Good Bye Cows, Good Bye Horses…

Good bye Scabs 😦

20111118-221825.jpg

20111118-221847.jpg
Cow stealing food from a store LOL

20111118-221920.jpg

20111118-221931.jpg

20111118-222027.jpg
Final sunset in Mysore taken from the roof of the apartment building

20111118-222120.jpg
This is the slum around the corner from the apartment. I took the picture from the rooftop. I hadn’t taken any pictures of it at street level because I didn’t want anyone who lives there to see me taking pics of it in case that would make them feel bad. Gokulam is a very nice place for most of the people who live there but there are still those that have very little.

There was a funeral on Main Street today. The body was laid out on the sidewalk and mourners all gathered around. Drums were played, there was a pot of something boiling. It lasted a few hours. No pictures as that would have been inappropriate.

I fed Scabs a bunch of cookies and gave a big bag of treats to another yoga student who also feeds Scabs. Scabs will be in good hands as he (scabs is actually a girl) has many who are looking out for him.

Kevin and I ran into Sara while out and had a nice visit and tea at her place. It was a lovely way to end my last night.

I pray that my travels home will be safe and hassle free. I hope you have enjoyed my blog. I have enjoyed sharing my story.

I am grateful that I had this opportunity and hope to return to Mysore in the near future, maybe for longer than a month. I am grateful for Sharath, his assistants and the community of students at the shala. I am grateful for the people I have met. I am grateful I had Kevin as my partner in crime and my planking photographer. Caroline was a great shopping buddy and Louise a pleasure to share meals with. Sara makes a good cup of tea and is a blast to chat with. Bonnie, my American friend, don’t be surprised if i show up at your door in Beantown when Kino comes around! I met so many great people. I hope I see them all again.

20111118-222831.jpg

Meathead Birds at Crocodile Swamp

Today was my final Mysore class, tomorrow final led class. I did not get a new pose and poses arent given out at led practice, oh well it was still a great experience. I will miss this place.

Kevin and I went to the Mysore Lake, or Crocodile Swamp as I have renamed it. There were croc warning signs but not in English so we don’t really know the exact danger. We assumed man eating crocs inhabited the lake, better safe than sorry, we didn’t go for a swim.

20111117-201935.jpg

20111117-201944.jpg

20111117-201956.jpg

There were so many birds. Tons of huge hawks, stormy looking things and Meathead birds. I named them that because they looked like they has a piece of raw meat on their heads. They were a spectacular blue color with a splash of raw meat red on the top of their heads.

20111117-203446.jpg

After the lake we took a rickshaw back to Gokulam and saw the worlds fattest monkey in the middle of street. I screamed, the driver laughed at me. Who will the Indians laugh at when I’m gone? I didn’t get a picture so you will just have to believe me, it was the fattest monkey ever or it was prego with quadruplets.

Next we stopped at the chocolate ladies house so i could pick up two bags of coffee chocolates as a gift for my wonderful husband. (this is important info for what happened a little later in the evening)

I decided to get a throw away phone in case of emergency on my trip home and also a phone is needed to get Internet access at the Bengalore airport and I really want Internet in case I get stuck there a long time. So we went to a phone store and was quoted a ridiculous price. Checked another store and got a less ridiculous price but I needed to submit a copy of my passport, Indian visa and a picture. Insanity.

So off to the coconut stand for pics of us drinking coconuts from the iconic ashtangi hangout.

20111117-204200.jpg

Fed Scabs on the way home, he likes the more expensive cookies better than the cheapo ones. He is getting spoiled.

20111117-204431.jpg

As soon as we got back to the apartment I realized I was starving for samosas but too lazy to go get some. I tried to convince Kevin to go with me and I would pay a rickshaw driver to take us the few blocks to the restaurant. Kevin wasn’t budging and then the door bell rang. Ding dong crazy cleaning lady! Kevin was all of a sudden up for a walk. I got my phone on the way.

We came home and she was still there. The apt manager was with her so we thought it was safe to leave them alone. Not safe for my bag of fancy chocolates apparently. One of my two bags was missing from the refrigerator. I’m not accusing anyone but bitch stole my chocolates! And there is no sign that cleaning actually occurred in our absence.

Double Dotted

Today I arrived at the shala a little later than usual but I figured it would be ok because I usually have to wait in a line of at least seven people before I get a spot in the room. When I got there, there was no line and I could see a spot open in the front row. I peeked in but didn’t see Sharath so I just waited until he called me in. He came over and asked me my start time and then told me tomorrow I start earlier, 6:30. No big deal only 15 minutes earlier and it’s my last Mysore style practice tomorrow anyway. Sharath asked if I was staying another month. I said no and he asked me when my last day would be. I said Friday and hoped he would grant me another pose. He seemed to be giving out poses to many students today. I was not one of them :(. Oh well maybe tomorrow.

I went to Chamundi Hill again. This time I took the bus for a total of 35 rupees. When I switched buses at the city bus depot the only seat left was a guy who smelled like shit, literally smell like shit, like he crapped his pants. I sat down and tried not to throw up or have any contact with his body at all. Basically I sat on the very edge of the seat and leaned as far right into the aisle as I could without falling out of my seat. Lucky for me most of the bus emptied out at the zoo which was one of the first stops. I quickly moved to another seat.

The plan was for Caroline and I to meet Louise at the temple at the top of the hill at 2. Caroline was tired so I went alone to meet Louise. I arrived about 15 minutes early and was told by a “helpful” little man that the temple was closing at 2 and to hurry up inside. I said I was waiting on a friend. I decided to go into the temple and take a look around and then come back for Louise. The “helpful” guy reappeared, ushered me to the shoe holding area and then jammed flowers and a packet of red powder into my hand. He quickly ushered me I to the temple and pointed out a few things. Next got to a wet stone thing and I was Instructed to dump my colored powder onto the stone and toss my flowers there as well. Next he dotted my forehead with the wet powder and pushed me ahead to the Hindu priests holding candles. There I was instructed to fan the heat from the candles into my face three times and leave a donation. Next it was onto a priest with a collection plate. I dropped 10 rupees onto his plate and dotted my head with yellow.

Here is my double dot

20111116-195557.jpg

20111116-195606.jpg

I went to retrieve my shoes, which I was asked for a donation. I gave 20 rupees, which is very generous, and then I gave my “helpful” guide 80 rupees which was also very generous. He had the balls to ask for more! I said I didn’t understand I just gave him some. He was mumbling about having to give it to the temple and anything else I could give would be nice. I said no and he kept insisting. I asked what he wanted and he gave me the “as you wish” answer. My reply was I already gave you as I wished and that was it all I had left was bus money to return to Gokulam. He then had the nerve to say maybe I could get some money from my friend. Seriously go fuck yourself you toothless bastard, namaste.

Next was on to a pizza cafe. Hmmmm pizza in India who would have guessed it wouldn’t be good. It all looked good but really it wasn’t and very overpriced.

Here is Kevins dinner, tea and a brownie

20111116-200202.jpg

Louise had a grilled veg sandwich and some potato things

20111116-200249.jpg

I had a veg pizza

20111116-200318.jpg

Back in Gokulam, Scabs had a pile of cookies. It looks like the white stuff coating him is actually medicine. It was all over his back today. He seemed happy and lively today. He followed me quite a bit.

20111116-200430.jpg

20111116-200437.jpg

I Kissed a Dog Today

No not Scabs. It was a sweet pug owned by Shiva who lives down the street from the shala. Shiva assists students in getting rooms and scooters. His pug was sunbathing as I walked past the house. I asked if I could see his dog and he said yes. I think he is accustomed to students needing some canine therapy. He also has a two year old male pug who is this pug’s baby.

20111115-200915.jpg

I got a look of disgust from a construction worker working on Sharath’s new house across the street from Shiva when I gave the sweet puggy a kiss on the head.

Up to some shenanigans at the shala

20111115-201058.jpg

Today Caroline, Bonnie and I went shopping in the city. I managed to not buy anything today except homemade chocolates from the chocolate lady. Omg so good.

Here are some shots from a third floor balcony in the city. I’m guessing there aren’t any building codes here.

20111115-201351.jpg

20111115-201359.jpg

20111115-201406.jpg

20111115-201412.jpg

Me with one of my favorite Gokulam cows.

20111115-201447.jpg

Monks! And a cow it’s own ass!

20111115-201528.jpg

Hello Kitty on the bus back to Gokulam

20111115-201601.jpg

Parades

Sharath was out of town today so the shala was closed. I got to sleep in. Breakfast was at Santosha (world’s best homemade granola). Kevin and I made a trip o the Hotel Regaalis. Kevin was in need of more croissants and I wanted to check out a jewelry store that was closed the last time I went there. I got a silver Om pendant, it’s a little bigger than I wanted but the store owner took my email address and will try to get a smaller one before I leave. When we walked out of the hotel a very short parade was going down the street, men on horses, a few floats and a bunch of dancing men. It was difficult to photograph but here’s the best I could do.

20111114-193939.jpg

20111114-193944.jpg

Next we were off to Lakshipurum to pay some rent money we both owed. Of course the rickshaw driver said he knew where he was going but really didn’t have a fucking clue. He stopped along the way asking various people and eventually he found people who knew.

We left Nagarantha’s house, the landlord’s mother, and proceeded to look for a rickshaw back to Gokulam. As we stood on the sidewalk a rickshaw pulled up . The driver had a passenger in the front seat and both were smiling and the passenger called out my name. I knew I recognized him but couldn’t place his face. The driver I knew was the driver that is always at the shala. The passenger was the coconut wallah who parks in front of the shala every day after practice. I don’t remember telling him my name but I guess at some point I did and he remembered it. The coconut guy was getting dropped off at home so we jumped into the rickshaw and had Mahesh, I know his name now because he gave me his card so I can call him if I need a ride anywhere, drive us to Loyal World. When we got to Loyal World and asked how much he did the “as you wish” thing. I rather a driver tell me a price, it’s cheaper that way.

I took a walk to the internet cafe this afternoon to print my flight info and try to access Schwab’s website so I could place a trade order for a client. As I walked down the street I saw guys with huge smiles on their faces. They crossed the street and asked me if I knew where the Jois shala was. They had just arrived in Mysore, one from Sweden and one from South America. They are practicing at a different shala but wanted to see “The Shala”. I said I was headed that way and would take them there. I love the small town feel of this place. Earlier, as I walked down the street the fruit and veg vendor I go to waved from across the street. It’s nice to be in a friendly environment.

The Internet cafe wasn’t of any help getting Schwab work done. Their Internet browser was too old to support the Schwab site and after a few attempts to logon I ended up getting myself locked out of the site. Now I won’t be able to access until I call Schwab when I get home.

On my way home from the cafe there was a goat parade! A herd of goats were running down the street at breakneck speed. I managed to pet one of the tiny babies it ran past, usually the momma goat is too protective to get near the tiny babies.

20111114-200452.jpg

20111114-200458.jpg

I got some baby bananas at the fruit stand. I’m going to miss these delicious bananas!

20111114-200601.jpg

And yay I found Scabs after three days without seeing him.

20111114-200636.jpg

Lost Dog-UPDATE Scabs Found

20111114-182758.jpg

20111114-182817.jpg

have you seen Scabs? Last seen three days ago at Gokulam coconut stand.

I found him at the coconut stand tonight! He ate a bunch of cookies and had a bowl of water and then a walk back with me to my apartment.

20111114-192751.jpg

20111114-192757.jpg

Cramming as much as I can in before I have to leave this amazing country

20111113-211927.jpg

Today was a LONG day! 6am led practice, extended breakfast with friends, girls shopping trip to the city and then an out of town bus trip to Brindivan Gardens.

Louise, Caroline and I took the bus int the city for some shopping. I got a ridiculously tacky Ganesh picture that changes into three different pictures when you move it. 30 rupees, totally worth it!

20111113-211034.jpg

20111113-211042.jpg

20111113-211026.jpg

We walked around and then got in a rickshaw to the zoo area. There are some good shops by the zoo. The driver asked if he could take us to The Museum Shop. We had planned on going there and if he took us the shop would pay him a commission and give him a free uniform shirt. Next he took us to The Heritage Shop. He didn’t charge us for the ride because this would also give him a new uniform shirt even if we didn’t buy anything. The Heritage had nice stuff but super over priced, maybe even higher than US prices. We bought nothing from the light eyed Kasmirian sales people, even though they tried very hard to part us from our rupees. Next we ask the driver how much to take us to a restaurant. He said nothing because we had helped him out. He asked if we wanted to drive his rickshaw. Hell yeah I want to but someone would probably end up dead so we didn’t take him up on the offer. We each tossed him a few rupees as a tip because he was adorable.

Lunch was at RRR. Thali served on banana leaves! They put down a leaf and then servers come around and ladle slop onto your leaf. When you finish they give you more. We were forced to share a table for 6 with an Indian family. It was ackward. The teen age son played with his phone under the table the entire meal and he had a huge tattoo on his forearm. I would guess he was 15 years old.

20111113-211850.jpg

This mask is outside a bar. A rickshaw driver explained the significance of it, it represents what happens to your family if you drink too much. Your family will cry blood. He explained it much more poetically but I’ve had a long day and I can’t remember his exact words.

20111113-212214.jpg

Here is a great city cow picture

20111113-212352.jpg

Next we met Kevin at the city bus depot and boarded a bus to Brindivan Garden which is about 15 kilometers outside of Mysore. The trip took about 45 minutes and went through some small towns.

20111113-212546.jpg

20111113-212552.jpg

20111113-212600.jpg

20111113-212608.jpg

20111113-212616.jpg

Brindivan Gardens has fountains that get lit up when it gets dark. Unfortunately my night time pics aren’t good but here are a few before the sun went down

20111113-212802.jpg

20111113-212814.jpg

20111113-212903.jpg

20111113-212914.jpg

20111113-212938.jpg

20111113-212948.jpg
They don’t charge foreigners extra! rare in Mysore.

There were food and crap vendors on the way in. Scary that people will eat smelly fish off a dirty cart.

20111113-213104.jpg

20111113-213112.jpg

20111113-213121.jpg

20111113-213128.jpg

20111113-213134.jpg
Sugar cane and lime juice is amazing!

The return bus trip was 3 rupees less than the ride there. I guess they charge less when the bus has roaches crawling around the floor. Indians do not find humor in my bug scream. Besides the crawling things and the flying bugs, I also had a young man invading my personal space on the bus. He was standing and I was sitting. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he was accidentally rubbing his junk on me and leaning his elbow on my shoulder.

Long day for all, even the Mysore dogs.

20111113-213556.jpg

20111113-213603.jpg