Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Michael arrives, flames strike!

Michael arrived in New Delhi - grateful to have his three day ordeal with Expedia over and be where he is supposed to be!
More on Expedia later - his problem with them was so severe the next time you hear about the situation may be in the media. Expedia has created serious trouble for many travelers who will be happy to testify about them, including me.
The "real" drama started earlier, as I was getting ready to pick him up.
I must preface this story with the declaration that I did NOT tell a lie!
At home, I toss my clothes in the dryer for a minute to warm them up on chilly mornings. It was chilly here this morning, so...
Of course I don't have a clothes dryer, so I set my pants in front of the little room heater to get them snuggly. As I brushed my teeth, I smelled something... something odd... something out of order... someth- SMOKE!
I dashed into the bedroom just in time to see *flames* appear in my pants!
I snuffed them out post-haste - grateful there was no damage to anything else in the room, but concerned that my entire suite smelled like a house fire! Ashes from my trousers flew as I shook them... the entire crotch and about a third of the thigh area on both sides were gone. No longer were they pants, they were "pa..."
Trouble is, my other pants are in the laundry. This is all I had to wear.
I brought three tunics, none long enough to cover The Hole. That huge, gaping hole. I couldn't cut the rest of the leg off because this is not a country where women wear shorts. Besides that would make what was left a skirt. Not even. A "sk..."
What to do, what to do.
Suddenly I realized my 3/4 length *nightshirt* is long enough to cover the damage!
So I wore my nightshirt and what's left of my pants to pick him up. No one looked at me sideways, so I figure the nightshirt would be just fine until I buy a pair of pants on our ride back to the hotel from the airport.
Singh, our driver/guide took us to a fantastic open market. I bought a very different type of trouser than I usually wear - it's skin tight and looks swell with the nightshirt and even better with my tunics. Thank heaven Michael was there to help choose them. I have a feeling after spending three weeks with him, my personal fashion sense will kick in. I'm fantastic about wardrobe and costume decisions for everyone else - but missing the ME gene when it comes to clothes.
I'm convinced that God, along with my friends, was sick and tired of my deceased trou and smote them...
Michael is in 7th heaven here, awestruck at all the sights!
We saw three cows hanging out along side the freeway. Dogs wander freely, generally alone, slender and not in packs. We also saw two people riding horses amidst the cars, buses, trucks, tripeds, bicycles, motorcycles and pedal taxis.
He could not believe the free-for-all that is traffic here. There are NO traffic lights, no traffic police - and as much mayhem as it appears to be, I've seen NO accidents or tempers flare. Traffic lights would only slow progress and frustrate people. As it is everyone is very accepting of everyone else's driving, understanding we all want the same thing - to arrive at our destination in the least possible time.
In short, as chaotic as it appears, it's actually an orderly process that requires and receives everyone's cooperation - including the ever present pedestrians who wander in and out of traffic where ever they wish.
I wrote in an earlier blog that my relationship with food has changed, in fact my relationship with everything I imbibe has changed. Trips out of town, and especially out of the country; eating in restaurants or away from home - all are an excuse for my to order soft drinks and "guilty pleasure" foods I would not ordinarily eat at home.
That changed with my new appreciation of being with girls who come from such impoverished backgrounds they had little to no food or water - whom I shall meet on Tuesday.
For this entire trip, I've made really excellent food and beverage choices. Careful, aware, healthy. I've drunk only water with the exception of one cup of tea, traditional here.
The food at the hotel is wonderful. Healthy, light and oh, so tasty. Gone are butter and carbohydrate-based foods. I didn't realize how much I rely on butter until I experienced other choices.
OK, I *have* been given the gift of Belgium chocolates by my host that are so special they come in a wooden box. I've limited my intake of these fabulous morsels, appreciating them as they ought to be, as well as sharing them with Singh and Michael!
I don't know which birds are in this area - I can hear them, but have yet to see one. They make the most unusual and exotic sounds. There must be many varieties because nearly all I've heard sound very different. Michael and I went bird hunting and while we heard them and detected their general vicinity, could not actually spot them in the trees.
I pride myself in preparing for my trips, but something I did not expect was how many people here do not speak English. All my East Indian contacts speak English fluently; most speak at least another Indian language such as Hindi. Had I realized this, I would have learned important words and phrases before I arrived. As it is, I'm taking time to hang out with Google translate to make certain I can communicate with Singh and other non-English speakers I meet on my journey here.
Here's a picture I captured in my memory: a very old man who lives in a box near a busy highway conscientiously sweeping litter from the dirt front wayof his abode with a collection of twigs. I could see inside the box and saw no belongings, though he must have had bedding.
I decided I shall take as much pride in my own front walkway, made of cement, lying amidst the beauty of Northwest nature - trees, bushes and cover plants - when I return home.

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  • At 12:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    lovely reading while hooked to a dialysis machine. Funny about the burned pants, but really some of those old heaters are wire and anything near from warm turns to fire. Bird hunting? wow I would not shoot a bird but instead I eat chicken. So maybe I will try one day.

  • At 2:30 PM, Blogger cp said…

    LOL! Of course I meant bird *watching!*


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