Sun 25 Jul 2010
Wed 23 Jun 2010
There is, perhaps two kilometres or so from our hotel, a minaret, ornate and beautiful, standing high above the skyline, it’s white a striking contrast against the green of the trees. Five times every day, the Islamic Call to Prayer is broadcast from here, calling the devout to pray.
I’ve heard the call to prayer, of course, on television, but I had never heard it in person. I had no idea it was so beautiful or so moving. It is always blended with the softened sound of cars and their horns on the main road some ways away, the hammering of construction, the occasional barking dog and once, a fighter jet.
Hearing it, has the effect of cementing whatever I’m doing at that moment in my memory. The first time I heard it I didn’t expect it, only because I hadn’t thought it through beforehand, I guess. I froze. I had been making peanut butter and jam sandwiches and I stood there, in the sunshine and tropical breeze coming through the open kitchen window, bread in one hand, knife in the other, and listened until it was over.
I’ve had the same experience several times since that first time, pausing while sorting laundry, or while doing dishes. It was several days before I noticed the minaret in the distance. Several days more before I was able to get a good photo. When I can, I like to stand on the balcony in the dark, embraced by the aromas coming from the kitchens of the apartment block nearby, feeling the velvety night air, and listening to that final call of the day entwined with the distant sounds of the city. It is a beautiful ending to the day.
Mon 21 Jun 2010
We arrived in India at the start of the Monsoon Season. What this means, as far as I can tell, is that there is sun for at least part of the day, often much of the day, then cloud cover for part of the day, then it rains for a while. And then it’s probably sunny again. But don’t quote me on that; I’ve just arrived ;)
When it doesn’t rain, it’s hot. When it does rain, it cools off (they call that “Winter” here. I call it “Not Even Close” lol).
I love how brightly the houses and apartments are painted, and then contrasted against the lush greenness of the trees. When the light is just right, everything seems to be almost lit up.
And when it rains, oh, it rains. We got caught in it one day, eating dinner on the patio of a downtown restaurant.
Every time you thought it couldn’t rain harder it did. There was no violent wind, and only occasional thunder, but an incredible amount of water was falling from the sky. It rained harder and harder until it sounded like a thousand fists pounding and a thousand feet stomping. It was magnificent. It lasted an hour or so.
When the rain stopped, the temperature had dropped significantly, the air was fresh and everything felt clean. As we drove home, the trees still dripped. I saw children playing tag on the sidewalk, wearing woollen hats and winter coats, and women pulled shawls tightly around their shoulders, while I was perfectly comfortable in my cotton and short sleeves. Many of the roads and walks were flooded, but it was all just taken in stride. Pedestrians rolled up pant legs, and sandals are quick to dry anyway. As soon as it was safe, vendors pulled back the blue tarps they had thrown over their stalls when the rain began, and it was business as usual.
Thu 17 Jun 2010
We’ve been here more than two weeks already. Wow. Our first days here are now just a blur of jetlag, attempting those first grocery shopping trips, jetlag, the first round of house hunting, jetlag, hours at the police station applying for residence permits, jetlag. . .
We were jetlagged ;) And let me tell you, a three year old with jetlag is not something I’d wish on an enemy lol. It was well into the second week before the brain fog lifted. I felt like my head was stuffed with cotton. Christopher was awake for the day every day at 3AM, but so were Mark and I. Jordan seems to have been born to travel: he didn’t suffer at all from jetlag and is the only one who has not experienced any uh, digestive issues. *ahem
It is an interesting condition to never be sure you will be able to make yourself understood, or that you will understand what others are trying to communicate to you, or be sure that you will able to find what you are looking for, be it groceries, household goods, or clothing. Almost everyone speaks at least a little English and is willing to make the effort to help you. But occasionally that isn’t enough. So far there have been no life-threatening situations or general emergencies, so we just do our best and move on :)
I have managed to figure out how to get basic groceries. We’re still living in a hotel without cooking facilities in our room, so beyond the ingredients for pb&j, boxes of cereal and some juice, we don’t really need much else. Well, except chocolate. And we’re having no trouble finding that. I have been doing my shopping research, though, in preparation for moving into a house. I bought some bedding and a toaster. The local huge, western-style grocery store has almost everything I’d need, though the grocery stores in general are short on fruits and vegetables. I assume that means I’ll have to go to the proper fruits and vegetables market. There is one near here but I haven’t been as I wouldn’t be able to do anything with any food I bought. But once we’re moved that will be one of the first places I go. The truth is I can’t wait.
Mon 18 Aug 2008
We are just home from a glorious week away Up North at a cottage on a lovely lake. It was really a wonderful time.
As I plow through the mountains of sand-filled laundry and other stuff to put away, it feels like this marks the end of Summer. Here in Canada, the traditional end to Summer is Labour Day, as school starts right after and the days are noticeably shorter. That is only two weeks away and I have the sense of winding down and starting to bring things back to order. I have a lot of email to catch up on, maintenance on the Homeschooling Blogs Webring, gardening, canning, and it is time to get back to more regular writing for this blog and for Suburban Green Is People. This promises to be a really busy and interesting ‘school year’ chez Bountiful. I have more to say about that, and about knitting and about our vacation, but the laundry really must come first. This life of glamour that I lead is, sadly, also a life of toil *dramatic sigh*
BUT! I am sneaking away from the laundry room for a few minutes so I can show you this. This is Boudicea, she is a 10 week old standard poodle and we brought her home on Saturday. We love her more than anything :)