Road to Mysore.
And we’re all gathered in Bangalore and safe, with only one case of missing baggage, and 10 cases of stomachs full of maslsa dosa! (Actually right now We’re waiting for Becca and Cat to show up, but I’m hoping for the best, as they should be here within the hour!)
A few of us were quite perplexed by the bucket baths so Steve-Ji taught us how to pour water into a bucket and use the smaller bucket to grab the water from the bigger bucket and pour water onto ourselves – I’d go further into this, but I do recall a blog from two years ago when another student ran the daily blogs explain in great detail how this all works, and frankly, I’m unsure how to spin the mechanics of bucket baths into a greater metaphorical exploration of the inner-self, or something entertaining enough to guide you through today’s blog. So instead I’ll leave a funny photo of something (which hasn’t been taken yet, so let’s hope I find something funny today) below.
Wasn’t that a laugh riot? I knew you’d like it. And if you didn’t enjoy it, then perhaps I’ll burry a cheap pun within the rest of this blog.
(If you haven’t noticed, we’re currently doing quite a lot of traveling these first few days, so I’m working with the most mundane, though I mean – culture shock is a thing – but it’s been quite heavily explored by other American who’s ventured out of the US for the first time, and I’m trying quite hard to avoid that, simply because I’m less interested in telling you the mild discomforting and re-learnings we are experiencing, however, I’m sure two paragraphs down I will mention an encounter that was something contrary to my limited world-view.)
So now it is evening time, and we are in Mysore and I’m dodging ping-pong balls as I write this in the rec room while Kevin A. and John are caught in the middle of quite the intense match. Peter and Tristan are talking; Tristan in a refreshingly bright pink shirt which is the first pop of color I’ve seen on a male this entire trip. Luckily the sari’s of the women we passed on the road to Mysore also satisfied my (perhaps too image obsessed) fashion-focused mind.
The road to Mysore supposedly took approximately four or so hours but even with the stressfully large stretches of polluted air needing a handkerchief or scarf, and even as well, the two car accidents one right in front of the other, that slowed traffic down significantly, the drive few by in the state of Car-nataka.
(I told you there would be a pun – and what better way to set a terrible pun up, than to use a horribly complex sentence structure?!)
In all seriousness, for those who haven’t experienced the driving stylings of India, it’s quite the fun time.
Along the road, even outside the larger cities and villages, there seemed to be a constant line of juice shops, ice cream shops, camera and tech shops, toy stores, and every other type of small business venture one could imagine. When these tightly packed urban areas weren't hugging the road, we would drive by long stretches of nature-surrounded road, with these fantastically confusing land masses, that appeared to jut out the earth. These dissected plateaus are so separated from one another. It invokes just a little, the mountains I grew up with, and even so with the re-coloring of the distant hills, I can cling to familiarity. Their sharply inclined sides with exposed red dirt (I suspect some sort of clay) seem to tell a story: a long history of water and wind, mudslides and plant growth shaping the land, shaping the road's bends and hills.
Honking here, is birdcalls.
Each horn is rahter unique with similar species of horns for the similar types of cars (I’d imagine) and some horns sounded like a Coltrane lick, or something by Coleman. It’s a rather effective system to let other’s know you’re passing, or you’re in another car’s blind spot. Upon the realization that honking is absent from malice, it reveals a whimsical and effective system of safe driving, despite the chaos of noise.
We stopped at a place (I forgot the name – I will get it and add it in tomorrow!) that Steve-Ji has been bringing students to every year, which is halfway between Bangalore and Mysore, to eat. We all dug our hands into thali plates, and ended with a cup-o-chai.
South-Indian food done right, for sure.
Here we can see some giggly University of Michigan school-children, on a bus ride to Mysore.
Also of note, the giant Ganesha on the road to Mysore, and a gecko named Swami Halli, found in Kevin A. and John's room.("halli" meaning "gecko" in Kannada)
We arrived at the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (which will further be referred to as SVYM), which is the hostel in which we will be eating, sleeping, and bathing for the next four weeks.
I don’t mean to have this spiral into a mediocre food blog, but dinner was also quite filling and delicious. I’m a little too tired at the moment to really go into my intense love of food, but I promise, the love I have for food is a never to be squelched flame, ever burning.
Tonight’s activities have now dissolved into Euchre with John, Kevin A., Cat, and Chelsea, with me sitting in the corner doing a quick read over this.
Isn't it lovely, how home is brought with the mindspiritbody?
how we carry home in stories, in glances,
in games? how we carry home in less than
fifty pound bags, and how we sometimes
loose them, and find home anyway?
Isn't it lovely, when, in quiet night, and somewhere mid-day,
place becomes more visibly impermanent.
It is interesting how one becomes easily
a brick on a wall, a brick on a wall,
a brick on a wall. How a brick
on a wall becomes more vibrantly
With tired mind and lit spirit,