Friday, March 23, 2007

India Journal 2006 #27 March 22 Room with a View and a Perfect Day

March 22nd

First, I just want to write about TODAY, (there are more lovely pics further on in the post) as it was such a pleasant a matter of fact, so pleasant that I was brought to tears of joy several times during the day. I woke up, did my morning stuff and yoga, ordered my breakfast on the terrace, and then decided to go down early to internet, which I did. But not before Ainat came up to tell me she is really ill, and meeting other friends down in the restaurant. Esben, who left today, and Ilse...made an appointment to meet her for lunch at the orphanage, and then went over to Ainat's room where I found Shakti already there. Shakti, the photographer from Australia who is now travelling the world after living 1 1/2 years in China teaching English,

has finally made the decision to stay in Rishikesh. so she also left today to go to renew her visa in Katmandu and will be back in a week. We both treated Ainat, I spoke with her for awhile, and then she went to sleep and I thought to find my way down to the internet. Then decided to make a few phone calls first, which I did. I am leaving here on April 10th for Delhi and shopping, and on the 13th wanted a train to Pathankot and on to Dharamsala. But the trains are all I will hope that when I get to Delhi I will find a ticket via the tourist quota, or as one guy suggested here, the "old lady quota".

So I decided to make sure that I had a room waiting for me, but had no luck calling this morning, so went down to the internet. There a found a letter from Kelly telling me that my friend from New Zealand is already there and using his room as he is living today, and that Nikolai, another friend, has taken a room as well and everyone is waiting for me to arrive. But he said I was lucky I hadn't come yet as winter is not letting go its grip and it is still freezing cold and raining.

Just as I was reading this, 2 guys who had gone to Dharamsala a few days ago from here, turned up at the internet place and said it was so cold they couldn't stay there and came back here to warm up. The weather here is lovely summer weather...28 at the height of the day but pleasant in the mornings and evenings. With plenty of mountain breezes. When I spoke to Abdellah a little later, he asked about the weather...I told him it was lovely and warm and sunny. He asked about the evenings and I told him I sit each evening on my terrace reading and listening to music. He asked what I wear, how many sweaters and shawels, and I said none, I'm in short sleeves. His reply was "Well, if you wanted to do that here, you'd have to wear your Eskimo suit!!". So, I am happily still in the right place.

So, I went back to my room and still had a few mintues before meeting Ilse for lunch, and made my phone calls. Called my guesthouse, and my favorite manager there, Ashish, answered the phone. He is also leaving today but will be back before I leave in June. He told me that Nikolai had taken MY room...but he would save another one for me. And, surprise, Abdellah was also there so I spoke to him and left a message for Nikolai that I would love to have MY room back when I arrive in a few weeks. It was nice talking to everyone and so much fun having the phone with me. I then called the owner, Kokila, just to make sure I'd have a room when I arrived.

And then I went down to meet Ilse, and just as we were walking down to the place we were going to eat, my phone rang!! It was Nikolai...apologizing for taking MY room and assuring me in his sweet gentlemanly way that I need not worry. When I arrive, if I am not satisfied with the room they have for me, he will take another room and give me MINE.

So, althought I was not at all thrilled about leaving Rishikesh, I AM looking forward to seeing all my friends, even if only for a couple of months.

(It is now actually tomorrow, the 23rd, as there was a power cut just as I was writing this post, but luckily I had it saved as a word document so nothing was lost. I went back to the same computer this morning, and here I am continuing with what I began yesterday)

Ilse and I continued walking down to the restaurant, and it was REALLY hot. I checked the weather report later in the day, and it was 28 degrees high, which is my limit for enduring hot weather, even at home. And since we were walking at 1:30 in the afternoon, it was at the heat of the day. Next time, I definitely need a hat and sun screen if I go out at that hour. We had a lovely lunch however, and it is amazing that we come from such different places and backgrounds and yet think alike in so many ways. She is 62 years old, originally from Denmark but living most of her life in Brighton, England, just as I've been living most of my adult life in Israel. We had a lovely day, and even bought myself a new necklace...I had spotted it when we came into the restaurant..the kids there made these authentic gem stone pieces of jewelry and save them and each one sold goes into the PERSONAL account of that orphan. But I've never seen something I really liked until now...kept looking at it and just as we were leaving, I asked the price. It was more than I usually spend on myself for jewelry but I figured I had worked hard for 2 weeks and deserved a treat. It is quite beautiful and I am very pleased with myself.

Came back and rested, read, listened to music, sat with friends, did a healing session for Ainat who is still not feeling well and then off to my room to read, listen to music and go to sleep. Just a perfect day.

With the change in weather, it is even lovelier than ever sitting on my I hope you enjoy some of the pictures in this post, which are all views from my terrace, on different days. These are daily visitors at dusk....

It is a large family but couldn't get a good shot...may another day...some of them are HUGE.

I particularly like the one of the bird...

I have been writing about different birds I have seen, and describing them as best I can, but this is the first time I've managed to get a picture of one of the more unusual ones...anyone know what it is??

I will end here with another lovely sunset