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Published: December 6th 2005
Sonia and I in Milan airport. We met on the plane from Toronto. She is going to Bombay to visit her mother, and she has invited me to come and stay.
I have been in Delhi less than 24 hours and already I feel at home. Arrived very late Monday night after a 21 hour journey. The entire trip went very smoothly, and I even made two friends (see pictures) during the journey. Only problem is the jet lag. I feel a bit weird, almost dizzy, and very tired.
I am staying with my friend Ajay and his family in south Delhi. Also in the flat are his parents, his brother Vijay, sister-in-law Meera and their daughter Varada, who is seven. Today we sat on their very large marble terrace under the sun. It was about 25 C. Very beautiful in spite of the smog, which has a slightly acrid smell. A man came to the flat with many beautiful shawls and suit fabric. I bought three shawls and fabric for two suits (salwar kameez, which is tunic and pants). It was the most relaxed and enjoyable shopping experience of my life. We sat and drank tea, as Meera helped me choose. She has an excellent eye for fabric, colour and pattern, and she understood immediately which colours were best for me. One suit is orange and the other is smoky
I sat beside Jyotsna on the plane from Milan to Delhi. She is from Delhi but now lives in Germany. We are going to go shopping together.
blue, both with beautiful embroidery.
Varada is helping me type this. She is very good at grammar and editing!
I walked with Ajay over to his gym, which is in a very large sports complex that includes swimming, tennis courts a driving range and much more. Varada says they also have a skating rink! The grounds are gorgeous, with many tropical trees and many beautiful flowers.
So far, I am having a very relaxing time. I feel so deeply happy to be back in Asia. Asian countries have a very different feel -- there is something both languid and ancient in the air that is completely missing in North America. I love it.
I also love the family life here. Everyone spends time together, and eats together every day. There are several servants who cook and keep house. This helps make for a very relaxing time. Ajay just told me his haircut today cost 100 rupees, which is about $2.75. The man came to the house and cut his hair on the terrace as we were shopping. I am already telling Ajay I am staying in India. It's warm, friendly, and inexpensive -- what more could
Here are the men displaying a beautiful pashmina shawl on the terrace today.
Tonight I am going to bed early. I am determined to get over jet lag by tomorrow.
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