Dear Mum and Dad,
Thanks so much for the email and the instructions to honeymoon bridge and spades! We’ll have a fun time playing those on the train. Quick question about honeymoon bridge – what do you do with the two extra hands that were dealt? Are these just put to the side or do they get played?
So funny to read the beginning of your email, too. I have been feeling sort of down yesterday and today – just blah. Frankly feeling tired of India and, as the London analogy goes, therefore feeling tired of life. Not a great way to feel. At all.
I have found that I am quite good at picking up on other people’s feelings and internalizing them, sometimes/often, without even knowing that I am doing this. This is something that I would really like to work on recognizing and learning how to recognize and separate another’s emotions from my own. All hard things, part of learning to be an adult, learning to figure out what I want and what I need and how to give that to myself.
Sometimes it’s also hard to know when feelings are connected to something like how I feel emotionally and when they may be connected to my stomach feeling bad or being sunburnt and dehydrated (amazing how our emotions are really connected to our physical well-being as well).
So those are thoughts. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts about this stuff, and talking in person when I get to London. It will be interesting to see where I am on all this in another month with 8-10 weeks of time in India/Nepal and me back in the states.
How exciting that you’re moving into your new home in London!!!! I am eager to see it and you.
J and I are in Puri – a town on the beach with one of the largest Hindu temple complexes in all of India, the Jaganath Temple. Just a month ago, the town was mobbed with Hindu pilgrims come for the Rath Yaatra (the cart journey). It’s a huge festival that thousands of people come from all over to witness. Amazing as it would have been, I think I’m glad to have missed it. Smile.
The ocean is beautiful – I’ll have to check a map, but I think it’s the Pacific ocean up here. I’m thinking the Indian Ocean is off the southern/western coast of India and we’re way east. We are staying in a little hotel right by the beach and by a fisher-folks’ village. It reminds me of the super high density township right near us in Plumtree except there seem to be no public toilets, even, so the sand above the ocean ends up being used as the primary toilet. Yikes! The beach between the fishing village and the water is covered with fecal matter, urine and trash. And in whatever clear space there is, the fishermen (it seems to all be men and boys who do the fishing) untangle their nets, seeming to rise from within some mist (the nets are gray light and give the impression of mist around the fishermen’s seated forms), and ready their boats, equipped with sails of sewn together yellow and blue tarp. There are smaller boats as well, with no sail, basically long narrow platforms with shallow walls – they get swamped going over each and ever wave, but the boats are too shallow and solid to sink even when full of water. To the south of the fishing town, the beach gets cleaner, though as I found this morning, one must still watch one’s footing – ick – and people enjoy the surf that comes crashing in on the steep beach. Little crabs scuttle in and out of their tiny holes in the sand. Venders with fanny packs filled with pearls and precious and semi-precious stones of unknown quality (or authenticity) wander around asking tourists (Indian and foreign alike) if perhaps they need a pearl necklace or a piece of coral for a ring. Yesterday evening J and I even saw a young man walking a camel along the beach – photos, a ride, just a sit? Not sure what…. Though the camel looked quite out of place despite all the sand. Smile.
Yesterday afternoon, we ventured over to the Jaganath temple, which we are only aloud to look at from outside seeing as we are not Hindu (though Indian looking brown skin would be enough to get us entrance). We found a great little joint to have lunch in – a dark little hole in the wall with plenty of locals eating their own lunch – and managed to get yelled at by a man who thought Jon was trying to speak to him in English or French (the offense seemed to be as simple as Jon’s assumption that the man should speak Jon’s own language; the problem was that Jon had actually asked the man a question in sudha (good/clear) Hindi – ah if only we would learn to listen and not make assumptions).
Lots of adventures.
I love you both lots and can’t wait to see you very soon!