On Thursday I slept the night through and awakened to the sound of something; I could not identify what it was and had to paw my way out of a deep, dreamless sleep to find out. After some time the brain recognized the sound of the telephone, and the body pawed its way out from under the mosquito net and picked up the receiver. There was a dial tone, and the sound continued. It seemed to be coming from under the net. After more pawing the source was found; the mobile phone. Apparently I'd calculated Chicago-to-Mysore time correctly, as it was 6:15AM. I was getting ready for class when the door's buzzer rang. Is there anything better than waking up to a steaming cup of chai? Served by an attractive man, no less?
The same man had to help me start the scooter a short time later. I'd forgotten how. Oops.
I found my way to the shala without incident. On the way in I waved to Manju-the-tailor and Bick-the-coconut wallah, who recognized me. Two other students were inside, waiting for a practice spot. It was 7:15. My arse had been set on the cool marble floor for less than 30 seconds when Sharath looked at me and said, "Caca - you come!"
Practice was surprisingly good (for the first week here you do primary series only). I was strong and flexible -- which means that Friday's led primary series class is sure to be a disaster.
In the dressing room I spoke to my first westerner since arriving; Kathy O, whom I know from Manju's 2004 teacher training, and who I last saw at Dharma Mittra's birthday party in May. We keep running into each other; maybe this time we can sit down and chat.
After gathering provisions at Loyal World (a supermarket-cum-department store), I drove back to the Kaveri Lodge, where I unpacked and had a bucket bath.
Then I went over to 3 Sisters, who did indeed have the trunk I left there last year. Can you say "mothballs?" Inside were q-tips, cockroach chalk, clothes, towels, sheets, jerkin (raincoat), travel guides and more. Which reminds me. The moon has been moved to Sunday, which means we have two days off in a row (Sat and Sun). Ammu and I may go to Ooty, a hill station in Tamil Nadu.
After a massive lunch at 3 Sisters and a nap and some sitting I had a chai and headed to the internet place. Later Ammu and I went to see the cellphone wallah. After 30 minutes and 500 more rupees they got the thing working... and I've been on it ever since. This was all done in front of a live audience of course. They seemed appalled that I'd paid $10 for the rubbery pink Razr cover I'd picked up at Target. "You can get the same one here for Rs 20 (50 cents)." Later I found out that no, you can't get it here at all. Men....
Over dinner Ammu and I discussed accents. He thinks my Chicago accent sounds like a cat. I think the Mysore/Kannada accent sounds like a rooster, because so many words end in "a-roo" or "da-doo." When I told him that roosters say "cock-a-doodle-doo" he was shocked. Apparently they say something quite different in Kannada. Kind of like how cows here say "ambaa," rather than "moo."
He was in much better spirits. We sat in the restaurant's upstairs family room (where it is more comfortable for ladies and children to dine; ie, away from the male gaze). Apparently the women at the next table were prostitutes. When I asked Ammu if they were wearing one toe ring on one foot, he said, "WhaTT?" He'd never heard of that (The way I've understood it, married women wear toe rings on each second toe, while prostitutes wear a single ring on just one foot; this was true in Kovalam in 2004 at least). Either he's out of the loop, or I'm guilty of hearsay. Again. I hope they don't burn me....
TODAY'S FUN FACT:
I've been wearing my rudraksha beads every day since February's teacher training. "Wear your beads," we were told. But today Harini (of 3 Sisters) said that in India only men wear these beads, which are sacred and denote worship of Shiva. For elderly women it's not such a big deal. But it is especially disrespectful for a woman to wear them during ladies holiday. Oy vey. I can't help but wonder what the punishment is for this.
The photo of the approaching storm was taken Wednesday near the Nandi statue on Chamundi Hill.