Friday, September 24, 2010

8 Weeks

Missing this little gem today:

Everly Mae, your Auntie Libby loves you very much. Thanks for visiting me in my dreams; I am far away and it's nice to be able to hug you and kiss you, if only in my mind. I can't wait to hold you in my arms again. Tell Mommy what the shark says.

I mean, how could I not miss this face?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I will make her eat it.

Marshmallows are to happiness as lemons are to lemonade. Except, apparently, if you are Indian. Heidi bought some mallows for us to roast (on a gas burner...). The only flavor available was something fruity:

It took a whole lot of convincing for Durga and Lova to try them. "Nooooo Ma'am!!" was their reply.

I don't know what Krishnayya said to them in Telugu, but he got them to give it a taste. I have a feeling their jobs may have been on the line...Lova took the tiniest bite and said, "Super, Ma'am!" in an I'm-really-trying-to-be-sincere-but-I-can't-help-that-I-hate-it way. We told her she has to try pizza next.

They think we're crazy. Maybe we are. But they can't make fun of us for not liking some of their sweets--I'm sorry, I just don't like eating a ball that resembles dirt, sugar, and sand in both taste and texture. We can just agree to disagree in the sugar department.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Just doin' my stuff

I can't decide if this is the best thing I've seen all day:

Or this:

Currently listening to thunder and saying a very heartfelt thank you to the Heavens. I love monsoon season.

Update: in the time it took to upload these photos, megastorm hit, and it was beautiful. Thunder, lightning, and rain galore!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No, I don't want to get out of the car.

We love any chance to ride in air conditioned cars, and when we end up in really lovely places, it's an added bonus. Such was the case with Bhimilee. Our first stop was at the ruins of a Buddhist monastery.

It was so peaceful. No car horns. I can't even recall crows cawing. Buddhists know how to choose their sanctuaries.

We tried to soak in a little of the atmosphere.

And tried a little harder.

The only drawback was that the pool wasn't well-maintained.

Next stop, the Dutch Cemetery. Just kidding! It was locked. “This has never happened before!” Krishnayya cried with dismay. We assured him it was fine. We even offered to climb the fence if it was that big of a deal, but our Ganesh said he would find a way. In the meantime, we explored the beach. We found boat-building,


giant heads and cows (there are never not cows),

a badly dead giant bat (the first time I've been able to get a photo of one),

a one-handed goddess after my own heart,

and some rebellious foreigners.

Still no word on the keyholder, so we went to a temple (Nirisimha?) on top of a hill. A really big hill. With many, many stairs.

We even went up stairs that you probably aren't supposed to go up. What can I say? We love stairs. Worth every ache in my quads for the view.

I closed my eyes and listened to the sounds of India: the waves on the shore, noisy rickshaws, horns, hammering, confused roosters, children laughing and crying, crows...and even though I was stinky and sweaty, I couldn't have been happier. Here's my happy-in-India pose (up the sketchy stairs):

We did make it to the Dutch Cemetery after all. It was...a Dutch Cemetery. Read all about it:

Hey Bobo

Proof that you could survive India:

There are even a couple cows in the neighborhood if you want super fresh milk.

feel free to hop on the next available plane

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Photoshoot

The owner and editor of Yo, Vizag! Magazine, Shilpa, lives 3 doors down from us, and decided she wanted us as her next cover story (you know, cause we're white). Saris: Round 2.

We were driven to this lovely hill by the beach.

I love the succession of slides next to the stairs (they're the little stairs to the left of the normal stairs).

I would've gone down them, but I didn't think it would be very ladylike in my sari, and we already attracted enough attention as it was.

Shilpa telling us something (something horrifying, by the look on Heidi's face):

Outtake, for the purpose of my niece still being able to recognize me:

And, delivered to us yesterday, the final product:

We hoped it would just be Kelly on the cover, because Mourya took some solo pics of her...but the C.C. Carnahan photo is pretty good. The article is pretty funny—misquotes and mistaken identities abound. Kelly and Megan were recognized in a store today, and now that all the Yo, Vizag! readers know where we live...hopefully it won't be a problem.

And now, we have a new friend! Shilpa came over one day to make us pani puri (street food that we can't buy on the street or we might get sick):

and we're going to start Bollywood dance lessons (“a stress buster,” says Shilpa) with her soon!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

You are going to the Jew?

Manum jew-lo vochamu!

Translation: We went to the zoo! Or, as the Indians say, the Jew! Where all the Jew animals are!

This Jew was like no other. First up, a couple of crocs. We were jealous of their swimming pond. Next, some deer. Oh, there's a fence? No problem, just step over it. You can get a better view of the wildlife...

He wanted a snack, but only got a salty lick of my sweaty hand:

Then, more deer, some water buffalo (Which didn't make sense—they were in a cage when there are water buffalo roaming the streets everywhere.), a ½ mile walk in 98% humidity, some more deer, a ¼ mile walk, some more deer...but then:

Snake-bears and Wolf-jackals? Best zoo ever.

No, but really. We saw some giant trees,

and some giant squirrels (again, we stepped under the fence, and the “guard” encouraged us to pet them. I was nervous about diseases.),

not a great picture, but these are the size of house cats.

Then, we found lots of monkeys. Look at this guy. So angry. So frightening.

I should have brought him an arreti pendu.

We saw a lazy leopard,

a lazy hippo,

and a hard-working tree.

As we were taking pictures of this lovely tiger,

one of the zookeepers told us we could go inside—for a small price, of course. 100 Rupees got us...more than we bargained for. We went inside a building where 5 tigers were being kept. Being face-to-face with these beautiful, tragic creatures was heart-wrenching, to say the least. I had to resist the urge to reach in and pet him.

We tried not to let it get to us. And we said no to the zookeepers at the white tiger and the lion enclosures that tried to lure us in to their weird tourist trap.

Bargaining with the rickshaw driver to go home was funny:
Us: There are eight of us, so we'll go four in one, and four in another, for 50 Rupees per auto.
The driver then shoos the 2nd auto we flagged down away.
Us: No, we need that one, there are eight of us. Four people will go with you for 50 Rs, and four will go in another.
Driver: No, eight people, 70 Rupees.
Us: Well...okay.

So, eight of us squished in a rickshaw that would comfortably sit three people, and squish four, perhaps five. Collin kept yelling, “Lean to the right! Lean to the right!” I thought we were going to tip or lose someone out the door, but we made it. New record. And I don't think it can be beat. I couldn't get a good picture from my place on Ally's lap, but you get the gist.