festival day

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October 2nd 2006
Published: October 2nd 2006
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i was good today. Instead of sleeping in on the holiday, i actually woke up at 5:30 and practiced my yoga. My plan for the day was to just walk around and see what sort of festival buzz i could catch going on around me. I haven't really had the time or energy to see Bangalore by foot, so i was looking forward to getting lost.
i still haven't figured out what the festival is celebrating, but everyone seems to be in good spirits, and doors are lined with flowers and leaves, and there's this white fruit outside of doors that has a red dye in it. It was kinda weird to walk along the streets today, because most of the shops were closed, and my little corner of Bangalore was eerily quiet. There was a noticeable absence of vehicles (still some though), and i didn't fear for my life every time i crossed a street. The camera once again worked in my favor. When people saw me carrying it, they asked for photos. One family was very kind and after i snapped their photos they gave me a coconut sweet chewy snack for the road. The children are so candid and bright. It's great.
The weather is perfect. Sunny, breezy, good mix of cloud cover. I didn't really have a direction today, i just walked and walked and walked. I passed a couple of temples, with hopes of seeing some festivities, but all i heard were drums and exotic music and people gathering. You don't really realize how large a city is until you try to traverse it by foot. I thought i had a general idea of where i was going, but ended up completely lost, which i guess was part of the point. I was lost in kind of a gross part of town though. There was a very busy intersection that had canals going under it that smelled worse than anything i've smelled since i've been here. It was like rotten eggs.....so pungent that when i tried to breathe through my mouth i could STILL smell it. About that time the sky started turning grey and my feet got tired so i decided to cave and get a tuk tuk back home.
I'd like to explain some of the photos. James Bond's drycleaner was humorous to me...i just picture sean connery behind the counter wasting away in some indian back alley. I guess that's not really nice, but funny in that james bond would revert to dry cleaning....anyway.
The other funny thing i've been seeing is construction methodology. Perhaps i would not take notice of how the buildings around here are built if it weren't for growing up around construction sites. India hasn't seemd to catch up on modern construction technology and everything that is assembled or dissembled is done so in a back breaking fashion. I guess it's because labor is so cheap, but just to give you some examples....
To apply cement to a ceiling, the men will scoop it out of a bucket and fling it and then use a long roller to apply and smooth it. To pass cement (or whatever they use to lay bricks) a bucket is handed and sometimes thrown up a ladder going through 3 different hand sets and then is thrown back down to a guy who is laying the bricks. When it comes to demolition, there aren't big Caterpillar wrecking balls or earth movers. Nope, just a guy with a sledgehammer taking out his life's frustrations on a tiny segment of wall and moving at slug pace. It's crazy. Just look at the framing wood!
I just thought my dad would find that interesting.......it's a workforce i'm sure he'd love to have.....not afraid to use all of their body to get the job done.
I've been reading a lot to abate the silence in the house. I manage to keep myself entertained. It's crazy though, i only have 7 yoga classes left. Time flies man. Time flies.

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