Saturday, September 16, 2006

dateline india

Things are never how you expect them to be - particularly countries. That is until I arrived in India. Definitely still in jetlag/arrival phase but the impression is living up to the stereotypes, good and bad - typified by the mixture of smells, from jasmine to dead rats rotting in the sun.

It's not technically my first time here though there has been about a 30 year gap between visits. I'm not really sure if the 4 year old who was lead by his parents through the streets of Calcutta, barefoot and stepping painfully on lit cigarette butts, really counts as the same person that is here now. Interestingly though there is lots that is familiar, in fact it doesn't really feel foreign at all - although I may have to revise that little assertion in a few days once the culture shock starts to hit home.

I lay on my bed in the hotel here in Mysore this afternoon reflecting on the fact that this for me is the start of a few months overseas - after the 3 months here I am spending 6 weeks with my mother and sister in Australia. That's all pretty exciting to contemplate. But so was the fairly ordinary prospect of lunch - a dhosa in the end. I'll be honest, it took me a while to bite the bullet and find somewhere to eat. Like most people I don't relish the idea of getting ill and my digestion has often been the first thing to complain after a change of location. Dhosa +3hrs now and nothing to report. Ya gotta eat.

The other thought that came up was - 'what am I really doing here?' After all, one can practice ashtanga next to a roaring fire in a bothy clinging to the side of a Hebridean isle, so why come here of all places? Maybe I'll cook up some answers to that one by the time I leave.

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