Friday, October 19, 2007

Changing site address

I've decided to start to use 'wordpress' instead of blogger for my blog posts from now on.

The new site is:

PLEASE update your links or your favourite list or whatever to make sure you have my new blog address. I hope you keep up and make the change with me. : ) xo
also please be patient as I figure this new site out...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Visiting the doctor in Jaipur

When I was in Roopengarh (the castle) I remember having a very serene moment where I was laying on a bench on one of the balcony's off of my room- with the sun setting to my right and the moon rising to my left.
There was a cool breeze and Indian music playing the background. It was really beautiful.

It was then that I got bit.
I noticed the next morning on the way to Jaipur that i had a welt on the inside of my thigh. "Oh" I thought, "I must have been bitten by a spider or something."
Off to Jaipur we go. Upon our arrival I thought I would show my roomie my bite mark, only to discover, to my horror, that it had doubled in size. I drew a line around the welt to see if it would continue to grow. It did.
The next morning it pretty much covered the entire inside of my thigh- about the size of a... oh I don't know- a dinner plate?! Oh and I broke out in hives all over my face. I looked like I had elephantitus and should be out on the corner asking for rupees. So Sherry took me to the doctor that day (only because she didn't want me to start drawing lines around the marks on my face too!). Apparently this was one of the best doctors in town.
I was examined by two nurses first.
and then the doctor was brought in. I was covered up in a sheet with just a hole cut out that went over the bite mark. Even in medical situations modesty is of utmost importance.
The doctor spoke two words of English- "tetanus?" (yes I have had my tetanus shot) and "medicine?" (no I am not on any other medication, but I am allergic to...).

He gave me a prescription which I promptly had filled and started to take. By the next day the hives were gone and two days later I was bite mark free.
It was also ridiculously cheap- the visit to the doctor was about $2.50 and the drugs And I had wanted an authentic experience...careful what you wish for! : )

Letter from Manish

Remember when I said i was done with my India posts?? Well I lied...

On the 'free' day we had in Varanasi I met a guy. His name was Manish. Basically he came up and started talking to me- and since his English was very good I started chatting with him. This wasn't unusual- but it was unusual in the market to not have every person approaching you with "Would you like to buy...??" He just asked if we were lost (oh don't get me wrong- he still wanted to take us to his 'uncle's' shop so we would buy stuff but he was not aggressive or pushy).
He just asked us where we were going- we told him where we wanted to go- and he showed us around the old town.
We ended up spending the afternoon with him in what would be one of the highlights of the trip.
He took us to the tower over the burning ghat where we could witness the ceremony of some burning bodies (where the souls were then directly transported to Nirvana I think I mentioned, circumventing the whole 'reincarnation' aspect of life). We could just observe from above as women weren't allowed down by the pyres. Women were known to cry- which disturbs the souls and prevents them from going to Nirvana. Also - women were known to throw themselves onto the burning pyre and kill themselves along with their sons/husbands. Widows are persona non grata in India (though I'm sure not as much anymore).
Anyhow- Manish wrote me a letter today- he addressed it to "hello blond girl in green" as he couldn't remember my name. He told me about a festival for "Durga" that is happening in Varanasi right now, the weather is getting colder... just chit chat. I can't think what I'll write back? Work is slow because we're waiting for a bunch of briefs to get finalized?! Hmm... I'll have to think about the reply...
Anyhow- I had given him my address not thinking I'd ever hear from him- but how great to now have a friend across the universe.
As soon as my friend Colette gets her pictures uploaded I'll put a pic of Manish. I didn't have my camera handy. In the meantime- here are a couple more from the trip. (Stolen from my friend Sherry)
There is birds in Pushkar.

Bathing at the ghat in Varanasi

Me in a tower in a castle? Palace? Fort? in Jaipur. (We rode the elephants up here)

Dancing in the streets in Pushkar

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What else?

Of course I thought I'd be posting pictures from India for weeks and weeks, but I've already sent out the link to my album at Kodak Gallery and I've already bored friends and family with countless tales of my journey. Really - the only people interested in the trip are the people I went with- so I will continue to talk about it with them.
Now moving on...
My good friend Lori and her fiance Jeff (also a friend) were in Toronto last night- and we went for dinner at "Little India". (so yum). I hadn't seen them since March- so it was great to catch up.
Here we are after dinner- I look like I'm glomming (how do you spell that word?!) to Lori and she's thinking "Oh here we go again- Sarah is trying to sit in my lap" with a look of fear and, dare I say... love??, on her face.

My cousin Tara is also in town staying and she joined us. (I'm sooo glad she's home!) She's just been in South Korea for a couple of years- and is experiencing reverse culture shock. I think that's one of the reasons she came to Toronto- so she could go to Koreatown and get her fix!

Friday, October 12, 2007


When is jet lag considered jetlag?

I keep thinking I'm not suffering from jetleg (and lucky for it) because I'm awake all day and go to sleep easily at night- and only wake up at 5am (not 3am or something). And lots of people get up at 5am normally right? Well getting up at 5am sucks. Seriously.
But I guess there's time to post more pictures.
These are out of order- but here are some pictures of Pushkar (there was the first one I posted- of the parade in town). This was on day 3- the first town we hit after Delhi.

Me and my camel. This is now my second camel ride- first one was in Morocco in the desert at sunrise. This one was in the country at sunset. I'm wearing an outfit I bought in Delhi called a salwar kameez- which consists of a long flowy top and loose pants. It was $5- because it was a pretty basic design. My friends bought some that were beautiful: but I wanted something basic that I could just wear to keep cool. It was 35C with 98% humidity and of course none of the clothes I bought were appropriate- especially to keep aligned with the modesty of the women. I wore this outfit a lot. (And while it was not the most flattering- it was super comfortable and cool!)

The sountryside while on the camel. This is where some people lived. They would wave at us as we walked on by. (They actually waved at us on the highway too as we drove through all the small towns. Young and old- though mostly the kids. They would chase the bus and wave).

The Brahma temple- the only one in India. Braham is the creator God. The other Gods have many temples all over India- but the creator just gets this one.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sunrise over an amazing testament to love

and yes I took this picture! It's not a post-card : )

Walking the streets of Varanasi

Here is another video (shorter this time) again trying to capture the chaos that is the Streets of Varanasi after Puja.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Streets of Varanasi

Here's a video I took of the traffic in Varanasi. (Please ignore the fact that me and Sherry sound like valley girls.) We were just trying to capture some of the chaos that is Varanasi after the Puja (prayer). It was a rickshaw traffic jam, complete with cars, cows, bikes, tuk tuks, walking traffic with hawkers who were relentless in trying to sell us souvenirs, and irregular electricity- sometimes cloaking us in darkness- all very exciting!

India posts coming.

I've been so busy uploading and sorting photos and burning CDs, and unpacking, doing laundry etc... that I haven't had a chance to write in my blog. However I will soon BORE you to tears with countless tales of my trip. But the net outcome? I LOVED it. I have a few complaints about the execution through GAP Adventures- but more on that later. Here are some pictures for now. Also- have an album uploaded to have to figure how to share it without uploading everyone's email addresses.

This the Bahai temple- The Lotus Temple. And a street parade in Pushkar.