Sunday, June 28, 2009

India Diary, Part Two

If you're just joining us, today's post is a continuation of Thursday's post, which consisted of excerpts from the diary I kept when I went to India last year for a reception thrown for us by my in-laws. Again, this is verbatim except where noted by brackets.

On the endlessly fascinating street life:
"We saw a bunch of bullock water carts -- tanks of water on wheels being hauled by bullocks with brightly painted horns, some with decorative horn-covers:"

By the way, it turns out these water carts are supplemental -- the city provides water on specific days at specific times, and it's up to you to fill your tanks with as much as you need. If you can't get enough, or need more, you contact a supplemental water company, which then dispatches a bull-drawn tank.

On our one trip outside of the city:
"Went off to the waterfall -- about 40 KM away, north of the city. Passed farms w/grapes, bananas, sugar cane & rice paddies, in between villages with stall-stores at the edge of the road, schools, coconut vendors, groups of women, men & schoolkids. Lots of goats, stray dogs, cows (some on leads), and donkeys. Saw a donkey fight in the middle of the road -- awesomely funny."

My husband Mowgli (not his real name) told me later that donkeys eat newspaper, and something in the ink makes them crazy. I still wish I'd been quick enough with the camera to get a shot of the donkey fight. Most of the animals we saw, including horses, were wandering down the street. Cows tend to be tied up because they're very valuable; goats are allowed to wander because they'll eat as they go and it's cheaper to keep them that way; and the dogs are just semi-feral and everywhere, and not to be messed with.

On wandering around town and visiting a grocery store (at my request):
"Had a Coke at Domino's after taking pix of the delivery motorbikes outside and attracting the attention of the owner, who was amused by my tourist ways, but v. nice. [Mowgli] had suggested a juice bar, but I couldn't decide to save my life (Chickoo?!) and was nervous since mom's incident. And something familiar just sounded good.
Went to a grocery store -- Nilgiri's -- to check it out -- narrow aisles, and lots of choices just like in the U.S. Sort of like a Target in that they had housewares, dog stuff, toiletries, etc. [Mowgli] said later that produce was next door."

I'll leave you with sketches of some of the gifts we received at the reception. The Shiva was too heavy to bring back, but the Ganesh came with us and now resides in our living room.

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