a new journey begins

2010 February 11
by admin

london-india-250-smallThere has been a delightful breeze ever since we have  arrived. It is been very warm, but every palace, every temple and fort we visit has this serene breeze flowing through it. It is like the first day you feel the warm spring air move around you.

We arrived in the dark, but were treated to a serene ride to the hotel. (The last time I experienced any kind of serenity on the road!) Much security to get in, dogs, scanning and searches, but  once you  get in everyone is extremely helpful and eager to please. I seem to be an anomaly with my blond hair and height, so everyone stares, which I am getting used to.

 london-india-079-smallI am being very spoiled with a guide and a car with a driver who takes me anywhere I want to go and waits for me! Thank goodness for this or I would be riding a motorbike  wearing a sari clinging for dear life to the back of someone! This seems to be the preferred method of transportation as everyone weaves seamlessly through the congested streets-buses, bikes, water buffalo, cars and mini taxis. There are no lines on the road or lights.It works amazingly well. I did the cross a street once and was surprised to reach the other side with all my limbs intact.

7 million people live in Hyderabad . The women wear beautiful sparkling saris, and there are no black clothes except among the muslim women. Interspersed among the beauty is a terrible poverty. It is hard to see where one could start to make a difference here. There are huge luxury hotels and tent shacks next to them. To give to one would mean to be mobbed by many, and it is heartbreaking to see the mothers with their naked children begging in the street.

But it is not all bad. People seem to be happy and  there is a balance of faith and optimism.  There are beautiful temples, and many Hindu gods and goddess statues decorating the shops. My first day was spent exploring the bazaars and shops. I am trying to stimulate the economy- I may have to leave all my clothes here to bring things back! The city is known for it’s pearls and bangles. There are textiles and saris, fruit stands and pharmacies that sell every kind of herb. Many women vendors have the entire family in the stall, and each child has a special job to show you products and wrap up your purchases.london-india-311-small Their faces are very expressive although when I take their pictures they become very serious and I have to coax them to smile! As I walk the people  like to practice their English around me and I have been greeted with, “Hello! How are are you doing today? You are looking very pretty today!” A group of teenager boys told me I was cute!( Have not heard that for awhile! ) A mother called “Miss-miss, would you shake my sons hand?” he was about four, and solemnly extended his small hand and I shook it and said”How do you do!” It seems that smiling at people is unexpected, so I do that as often as possible. Although, this seems to be working too well on the woman who searches me at the door to the hotel, so I may start to take on a more serious face with her.

The food is, Indian. I like Indian food but was hoping for what I am used to for dinner last night. I ordered an American dish but it stilll tasted like Indian food!

london-india-238-largeYesterday I was picked up at 9 am and visited a museum, a palace, a bazaar, a fort with 780 steps to the top ( I was not told this until the first step!) a sari shop and several tombs. After professing foot fatigue, I was finally taken home, disappointment on the face of the guide, The sun had set, and  it was 7:30! I felt inadequate to say the least. The museums and palaces were beautiful.

I have not seen any yoga studios at all. I am not even sure anyone practices yoga here! Tomorrow I will go to the one studio I found (googled it) for a one on one class with the yogi there. This is the way he teaches- no group classes. It should prove interesting. I will probably see you all next spring, and hope you are toasty warm and sitting with a mug of hot chocolate in front of a fire with your dog at your feet.

My day begins as yours is ending. The sun is peaking up over the lake the hotel faces, and I am getting ready to practice, and then brave my fierce tour and shopping guides as we explore Hyderabad again today!

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