the sounds of the city. the big city. like being in new york or los angeles or chicago. people starting their day way earlier than in the other towns we have visited. normally we have the mornings to ourselves. quiet, empty. not here. although i did see a billboard that read, “say no to noise.”
by 7:30am, we are at the india gate on the shore of the arabian sea, about a block from our hotel…the regent hotel.
and not only are we there, but so are several other people. as our yoga progresses in the center of the gate’s courtyard area, more and more faces begin filling the scene. tourists and chaiwalas. street sweepers and street sleepers.
mumbai is cleaner than any other town we have experienced. i have seen actual garbage trucks here. there are always people sweeping up the sidewalks and alleys. now don’t go crazy and imagine some pristine ocd city…there is definitely dirt and trash, but the effort to keep the city clean is apparent.
the india gate stands right in front of the taj hotel that was attacked and taken over a few years ago. it is completely repaired and filled back up with guests. life goes on here. terrorist attack or not. destruction occurs. construction occurs. the cycle never stops. never pauses for emotional wallowing or human attachment. tomorrow comes after today. always.
i just started reading the book, running on emptiness by john zerzan, due to my buddy zac’s suggestion many months ago. it is a pretty radical book analyzing the crisis of our time. the author rallies for an unmaking of the civilized world. looks at how technology has limited us in more ways than it has helped. unravels a lot of interesting arguments. he cites someone every other line, which is irritating but informative. i don’t know if i agree with all his thoughts, but it is definitely making me think.
chapter two: time and its discontents.
you know when you read something or see something that you have never seen before, and then you suddenly see it everywhere?
i read this chapter about time. the invention of the mechanical clock. life before that. life after that. our relationship to time. the second law of thermodynamics and looking at the possibility that evolution does not have a specific direction.
“time and tidy are related etymologically.”
and then, we walked around mumbai. clocks everywhere. watches for sale on every other cart. clocks hanging in store windows.
a trip to victoria station (the famous huge train station in mumbai) and two huge clocks keeping the order.
or trying. train stations are fun in any city. subways and trains. i could sit there are watch people all day. people running to catch their train. people realizing they are on the wrong train. people fighting their luggage. people hugging and kissing loved ones hello and good bye. people sitting. waiting.
passing the time.
watching the time.
tick tick tick.
even this trip i have been tracking by time. counting the days and labeling them as they pass into memory. do the days really matter? no. next year, i will not care what day it was when i stared at the golden temple glowing against the sky’s darkness.
today we wandered. through the streets. through the train station. through the heat.
i am sticky and sweaty. it is in the 80s and super humid. my cheeks are sun-kissed and energy is being sucked out faster than i would like.
more water! i need to drink more water. do you see a trend? back to square one of my six month nutritional program with nathan mills. drink half your weight in ounces everyday. how many ounces are in a liter?
rows and rows of goods being sold. blankets spread out with even more trinkets and doodads. i want to look, but i also don’t. it is so much effort to not get ripped off. so much effort to collect materials. not to mention, my bag is reaching its limit and we still have nine days remaining.
we stopped to refuel with a sugar cane juice (with unexpected ice…don’t worry no one got sick) and then at a local restaurant on some side street.
then i zoned out. with fast wifi, i dug into work. knocked out a solid three hours of small tasks that had been acquiring. i missed some commotion outside near the india gate and taj hotel. apparently the french prime minister is in town. television trucks and crowds everywhere. or so i heard upon sybille’s return from her starbucks adventure to find free wifi (first starbucks we’ve seen).
i feel good. well rested. sort of on top of work. getting my fill of butterflies from this country. getting my fill of butterflies from home.
i do miss home though. i have now been traveling and living out of a suitcase since december 1. it will be nice to settle down for a minute soon. and eat some american food. i will have to admit that as much as the food is delicious here, i am definitely craving the normal sara diet.
the normal sara diet. hah. anyone who knows me well enough to know my eating habits is probably laughing at this.
yes there are mcdonalds in mumbai. no i have not eaten at one…yet. 🙂