Monday, September 27, 2010

दैव योग (Translation: Luck)

We reluctantly left the beautiful city of Udaipur (see below post) to continue our exploration of northern India.

Recipe for a Long Day:
  1. Have a train cancelled on the first leg of your tediously planned trip, then hastily book bus ticket
  2. Select the back seats of the bus for the 10 hour bus ride (Note: not a problem if you like rollercoasters or earthquakes--or both simultaneously)
  3. Miss your bus stop
  4. Visit Surat (period).

So, at the mercy of bad luck we stumbled into Surat: voted the Filthiest City in the 90's due to, among other reasons, a break out of the plague (...THE PLAGUE). We decided to skiddadle out of the rough city ASAP, but not before buying a hot-pink, sleeveless shirt that bares a flexing wrestler and reads "Dr. of Thuganomics". I really couldn't turn it down: it's just too versatile! (Got a new church outfit, mom!)

The train ride was great. Tons of people. Who knew luggage racks could serve as a whole new row of seats? Everyone in India, that's who! We were entertained by musical drums, singing, and snacks by local people throughout the ride. Also, cross-dressers on the train threatened to curse men unless they forked over some rupees. Indian revere people of the cross-dressing culture as auspicious and with magical powers. Thus, it is common for people to give gifts to cross-dressers to avoid being cursed.

 It is, in case you've ever wondered, a little amusing to watch women with five o'clock shadows bullying people while wearing sequined, belly-baring saris. Luckily, they left me alone....but, not before nicknaming me "गुलाघ" (Rose). Apparently my pink skin is amusing here, too. Reaaaaal mature, India. Real mature.

 Erik and I enjoyed a brief stay in Nashik, and then headed back to Pune so as not to miss Monday classes (Yes, yes. I do attend classes).
Enjoying Nashik early in the morning!

Returning home just in time for a hot dinner at the Joshi house put the icing on the cake for this fantastic week. Overall, the journey was a great success! It opened my eyes to realize all that I still have to see in this mystical, beautiful country.

I hope you're doing well! Take care.

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