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Published: March 31st 2018
Bringing Taylor to Dharamkot felt like introducing him to my heart. He sensed the comfort, familiarity and peace I felt as we arrived. The exhausting 2 day journey, with back to back 5am wake-ups and early morning flights left me depleted. But knowing it was all worth it, must have given Taylor the reassurance that we were in the right place. That the journey was for a good reason. It took a few days to acclimatize to the temperature, the altitude and the mountain terrain. Which meant I took it easy and we dined luxuriously in restaurants for all our meals...reminding me how my travels used to look. I can’t believe I ate 3 greasy meals a day!! it was nice to taste Indian food cooked by locals rather than by me again and I definitely loved not cleaning up after us! But I was relieved to have a kitchen again and not have to get both of us dressed in the morning before breakfast! How simple life is here....either hang out in our balcony eating the eggs I cooked, or take a small trip down the mountain to a restaurant and be served. These are our choices these days. Although
getting eggs back to our kitchen intact is not as simple as you’re imagining. There are no egg cartons and pushing Taylor in a stroller while also carrying eggs in a bag is sketchy. It took 3 weeks of buying a few eggs at a time, every second day, to find out a man walks around the village selling much preferred local eggs right at our doorstep. I was made for village life. And Taylor was definitely Indian in a past life. He fits right in...aside from the pasty white skin! He struts up and down the mountain shaking his hands in “namaste” to everyone who passes. He never misses the monks or nuns...somehow knowing it’s most important to say namaste to them! Almost everyone knows his name so we walk down the path hearing “hi Taylor” at every turn. He jumps behind me at the sound of every car and makes me lift him into almost every parked motorcycle to test it out. Indians are cool with this, luckily. They are also super friendly and see babies in a similar way to God’s. So the locals as well as all the Indian tourists can’t help but pinch Taylor’s cheeks
and give him sweets whenever they see him...they offer sweets to the gods at alters so I suppose offering them to babies has a similar affect...although I never let him eat them but they’ll never know! We stop often during our “hikes” for Indians to pick him up, give him kisses and take selfies with him. No idea why they want a picture with a random white baby they’ll never see again, but it entertains him for a minute or so. Plus they often carry him for me and I’m up for any time that someone else wants to be his porter.
The most noticeable difference between village life and the one we left behind in Goa (which is a small town but a Christian, somewhat modern mentality, with husbands off working abroad) is that day to day life hasn’t changed much from past generations. Here in the mountains, most families own cows or goats. They farm their own veggies on small patches of land. The men run the local shops, work as taxi drivers or rent out the rooms they’ve added onto their houses. While the women tend to those houses all day long. They don’t venture far.
The 2 daughters of the house were staying at, in their late 20’s (old for marriage by village standards actually) as well as the wife of the oldest son, tend to the household chores...cooking, cleaning, feeding the cows, tending to the goats, taking turns looking after the couple’s 2 year old Daughter...and whatever else isn’t as noticeable to an outsider. Doesn’t leave them much time left in the day to venture outside the grounds. I’ve only seen them leave once, as a group, in the 3 weeks we’ve been living here. It works out well for Taylor, who loves to play with the little girl. And since she has a mom, 2 aunties, the uncle who manages the guest house and her grandparents to watch out for her, there are always extra hands to care for Taylor when they play. Which means I can sometimes cook or clean up after our meal without Taylor hanging pots in the kitchen. There’s a wonderfully big balcony outside our room that looks over the family’s space. So we can always see when Aditi, the little girl is awake and up for play. Taylor’s favourite game is throwing his toys down to her, over
our balcony. Which is the only drawback to being up here!! It means when I’m not looking, all his toys mysteriously end up on the landing below. Even when no one is there to play. I’m hoping none land on someone unexpectedly in the next few weeks! On our level the other 3 rooms are occupied by Israelis who came together. A mother with her 2 children and a couple other travelers who may be related...who has the energy to ask personal questions these days!! But they are all friendly and playful with Taylor. And it’s great that they are all here as long as us. So Taylor has the consistency of nice friends, looking out for him. Plus none of them use the shared kitchen so it’s always free and clean when I need it!!
And now it’s 8:30, Taylor’s asleep and it’s my turn to join him in bed. That sounds weird, but we of course share a bed in our single room here! A small space to clean and lots of time spent outside is just perfect. Lots of playing to be done tomorrow, so a full night sleep is a must if I want to have
the energy to chase Taylor up and down the mountain again!
Tot: 2.686s; Tpl: 0.074s; cc: 10; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0545s; 2; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 4;
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