Bea goes to India 2006

A place to house periodic comments from Bea while she backpacks her way through India and Nepal.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


this might be a shorter post -- we have a tight schedule and lots to do today

I have found a type of shopping I truly treasure -- not the tourist stuff, but the practical things -- sandwich bags, gloves, laundry soap, cotton balls... I had the luxury of Sam, a personal tempo [motorized rickshaw -- holds 3 w/o packs, 2 w/] guide I paid by the hour... he looked at the list from the group and took me to the places I needed to go and told me about how much was fair if I needed to barter... yes, I was spoiled, and knew it. @ the store I asked for cotton balls and they brought a wad of loose cotton... I said to remove makeup and they brought out a selection of makeups... finally, he said "you come back" and let me behind the counter!! and as I browsed I found things not on our list that I didn't pass up -- NUTELLA & digestives!!! I was embarrassed to get to the checkout and not have sufficient rs -- no problem -- left the bags and Sam took me to get funds and return for them.

Still looking for work gloves for the project period -- may try today, but festival in the afternoon [drumming and some shops closed... so could be a challenge for tomorrow morning] Already our time is short, since we leave by bus to Pushkar tomorrow afternoon.

I have completed the last arrangements for this assignment [accommodations] and will be getting a new job tomorrow -- don't remember what -- we will rotate through the assignments for the 1st eleven weeks, and then chat about the remaining.

After the morning shopping trips, we went together to a textile factory -- I was like a kid in a candy store!!! -- I looked at scarves and fabric by the yard -- and of course I had expensive tastes!!!! before I knew it, HOURS had passed -- one other shopper was about as gung-ho as me, and the guys were a fair bit mental -- needing a book or some other distraction since it had long since lost it's luster!!!!!! I ended up choosing some sari cuts to use as yard goods -- they were cheaper by the metre than if I had bought individually -- meant I had to pass on the jacquards but I told myself once I left it wouldn't matter what I didn't buy.

For me, I bought men's ready-made outfits -- they tried to tell me delicately that none of their ready-made goods would fit me -- "Indian women not your shape" -- so 2 men's outfits w/ sleeves to be shortened, 2 full outfits tailored, and one additional trousers... should work for the trip and my personal souveniers.

One person has been seriously ill, but is recovering with the help of Cipro[sp?]... several of us are "delicate" -- eating plainer food and looking for the availability of a rest room regularly. I think it is our bodies getting used to the spices and the water and the dirt.

I don't think I talked of the sleeper train coming here, so will do so briefly -- I think they are going to be fine, although a bit tedious when 18hrs long [this journey was 5 1/2 -- although it started 2hrs late so it seemed a fair bit longer]. This time I was on the bottom, near a window, and could look across to an open door. Our group leader Andy was quite nervous when I went near the door, and I know he'd never allow a roof-top journey [as he said at dinner last night, he already cares about us enough this week that he will do EVERYTHING in his power to keep us well and happy] I should write more about Andy... perhaps in Mandore when I have a bit more time.

For dinner last night we went to Indiana -- a restaurant/dinner show with traditional dancing -- other people took pix -- I was famished and headachy, so decided to just focus on sitting and enjoying the meal. thankfully one of the things I bought were cashews and almonds -- we will likely distribute today and then if any of us are light-headed while we wait for a meal we will be taken care of.

I think that's all for now. I haven't been reading my prior posts, so I am sure there are bits to be filled in, and so much that I am learning, all at once... still a bit chaotic but getting better and more expected... yesterday I learned the variations of no -- from polite to very rude -- I'm willing to start out polite, but when they are persistent it is reasonable to be more abrupt... yesterday I was pinched when I didn't give. Andy says no to all but the lepers -- when the children are taught this, they don't go to school and they don't ever want a proper job -- Sam blames their parents.