UH... HOW DO I KNOW YOU?
Back to primary in the second row, far left. I managed to catch the 5am eF-ing train, and got a spot in the second row, far left. Little did I know that this would put me out of the paths of all three teachers yet directly in front of Hanuman and The Bikini Girl. This is the same platinum blonde woman I saw begin practice on Sunday wearing a bikini top that set off her tan-tan torso nicely. Partway through practice the pants came off to reveal a string bikini bottom and well-waxed high-voltage areas. Each day she has worn a different bikini (Hanuman's is green). So today I am directly in front, and get to see her bounce, quickly and crazily, in downward facing dog and prasarita padatonnasana.
Guruji was less testy today, less a stickler for getting everything just-so. But my body feels stiff and fat and heavy -- and doesn't feel all that much better by the end of practice.
But today after class we went to Eddie's shala, which is also called the Sri Ganesha Temple, for breakfast. A Hari Krishna-looking man sat there on the floor, ladeling out the most delicious Indian breakfast for just $6. Many Chicagoans were present, and all seemed well-pleased. These days the shala does indeed look like a temple -- and smells like one, too (camphor). Which reminds me. A bunch of intermediate people were headed down on the elevator around 10am and it stopped partway down and the doors opened and the man looked at us and stepped back a bit and did not get on. Apparently we didn't smell so good.
I keep seeing people I met in Mysore in 2002, the last year of the old shala that fit just 12 people. These are people I spent over an hour with each day on the cold hard stairs waiting to practice, and more time afterwords sitting down -- yes, you could sit down in those days and in the shade no less -- over coconuts. Isa from Portugal, Michael from Colorada, Jennifer from Canada, etc (who has drastically changed her hair color). Anyway they are *so* nice -- even the ones I thought weren't -- and it's been lovely to catch up. Of course nearly all of them have since finished intermediate / married / had kids / all three. But it *is* really good to see them. At the same time, I've recognized no one from the 2004 trip to the giant shala. I am lucky to have gone to the olde one.
Chai is not ready before the 6am class, and usually runs out right near the beginning of the intermediate practice.
I heard tell that Guruji and family went shopping at Century 21 (big designer malld owntown) today.
My memory is very selective when it comes to running into people I met in Mysore. The rule seems to be this: I recognize only people that don't remember me, and I don't remember any of the people who recognize me. Standard Exchange:
S-David! How are you?
(David looks at her uncomprehendingly)
S-Satya from Chicago, Mysore 2002
D-Oh! How are you!
D-Pretty good, pretty good. Are you here for the whole week?
S-How's your practice been?
S-You going to Mysore anytime soon?
D-I can't I have a kid / got married / just went.
After breakfast I went back to Brooklyn, cleaned up, had a half-hour nap, warmed up some chai and headed to Union Square for my lunch meeting with the editors. The uber editor couldn't make it so it was me and the assitant down by the schoolyard. Turns out she's been there 1.5 years, and part of that as an intern. *Almost* young enough to be my daughter. Apparently I am in -- they want me to do the book. This still has not sunk in. Afterwords I waited in the sun for M and we headed up to the Met for the Diane Arbus exhibit. Can I just say -- we would have killed for a cup of coffee while waiting on the steps for our Chicago friends. Someone could pull a capaccino cart up there and make a fortune.
Afterwords we ate at Temple in the Village, one of my favorite places to eat in the city, period. A long Asain vegetarian cafeteria line of superhealty food sold by the pound, and which includes the largest selections of greens I've ever seen. I remember eating there on 9/12, and how happy I was to see that they were open. They still play Vivaldi's Four Seasons, too.