In the land of beautiful handicrafts

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October 30th 2009
Published: October 30th 2009
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So I am back in the country of the holy cow (and the holy cow shit!!!) and really happy to be here. Waw, it's been only 3 days and it feels like weeks! I was busy! After the long flight straight from Newark, I spent one brief night in Mumbai. It's funny how Mumbai feels so familiar now, I was even able to tell my taxi driver how to get to my hotel!!! And going back to my "traditional internet place", I was welcomed by the same young and friendly guy who asked me right away "Do you remember me?". Of course I did, but I couldn't believe he remembered me. Apparently he did, or if he just pretended (as it is often the case), he did it very well. It was nice anyway and I was happy to see that Indian people were still so friendly. My neighbour at the internet place invited me to his place next time I am in Mumbai after I complained that Mumbai was an expensive place to stay in INdia!!!

So from there I took the suburban train, and the regular train to Bhuj. It was something like 17 hours, and a good exercise on sharing my personal space with many many people. This time we were two people booked on the same seat (on top of the 14 other ones in the same section meant for 8 in total), which is fine during the day but gets more complicated as I try to stretch my legs to sleep! But half a seat is better than no seat, and it was funny with some kids trying to show me the extent of their knowledge of the English language, and their love for the word "hello".

I arrived in Bhuj after 2 nights with hardly any sleep, but this place is great, a little like Rajasthan but with a lot less tourists. They had a major earthquake here in 2001 and although they managed to rebuild a lot, the tourists never really came back. It is nice in a way, but certainly hard on the local economy. But the crafts we find here are truly amazing. On my first day here, I met a Canadian woman who knew the best places to go to see beautiful fabrics, shawls and other handicrafts. we spent the whole day going to different villages and watching how people do the "block printing" with natural dyes, how they make the shawls, etc. I was smart enough not to bring too much money... Everything was so tempting. I will try to put pictures on the blog when I find a good internet connection. I also met a super nice Gujarati woman, so smart, funny and with perfect English. She is a taylor and can tell lots of stories about everything. Nice place to hang out and drink chai. I even got a chance to help her out, working as an interpreter for a French woman who wanted a special skirt made! We had a good laugh.

The hotels here are quite nice too. My room is small but nice, I had to be creative to do yoga this morning... I had forgotten about how nice one feels after a cold shower... I share my bed with many small ants but they didn't prevent me from having the best night sleep I had in a long time. The food is great, the weather hot, the air pollution just as terrible, but I truly enjoy myself, life on the road is far from boring!

More later...


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