chitta chatter

greetings from the subcontinent

Posted in film, food, India, photos, yoga by Nancy on January 3, 2010

Well, we finally made it to Mysore. 22 hours on a plane is sheer hell on the body, but Lufthansa was at least civilized enough to keep us well fed. We didn’t arrive in Bangalore until 2am (Jan. 2nd) and once we made it through passport control and the gauntlet of private guides and “official” cab drivers, it was 3am, so we didn’t have a whole lot of choice in accommodations. We got to Bangalore, the city proper, a little before 4am and ended up staying at a place the cabbie knew of that was about as expensive as a Comfort Inn in the states but really posh by Indian standards, with Beverly Hills-style service and a nice (free) breakfast buffet that was remarkably similar to the buffet at my favorite Indian joint in DC. I do love me some south Indian grub.

The next morning (and by “next” I mean 5 hours later) we had to take the train to Mysore. Getting tickets was a major ordeal, complete with 4 different lines to stand in and forms to fill out. We met some nice fellow travelers (one of whom taught us some Kannada, the language most people speak in Mysore) while waiting for the train, and were even fed on the 2+ hour ride (and given bottled water). We won’t be going hungry this trip, that’s for sure.

Got into Mysore the afternoon of the 2nd and Shanthala (who runs the Mysore Mandala, where Daniel studied last time he was here) had found us a flat next door with everything we asked for (except we never could get the internet to work well, so I’m using the wifi at the Mandala). That night we found out the place had 4 squatters… really fast, well-fed Indian cockroaches. (What do you want for $140 a month? The Ritz Carlton?) Anyway, Daniel dispensed with them quickly and word must’ve spread among the local roach community because we haven’t seen another one since (knock on wood).

We’ve found lots of good (safe) places to eat, most notably Aunty’s. She serves breakfast, lunch and dinner out of her home near where we’re studying yoga. A full meal with chai is only 50 rupees (about a dollar, US) and REALLY tasty. Can’t beat that. Aunty is a character, too, totally wrapped up in TV and Indian popular culture… probably subscribes to whatever their version of the Enquirer is.

After our first dinner at Aunty’s, we went down the street and found the house/shala where BNS Iyengar is teaching now. We registered for classes and started yesterday. Iyengar is crusty but cool. His class is really fast paced and he gives a lot of adjustments, which is pretty impressive considering he’s in his 80s. And he teaches 7 days a week. I’ll probably be skipping once or twice…

We’re going to try to find “the” female tailor in Gokulam who is reputed to be true to her word (apparently a rarity among tailors here) and actually finishes your clothes when she says she will. After clothes shopping, we might take in a movie… some friends from LA have a friend starring in a big Indian blockbuster that’s out right now called “3 Idiots”. We walked by the theatre yesterday and the line was wrapping around the building. Maybe the crowds will be lighter during the week.

That’s all for now… more to come. Happy belated New Year!

Daniel on the balcony of our hotel room in Bangalore:

the train station in Bangalore:

Best. Fruit salad. Ever. (with chai and dosa, a whopping $2)

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2 Responses

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  1. Lynn said, on January 17, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    That is so wonderful! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. Joyce (Wyland/Weiland) Crease said, on January 18, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    I am a cousin of Dan’s father. Donny & Sue have kept us up to date on your travels. It is so amazing that you have been given the gift to travel and know other people! Keep the news coming. Safe trip and a safe return. Even though you and Dan do not know me, you are in my thoughts. joyce

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