Wednesday, February 11, 2004


Greetings from the slowest Internet place on the subcontinent, the Cabinet (or should I say Crappynet) -- which yesterday was fast and boasted AC, and to which I dragged poor Bindi after a long, slow breakfast today. I've been here for the past half hour sweating and trying to log on to three seperate machines. Now we know the reason we priviledged westerners have so much free time in Mysore (after two hours of yoga there's nothing to do all day) -- so that we have time to go online and wait for food, tailors, browsing, scooter, mobile phone hookup, etc. (Miss Y has been waiting for days to get a scooter that works, from a well-connected local named Shiva. You can also get hooked up with housing and transpo -- for a fee -- by Babu from last time 'round and Krishna-the-rickshaw driver, who's not to be confused w/ Krishna-the-tailor, whose HQ are now in Gokulam. Apparently Neeru from the olde days is out of the loop). Lucky me for having Prashath set me up with a beautiful, fast scooter....he also found some great speakers for the Chinese CD playa, and yesterday I got to listen to Beck!

OK enough complaining... no, wait -- there's more.....Yesterday I got my clean, still-warm laundry off the line and was folding it on my bed when what came out of my yoga shorts (the ones I was folding) but a big, fat, crunchy cockroach. Dead. I yelped anyway. Then I managed to get it to the toilet and used the bucket to get it to go down. Later I found one of its legs in my bed. It fell on the floor and went "crunch." Ick! Bindi says you can hear them walking, crunch, crunch, crunch. But I wear earplugs when I sleep (Thanks to Doug, so can many others) and the only thing that gets thru is the 5'45 call to mosque. After being plagued by roaches Bindi moved to Sharath's old room in Gokulam (Miss Y is there also, right across from the shala in Guruij's old house) and discovered thousands of ants are living in her room. Today's Carrie Bradshaw Setup and Question -- "Mysore, City of Palaces. Seven hundred thirty five thousand people procreating and not dating in the regal hometown of the Wodeyars, where men hold hands, the department store sells DDT and the local paper carries headlines about traffic fatalties and dowry deaths......: Which is greater threat to the tender westerner -- three giant cockroaches or thousands of tiny ants??"

I keep forgetting to mention that Kasmir of Jammu and Kasmir (the two others from Chi-town) got bored -- I mean gored -- by a bull last week. Apparently they've been getting a little too close to the animals (one puppy-petting incident caused PMSsy me to snap, "Have you had rabies shots?") The bovine creature drew blood, and K. went to the hospital for some mysterious injection. Her ass hurts (where she was gored) but is healing quite well. J. was not at yoga today due to sore throat / fever. In addition to power shopping she is taking tabla lessons. In class Miss Y is doing some intermediate poses and she, Bindi and I all practiced alongside each other in the back row today -- who ends up where is completely random, but sometimes things just work out that way. The majority of the shala floor is covered in colorful rugs but the floor in back is cold, beautiful uncovered marble (a few days ago the rug from the old shala, with the counterclockwise swastikas, was there and has since disappeared). I like it back there. In fact Sharath helped me in backbends today and it was divine....

45 minutes later and I've read exactly two e-mails. This is a new record. At least the power's back on. The guy finally admitted there are "problems with connection." No duh. "Wait five minutes."

More westerners arrive every day (two came during breakfast this morning, to the B&B). They practice after us and the shala seem to be going to 9:30, which is probably a new record (we finish around 8:45....Saraswati and Sharath disappear around 8:30 to teach other classes, leaving 89-year-old Guruji to do the honors. He always says "Thank you very much" a la Elvis after helping you with dropbacks and the forward fold that follows). The large western population means scooters are hard to get , there's a wait at Ike n Tina's (B&B with the French press coffee) and whenever you go downtown you run into other westerners. Not that there's anything wrong with that. The good news is that Lino's organizing a scooter trip to the Kaveri river on Friday. Miss Y and I were lucky enough to breakfast with him, Manju (Guruji's son) and another student yesterday. Satsang! ...Next week we have four days off in a row due to a Saturday, a full moon (Friday) and Shiva Ratri (Shiva night, a very important puja in which Shiviites such as Guruji stay up all night fasting and chanting the name of The Destroyer), plus one extra day. Hopefully we'll get it together and go on a road trip.

OK, now they are playing god-awful guitar-solo western music at full volume and my earplugs are back at home w/ the crunchy cockroach leg.

Only I can't, because it's an hour later and the Internet is *still* not working. And now I'm being held hostage by Wordpad (on which I'm typing this). I can't leave the text here and I can't take it with me. It's the eternal connundrum, isn't it? And yet another Lesson from India.....

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