Friday, February 10, 2012

Opposites Attract

It is true what they say, opposites attract and things always seem to come in pairs. We have seen this quite a bit through our travels. This is clear from Erin needing to sleep with her gloves and sometimes even a hat on! (Embarrassing, we are Canadian after all!) to the two of us spending a day at the beach. It is strange to have such a contrast in the same country. The North and South of India are truly two completely different places.

Next we have Varanasi, the holiest city. A man sits by the river and prays... that is of course until his cellphone rings and he takes a break from his interaction with God to chat with his friend. In the same city you walk down tiny alley ways, having to fight for room between motorcycles, people, and of course, cows. (Never forgetting to keep your eyes on the lookout so you don't step in that holy cow shit). It all seems so hectic and strange to have motorcycles, people and cows all in the same place and then you see a woman touch a cow and then her forward as she says a prayer to this holy animal. You have to appreciate that someone can find a moment of peace in all of the chaos.

Kolkata was interesting as there were moments when you could almost be in New York City, all of the yellow cabs, but then of course it is time for the goats to come home from their day in the field and they fight the cabs for room on the road (Hey, I'm walkin here!)

And of course there is the food, always delicious. I particularly like it down here in the South where they serve your meals on banana leaf. Erin and I had a lesson at breakfast one morning from the man working in the restaurant who clearly saw us struggling. Though, no matter how good the food is, you always need a little reminder of home... and because you have to try it! So yes, I did my India McDonald's visit, and it was delicious. But all those Bic Mac lovers will have trouble because even at McDick's you can't order beef or pork products.

India makes its own rules, and you have to figure them out as you go along, which is usually always good for a laugh. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cultural Immersions

 Our hostel in Varanasi introduced us to many new cultural experiences. Two repeated performers included a traditional sitar and tabla player. Their hand movements were so incredibly fast!
 After their performance came a traditional shiva dance.The large Korean tour group that seemed to appear from nowhere at every one of these unannounced performances loved clapping along to this part.
We also made our own attempt at some traditional body artwork. It now looks like we let 5 year olds draw with henna all over our feet. We're stuck with it for 2 weeks... at least!

Our new friend!

Anne Marie and Glen, expect a small package in the mail sometime soon. Nobel will be so excited to play with her adorable gift :)