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September 9th 2014
Published: September 9th 2014
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After finally settling into a very simple routine that included lots of exploring, plenty of playing, art and relaxing together at Arka, we turned in our scooter and moved this past Friday to a different guest house. The new place is beautiful and I am free of feeling unwelcome due to the disquietude that Malek and Sephina produced in such an otherwise serene environment. Where we sleep now is my idea of a the perfect room: it's uncomplicated, the widow frames, doors and all furniture are handmade solid wood, the floor is covered in spanish style tiles, and the space is small - just enough. To the surrounding villagers, this would be considered a very nice place and that is why it cost a fair amount in comparison to stay here; we subsidize the Tamil and Auroville and thus they treat us like special guests. There is a 13 year old Tamil boy, Sahnker, who lives here. He is fairly fluent in English and the kids love playing with him and the other younger children who live here as well. The local kids have also enjoyed sharing our iPad, though they are not unfamiliar with most of the games.

Yesterday we rented another scooter as I had to tie up accounting issues back in Auroville proper, a 5km walk from here. Though I've recently really enjoyed the days of walking 3km with Sephina on my back to Auro Beach and around town, it has gotten to be too much for the kids in this heat. I must say that having wheels definitely reduces stress even if we aren't getting nearly as much exercise. In the past five days we've ventured to the beach 4 times. If Malek had his way, we'd be there all day, every day. The Beach, which is said to be 'the' or one of the nicest beaches in India, reminds me of Long Beach in CA, pre-beach clean up minus seagulls and seaweed. It's littered in trash (as are the roads in general, where daily burning is observed as a means of control), and has many chunks of concrete and brick mixed with various wires and rebar. Not sure why it was decided to leave these to look like some important ancient relics of Atlantis when they're not... I have only seen men swimming in the water and they tend to be fully clothed or in underwear. The women, who occasionally wade and get quite wet doing so, are in full saris. It's hard for me to keep an eye on Sephina and our stuff while in the ocean, so I have only swam once. *(Update, just got back from the beach again and enjoyed swimming somewhat far out with Sephina and Malek both. We all enjoyed diving under the gentle waves for quite a while). Though I brought a fairly modest bathing suit, I found it more respectful to swim fully clothed and so I did. The very few westerners who I have seen wearing immodest clothing, (short shorts and tank tops), stuck out like a sore thumb and it was in blatant violation of the culture. Even me in my bellow the knee shorts and modest enough t-shirts have garnered enough attention as to make some locals think they can come over and rub sand off my legs, grasp my hands or ask me if I like to drink. However, the kids love it and I foresee venturing there near daily.

Speaking of garnering attention, Sephina really does seem to be the "Queen" or princess of India. Since we've arrived she's received pats, kisses, pinched cheeks and general adoration. People look right through Malek and I and coo and fawn over my little girl. It's happened several times at the beach where a group of twenty something men will come over and ask to have their picture taken with just Sephina. It quickly got to the point that she insisted that I was in the picture too, to hold her much to the disappointment of the young men, and now she flat out objects. I still think she liked the attention though, beyond the strangeness.

In our new neighborhood we've discovered a four lane pool at New Creation that is quite expensive to swim in, but for the kids sake, we'll probably visit it twice or thrice. We're also considering moving to that guest house as it is more affordable and according to the kids, the food here is too spicy (first complaint). Also, it's fun to move and try out the different accommodations and enjoy different environments.


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Our porchOur porch
Our porch

, which is covered in seashells,sand, plastic animals and small containers of water and leaves - food for all of the animals... :)
HutsHuts
Huts

-small more traditional, but fancy for traditional, housing.
The main roadThe main road
The main road

- we have to run for our lives across to get to the beach.
Auro beachAuro beach
Auro beach

The best stretch, believe it or not. Lots of fun, but look out for bricks and wires in the sand and water. A man told us that there had been a tsunami here several years ago and these are the remains...
Store frontsStore fronts
Store fronts

on Auro Rd.
The kids favorite mealThe kids favorite meal
The kids favorite meal

-since we've been here. Italian pizza from an Italian Aurovillian. Not bad actually.


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