Tuesday, January 20, 2004

(The Subcontinental rock/paper/scissors)

No post yesterday due to fever and *loose motions* as they call it here (I prefer "anal leakage" myself). I stayed in bed / bathroom and Bindi and Y brought me tender coconuts at regular intervals. (They reuse the straws here, which I find icky).....Anyway I was in all day, resting and having racing thoughts that never got to the "what in the hell am I doing here / every decision I've made has been wrong" stage they did the last time I was sick. It really helps to have friends here (not to mention an avidly e-mailing malepal back at home). This morn the fever was gone (I check it obsessively, to make sure I don't have maleria/ giardia / amoeba) and after some Emerge'nC decided that if I felt OK at the top of the many stairs we climb to get to the shala, I'd stay. All seemed well so I did my primary series practice and some intermediate poses, which Lino said would be OK today (There are six series in the ashtanga vinyasa practice; primary, second [aka intermediate], advanced ABCD. You can't do second til you've done first, and get only one pose at a time, etc. I like the few poses I do in 2nd because it's all about backbends -- opening the heart, moving the spine the other way, etc. Anyway when you first get here you do primary til Lino thinks you're ready to move on). But after my last pose, laguvajrasana (intense backbend w/ hands behind yr knees), I thought I was going to faint or vomit. So there was no help in backbend for me (today would have been the first day to have help dropping back; Lino busted me when I went into a forward bend before he came over for dropbacks but when I explained I was dizzy he said no problem-a, we'll try it on Thursday [tomorrow being a moon day]). I felt OK for breakfast -- had uppama, a very mild South Indian grain dish which I did not finish -- and we saw The Firecracker (and cracked up talking about a Mysore teacher telling Bindi's friend she couldn't jump back because her ass was too big, and segueing into a discussion of the merits of Sir Mix A-Lot's "Baby Got Back"). FC and W. are going to Kanyakumari tomorrow (southermost tip of India where three seas meet) and invited us. I've been and would go again -- they're taking a car, so much more luxurious than the seven-hour bus ride two years ago -- but the loose motions have returned. So more time in bed today, I think. I've nearly finished VS Naipaul's "Half a Life" --which I got in a big hurry at the Bangalore airport, thinking it was "A House for Mr. Viswas" -- and at first it reminded me of Narayan's "The Guide," then Zadie Smith's "White Teeth." Then I remembered that I'd already read it. In any case it certainly makes for some interesting fever-reading.....

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