Friday, October 29, 2010

Caution: Flying Bananas

Job offer I would not respond to:

"Wanted--Priest to portray a Hindu Goddess by sitting atop a fifty-foot pole that will be paraded through the streets for hours while devotees and onlookers throw bananas. Own costume needed. Flower garland supplied. Not liable for injuries sustained."

But this guy apparently did. I don't know what he was thinking when he accepted, and by the look on his face here, I'd say he's wondering the same thing.

And if you're wondering, Yes, I did toss a banana. No, I didn't hit the priest.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

16 Hour Record

We went on a boat trip! The vessel:

Just kidding. Here's the boat we were really on. For 15 hours.

"Why?" you may ask. "Why were you on a boat for 15 hours? Where were you going?"

The answer is, I have no idea, I have no idea, and I have no idea. It was long and weirdly crowded with Indian people and their children. We passed other boats similar to ours (although, all the others looked nicer than ours. Like, they had chairs.), all brimming with happy Indians. I guess this is their idea of a great time. Americans go bowling or skiing, or to a movie for a couple hours, Indians go on 15 hour boat rides. No difference, really.

We read, we slept, we stared at the Indians who were staring at us. Ally and I worked on our needlepoints.

Rosie's face pretty much sums up our general feelings.

Krishnayya kept saying there was no destination when we asked, and was confused that we weren't just happy as clams to be simply sitting on a boat, but there turned out to be a final stop--an ashram in a pretty mountain range. We walked around for a few minutes, took some pictures, then turned around and went back.

There must be some life lesson or analogy in there somewhere.

P.S. I'll let you guess about the title.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dear India,

Today marks the halfway point of my trip, can you believe it!? Here we are two months ago, still relatively fresh and clean:

In honor of making it this far, I thought I'd mention some of the things I love about this crazy and amazing place. In no particular order.

I love church.

I love the beautiful landscapes (More Buddhist ruins—they knew how to pick a spot!).

I love yellow watermelon. We only had it once, but it was great.

I love riding in rickshaws.

I love our wild neighborhood dogs. From left to right, Voldemort, Chewy, Blackie, and Paulsie (he has palsy).

I love sleepovers.

I love Big Bazaar.

I love the people (but they deserve their own post). From left to right, Raju, Durga, Suriya, Lova, Lalita.

I love the ocean.

I love my funny friends (and air conditioned cars).

I love the things we see that would be strange if we weren't in India.

I love rollerskaters on Beach Road.

I just love being here.


P.S. Mentioned, but not shown, yoga, rain/storms, CMR shopping center, saris in every color, and much more.


This is at a playground, and I can't figure it out. It looks like you climb up a ladder, get inside the metal globe, and sit on a duck (?). I can't be sure. I've been too nervous to try it out whenever I pass it.

Any other ideas?

On Second Thought

You might not survive the spiders here, Bobo. I guess I'll just see you when I get home.

It's hard to tell, but these are about the size of my hand. They are what nightmares are made of.

Sunday, October 3, 2010



The Lodgings: Amrutha Castle Hotel. Huge and distinct, yet no rickshaw drivers knew where/what it was.

Driver: “Where you want to go?”
Us: “Amrutha Castle Hotel.”
Driver: “What?”
Us: “AM-RUTH-A CASTLE HOTEL. It's a hotel. It's a castle.”
Driver: “Oh, cancer hospital?”
Us: "Not exactly."

On one of the nights, after a long day of lots of walking and getting sunburned, we decided to order in room service and watch “You've Got Mail.” It was a good choice.

The only disappointment was the green, unswimmable pool.

The Food: McDonalds x 4

The McVeggie was delicious.

And so, somewhat surprisingly, was the paneer salsa wrap.

Yes, I'm a naughty vegan. It was worth it.

The Shopping: Charminar Market, AKA Crazytown

City Center Mall, AKA Almost America

The People: I took a break from Indians taking pictures of me and asked to take a picture of this guy. He had blue eyes!

The Sights: Golkonda Fort. Huge. More than Huge. This map is greatly deceptive.

See me in this picture? This is at the beginning/bottom. See the little spires in the very top of the picture? That's not even the top.

My favorite room was the Clapping Portico. Definitely need one of those in my future home. It's just what it sounds like: a room to clap in. Clap over here, here a vibration. Clap over there, no vibration. Magic.

Some clappers.

Then up the bazillion stairs we went. Getting there.

Almost there.

The view from the top, the Summer Home.

Good thing they sold water with 300% more oxygen to rejuvenate us after such a hike.

Qutub Shahi Tombs. Not so subtle graves. (I'm sitting on the steps)

They had the most useful and informative signs.

Hussain Sagar Lake and the Buddha Statue.

A big man-made lake where we took a speedboat ride around the statue. (Heidi, Ally, and our crazy driver)

A lovely mural.

Also, we saw this goat one time. Look at those ears.