It is almost next year, and probably will be by the time I finish this entry. This first day has been so filled with new things that I really want to write some of it down quickly before I forget.
The journey here was long but problem-free. We got in at 1 AM. The lines were long, but not too terribly bad. We got through immigration then waited a long time for our luggage, but went through customs without any problem. We saw Ravi waving at us as we walked out of the airport. The ride to his house was a little wild, but at 2:30 AM the traffic was not anything compared to what we experienced today!
Our beautiful and gracious hosts, Ravi and Sheela.
Here are a few of the many things that I've experienced on this first amazing day.
+ I drank traditional Indian coffee in the traditional Indian way. Love at first sip!
+ I learned to eat wonderful Vegetarian fare the traditional Indian way, with my fingers. Yes, with my fingers!
+ I zapped mosquitoes with a really cool electronic zapper! My apologies to my Buddhist friends, but eliminating mosquitoes is a basic health practice here.
+ I learned how to get hot water and how to operate the shower. Important skills.
+ I relaxed on the patio and enjoyed the wonderful tropical weather and lush tropical vegetation.
+ I went to a traditional Indian dance concert.
+ I survived a ride through REAL Indian traffic. No words can describe it. Really, it is more challenging than everything you've heard and read.
+ I walked through a bustling open market and saw vegetables I've never seen before.
+ I saw a traditional kolam, made by our cook Indrani, outside the front door. This is a traditional Indian drawing made fresh each morning with rice flower.
+ I participated in an after lunch discussion, which ranged from plans for tomorrow to politics to food to religion to history to philosophy. Because, especially in India, it's all related.
And it's the new year! Although back home you still have to wait another 10 1/2 hours.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!
The sweaters and blankets many of you gave me to bring for the people of the Himalyas. Thanks!
And Google really knows how to relax.
Eating with my fingers was more difficult than I'd thought it would be. And messy!
The Bharatanatayam dance concert was amazing. They used every part of their bodies to tell the story, including fingers, eyebrows, toes and eyes. Very elegant, very beautiful. It is the classical South Indian dance.
Sheela is an expert mosquito zapper!