We found the ATM but managed to miss the More Mart; a crammed food and life essentials type general store, not unfamiliar to those who might live in larger, compact US cities such as New York or Chicago, but here without the surrounding sky scrapers. Instead: an un-lined road, dirt shoulder, and a very casually built stone walkway, which any smart local seemed to be avoiding and opting for the streets instead. The friendly honking system comes in quite handy here; all forms of traffic can exist on a smaller road.
Again with the coconut chutney.
I don’t know if I’ve specifically mentioned coconut chutney in an earlier blog post, but it is my new favorite breakfast food.
My one quam with breakfast foods is their inability to be interesting (how many forms of blandly seasoned egg can you make?). I managed to down two bowls of the chutney with another bowl (mind you these are the tiny bowls pictured in a previous blog) of this great lentil soup, with the IDILS, super sugary-sweet toast, and water, juice, coffee (so many liquids!!).
The entire band gathered at 7:30 this morning for breakfast and talked about Kevin G. witnessing jugglers throwing fire-lit chainsaws in Prague, and Steve-Ji boasted the ability to juggle two canoes and a chainsaw, and the ability to juggle three fire-lit chainsaws on a standing vertical canoe.
We talked about juggling canoes for more time than one person should ever in their long life.
After breakfast, a large portion of us waked back into town to get money out of the ATM to then make our way to the More Mart, for laundry soap, and bath soaps, and face soaps, as well for our trip to the clothing store that Steve-Ji takes each year’s batch of students upon their arrival to get decked out in the local garb.
We all made our way in a van into Mysore, to a store owned and ran by women who operate the store out of enjoyment alone. They all have wealthy husbands who are still able to support their families, so these women sell rather inexpensive clothing and other fabric related material (all colorful and gorgeous in pattern and texture and so carefully crafted with embroidering and beading work on some of their more lush options) and give the profits to the women and men who make the clothes.
As per Steve-Ji’s advisement, we tore the place up. Pulling out everything, trying to fit it around our heads, realizing it was too short or too baggy, and tossing it aside, or if it fit, and was something we liked, we all managed to find places in our room to keep the selected clothes away from the chaos of us all crammed into this tiny room filled with a giant wall of Kurtas.
In a room across the small hall in the upstairs section of the store, the women were having a similar sort of chaos. Except they were accompanied by Sindhu, our administrator extraordinaire, on the India side of things, along with the store owners, helping them put together outfits of pants, tunics, scarves – no sari’s yet, though Cat and Chelsea, when speaking to them are quite excited about the prospect of learning to wrap one.
After the trip, and after lunch we had quite a bit of down time before heading to the palace.
Each Sunday at seven, this happens.
This little red light at the top of the central tower begins to flash as a warning and then all the lights of the Mysore Palace and all it’s surrounding temples come on, with a literal bang. There is a popping noise at the moment in which the lights are turned on, probably from the massive amount of electricity being used.
The space is also a gathering place of diversity and religious tolerance. The temple is an amalgamation of Hindu and Muslim architecture which was purposefully designed to reflect such diversity on a nationalistic level. An incredible symbol of peace and unity.
Upon our return, I was incredibly tired so I went to bed immediately so I have no idea what other’s where up to… so I’ll end this here I guess… yea!
With newly rested eyes and an itchy new kurta,