and told my boyfriend how thin I was going to be when I got home. At this point, he won't notice any difference from when he last saw me. It's all good though.

Feb. 26, Mysore, India

Day 4 here in Mysore and I love it more everyday. Spent yesterday afternoon with my NBF Natalie (British chickie); yoga, shopping, taking rickshaw rides all over the place and arguing with rickshaw drivers.

I had to take a rickshaw home by myself from Gokulum after dinner at the Grene Leaf and the guy DOUBLED the price from last night. I know the drill now so I only had 40 rupees in my hand and he was trying to tell me it was 80 rupees b/c it was after 10 o'clock (lie) so I acted upset and said, "I only have 40 and it was 40 yesterday so how am I going to get home so late??" and he said OK. There were, no kidding 9 or so rickshaw guys, lazing around, laughing and a fare comes along and they act like supermodels that don't bother getting out of bed for less than 80 rupees a pop.....

I took three showers ysterday. The "sidewalks" are clay and there is just dirt everywhere. The constant traffic of scooters and rickshaws kick up dust I come come absolutely filthy everytime I leave the hotel and I love it. Still only wash my hair every other day though. This isn't a fashion show!

I still take pictures of cows and pigs in the street b/c I just cannot get over it. Took about 14 pics of monkeys yesterday at Chamundi Hill. Just in case I forget what monkeys look like when I get home.