Wednesday, September 28

A spiritual climb

On Wednesday morning last week we woke up at 5am (can't remember the last time I did that) and climbed a ridiculously steep mountain to a temple that overlooks Udaipur. It was such a magical, spiritual place to watch the sunrise.

Wednesday, September 21

Thank you Mr. Postman

Every time the door bell rings, everybody jumps up and gets excited in hope that it’s the postman. Yesterday morning as I was heading out the front door on my way to day care, the postman pulled up and he had a package for me from my mum! Not just a letter, but a box! Unfortunately I was running late so I had to put it inside and get going, but all I could think about was my box waiting for me at home. When day care finished I raced upstairs and tore it open to find Vegemite, Milo and more stingose (I’ve been getting bitten a lot)! 
Even though it wasn’t the most amazing package (where’s the lollies mum?) I was so excited. To think that this was sent all the way from Australia was so cool.

Anyway this morning I had my first cup of Milo in over 6 weeks and I couldn’t be happier. Thanks Mr. Postman – you made my day.

Thursday, September 15

Things I've Noticed

Having been in India for nearly 6 weeks now, there are many interesting little things I’ve noticed and thought you might be interested in.

- You cannot trust the power and waters systems here. They are constantly dropping in and out. There’s nothing more frustrating than the power stopping right in the middle of writing a long post without saving, or when the fan stops in the middle of a 30 degree night, or when you’re just about to rinse out your shampoo.
(Monsoon rain showers are always an alternative when the waters out)

- The road rules are: there are no rules. Nobody sticks to their side of the road, nobody has seatbelts, and it’s just not Indian driving if your horn isn’t blasting every 10 seconds.

- Cows rule the world. Or at least in India they do. I don’t know why Indians had to choose the cow to worship. They block the roads, poo everywhere, come running at you with their horns, and most importantly, STOP ME EJOYING THE BIG JUICY STEAK WHICH I CRAVE SO BADLY!!!

- When shopping, there’s always the Indian price, and the tourist price. No matter how many times you hear “Yes, I give you best price. Very good deal” you’re still getting ripped off. After a while, you learn what is a reasonable price to be paying for various objects, but until then, always half the price and bargain from there.

Also I have gained SO much respect for Indian woman. Wearing a sari is hard to walk in, not to mention work in. I keep seeing women working in fields, yet they manage to look so graceful in their beautiful saris.

Wednesday, September 7

Seriously craving...

Lately I feel I am going crazy and am having some super cravings!

 Apple crumble with vanilla ice cream

 A pedicure (my feet have never been so hideously filthy)

 The beautiful smell of gum leaves (I wish I could have brought some over with me)

 A nice big glass of ice cold Milo

 A big warm bubble bath (the cold, dripping shower here just doesn't cut it)

This ones the killer... a big juicy steak. I am seriously going insane in this country without my meat fix!!

What are you craving at the moment?

Sunday, September 4

A small milestone

Well, I’ve made it. I’ve survived my first month in Incredible India. And I keep thinking, although the last 4 weeks have gone so fast, I still have another 14 to go! Everything so far has been incredible. Although there are many things about India which get on my nerves, you have to learn to accept them, or there’s no way you can survive in this country. 
I am having a ball teaching. I’m starting to feel my little day care kids, are my own children. They all have very different personalities, and although they can be a real handful, I wouldn’t trade them to teach anyone else. The orphanage boys on the other hand, they’re not as easy to love. They are extremely cheeky, and can be real pains in the ass most of the time. There are a few exceptions in the group who are very charming little boys, but as a whole, they’re a challenge.
The past week, has been a reasonably quiet one. Except for the numerous festivals which never fail to keep me awake at night and dazzle me with their beautiful lights and decorations. We went out to lunch at Savage Garden one day, said farewell to 3 volunteers and had a goodbye dinner for them, went for a trip way up high to Monsoon Palace, enjoyed a traditional dance and puppet show, and topped it all off with an animal themed party… just because we could. Oh and of course there was lots more shopping as well.

Thursday, September 1

Weekend adventure

On the weekend, we did a trip 6 hours west to Jodhpur. The bus ride was pretty crappy, with the driver blasting the horn every 30 seconds (no joke, I think bus drivers pride themselves on their horns). At one point during the drive I thought "Wow this scenery reminds me a lot of Australia", and then I realised there were gum trees lining the road!! It made my day and made me feel so happy :)
We arrived at Jodhpur and went straight to a rooftop restaurant for dinner and then to bed. We spent the next day sightseeing around 'the blue city' at Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada (a white, marble memorial palace). We then drove for 2 hours out to the desert for our camel safari. We stayed with a local family who cooked us traditional food and did a show for us - which gave us a feel for the real India. We slept under the stars that night which was so magical.
We woke at 4:30 the next day for our safari. I don't know why Indians used to choose camels as their choice of transport because they are so uncomfortable!! But it was a lovely ride with an amazing view at the end.
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