This has to be quick because I'm due at a tailor's shop soon. I'm not getting suits made or clothing fitted, although I just noticed that my only long sleeve shirt has a huge rip in the sleeve. Things fall apart.... Today's big goal is getting a new dog-bone shaped pillow made.
For whatever reason, pillows this shape help me sleep without crunching shoulders and neck all night. The pillow I've been traveling with has been loved to death and it's time to make a new one. Yesterday I found some interesting fabric, and this afternoon the challenge is going to be in explaining to the tailor how to sew the pieces together to get the unusual shape. Hopefully the dissected remains of the last pillow will be a good enough model.
Since last writing, I spent a great week in Goa. Such a wonderful place. Most people come to the state for the beaches, but I haven't been able to pull away from the inland capital city of Panaji. Colonial Portuguese buildings, delicious food, huge river, laid-back people. In a lot of ways, it feels like home.
Instead of writing, I spent too much time reading Midnight's Children and watching old episodes of the Gilmore Girls on cable. Added to that was all the trips to the camera repair shop to get the replacement camera fixed. Turns out the much waited for camera was also broken. Bad camera karma going around... But it's fixed now, and the original broken camera will be sent off to the appropriate repair center once I am out of India and certain that no outrageous amount of duty will have to be paid. Picture taking has recommenced.
After a week of laziness in Goa, I left for a few days to go to Hampi, a town a few hundred kilometers SW of here. Hampi was interesting, but somehow not what I expected. The landscape is very dry and full of granite boulders, except where the river has turned swathes of land green with coconut palms and terraced rice fields. There are ruins of ancient Hindu temples in every direction, some on hilltops and others hidden along the riverbanks. I've discovered in the past few weeks that I am not such a great fan of Hindu temples. Ones in ruins are good because I can concentrate on the architecture and sculpture, but living temples make me so uncomfortable that I feel suffocated inside. The smells of rancid oil, smoke-stained Shiva lingums, sadhus offering blessings in darkened corners... all make me want to run back out into the sunlight. So, no more Hindu temples, for now.
After a couple of days in Hampi, I returned to Panaji in Goa. It's so nice to be back. There's not so much to do here. A full day is just wandering around the neighborhoods and talking to people. Tomorrow's the last day in Goa and then off to Mumbai, the most populous city in India. Hurray for Bollywood.