Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pictures from India!

Here we are! My travel buddy, yoga buddy and roommate Jane & me, cozying up in a rickshaw. Lookin' stylie with our shades on too.

Here we are in front of our apartment! Our flat is on the 2nd floor (which they call the 1st floor here... just to keep us on our toes!). You can imagine how stoked we were when we first came around the corner and saw this rainbow painted gate with a doggie on it! a good omen!

Here's Jane cooking up a delicious dinner in our little Indian kitchen. Please observe the various snacks on the table. We are snack monsters. At this point in our trip we are attempting to practice some discipline and not purchase every tempting snack food we encounter.

Out & About!

We spotted this doohicky on our walk to FC road (a common destination for restaurants, and our near daily trip to the cell phone place to see if we can get our phone to work properly) These little arrangements are fairly commonplace around Pune - a few chili peppers and a lime, with a rock on the bottom, all wired together and dangling down. These are hung up in front of businesses, from rickshaw tailpipes, and - apparently - from a random pole on the sidewalk. I noticed them last time I was here, and surmised that they are designed to keep away bad luck... which has since been confirmed. This time around, I've noticed the creepy addition of the black voodoo doll hanging upside down, and now I am just as intrigued by him as I ever was with the chili-lime concoction. I love picking up little found objects on the street, and recently I passed a voodoo man in the street... but somehow superstition got the better of me and I figured it would be better not to mess with someone else's bad juju voodoo man. so I left it there.

Whoever created this particular installation seems especially concerned about keeping away bad luck, with no fewer than THREE chili-limes and a voodoo man. I hope it works for him, or her!

The pooja offerings vendors at Tulsi Bhag... my most favorite part of Pune, hands down. A whole row of vendors selling various items for religious offerings. Sparkly, shiny, beautiful, colorful, and largely mysterious to Jane & I who have no idea what is going on. I love it all nonetheless!

A sweet young gal helping her dad sell earrings at Tulsi Bhag.

Here is our regular internet place. It cost $.25 for every 30 minutes, which is a great deal. This particular day, we had walked over there (about a 5 minute walk), and found the entire place filled to the brim with a friendly little gang of school boys. They had all rented out the place for a whole hour and were playing some sort of interactive video game against one another. Even though it meant we didn't get to check out internet, the whole thing was so darned cute that it was hard to be grumpy about it. Ha!

(today I'm over at my friend Mimi's room, using her brand new mac, so that I can upload pictures to share with all of you! Thanks Mimi!)

Street Dogs of Pune!
You didn't really think I would upload pictures and not include the street dogs, did you???

Cookie! Cookie is the original cutie pie. She hangs out right near the RIMYI yoga center where we take classes (this picture is directly across the street from the center) and she is just adorable. She's very shy, and she doesn't want any snugs, but she looks pretty healthy and seems to have a good scene going on. So many street dogs look really, really worse for the wear, so it's good for my dog-loving soul to see one doing so well. Cookie really likes the sun, and she seems to have a special knack for seeking out warm and cozy spots.

Mama Cookie! This is a pretty sad picture, but there you have it. Mama Cookie is our name for this really really sweet street dog. She is so friendly. The other day I ran into her on my way to the ATM and we had a long snuggle. I ended up just sitting on the sidewalk with her and scritching her ears and neck. She was so happy. She kept closing her little eyes and dozing off. She is really friendly and such a sweet, delicate little size. We call her Mama Cookie, because when we first arrived her teats were huge and swollen, but since then they have receded. She is such a sweet creature. Some of the street dogs have someone who looks out for them. There are two old dogs near the newspaper vendor, and every day there is an elderly lady who comes and brings them chapattis (bread) and sits with them while they eat. It's quite sweet. I hope that someone will "adopt" Mama Cookie and look after her, because so far she seems to be living off the trash and various roadside scraps and her friendly little spirit deserves more from life.

I met this street dog today. He is my favorite street dog yet. He is SO sweet, and not in great shape. Not the worst (by far), but skinny and meek and with a torn up ear. Nonetheless, he was so happy to get some gentle pets that he lay down on the sidewalk and started trembling and whimpering with happiness. Quite a heartbreaker. Then he followed me almost all the way to class, which of course made me totally heartbroken. I was sad, but so relieved when he finally stopped.

I went out this afternoon and bought a bag of dog food, and poured a bunch into a ziplock bag in my purse. So now, whenever I see this guy or Mama Cookie I will be able to give them something yummy and nutritious to eat.

Last but not least, I love this little shrine on the wall at my favorite newspaper vendor. Notice the deity on the right (Shiva?) is surrounded by dogs and cats and a cow!!

That's all for now! I hope you've enjoyed these snapshots!
If you are also interested in some food-related shots, I've put some pictures up over at my vegan blog too: Vegan Eats & Treats

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