Leaving Jaipur 

Before the peacefulness, there was the train culture shock.
Unprepared, once again, for what I might find today as we leave the comfort and luxury of our stay in Jaipur, I discovered more about India.  
As we say good bye and gather our bags. We enter the busy streets of Jaipur. Not as frantic it seems, as yesterday. There is activity plenty on the streets. Some people walking, tuk tuks beeping and swerving in and out, roundabouts that seem to take us in circles, store fronts open for business and the streets humming. Cows grazing and people moving.  
A thought comes to me. As I see a virtually enter “store” with chairs inside and men sitting on them. It occurs to me and I spontaneously utter “the Men are at the ready.” For what? Sitting next to and across from same other man as yesterday and tomorrow. Is that a job? What are they talking about? Colleen says maybe they are talking about the next tourist van, ours, and wondering what are they doing? Same bus, same women, sitting across from each other, talking about what??? Ha Ha.  

Jaipur magic

In the darkness, it is the wee hours of the morning and a call to prayer chant can be heard above the sweet bird song in this magical oasis. It’s like a moment of spiritual awakening and fellowship for all souls. The call to India, as my friend, Colleen states, is about the spiritual connection. There is magic in this place, in the people and the very sounds that make us one.

When the chanting stops, as I lay in the darkened room I hold on to the promise of staying present. I hear the echoes of the voice and they melt into the flutter warble and cheep of morning birds, nested in trees outside my window in the open courtyard at this magnificent Haveli Alsisair in Jaipur. Although the busy city is outside the walls, in my room painted and decorated by a true genius, I feel so connected in this place.

Jaipur is chaotic. Traffic bumping along in almost Delhi style … constant beeping and jostling for position on the unmarked roadways and roundabouts. Pedestrians milling and walking through, holding hands with little children, places to go.

A gentle man, squatting by the side of the road. his two grandsons squatting in the very same physical configuration. Together, in synchronicity and obvious genetic similarities. Mirrors of each other, generations together. They hold their hands in the same way … like in prayer. Looking to one side, the same side so we can see the lines of ancient ones in their faces. I have only the pictures in my mind, so present was I with them on the sidewalk. Mindful moment and highlight.

My room in the Alsisar Haveli. Primary colours painted and stain glass, not black and white but classic colours of nature. Sharp red, glowing golds and yellows, deep blues. A prism of light outlining true Indian design. I step back, I take a photo or two, to hold on to it.

My dear friend Christa and I share time together this morning as we awaken in India. Our first morning together on this trip. We talk.

Processing our process for play instead of pressure. When shopping yesterday we were investigating textiles and carpets. We are looking for a taste of what is available in the store. My purchase power is my politics. Honouring the meaning of connections within community of support. I am supporting a family and they are supporting me. I think that is what we are hungry for as a people. I want to be responsible for the way in the which I exchange with the lives of another.

My friend Lalu defines this for us in India. I support his lifestyle by arranging our travel experiences through him. He honours me by his honesty and sensitivity to heart. I get to share this richness of experience with dear friends and travel companions. I feel happy, content and somehow precious and important in my roll and my friendships.



The flight to India

Great morning and Namaste,

About 1500 kms left of our 12488 km journey in the air, from Vancouver airport to Delhi India, I am awake and inspired. It will be 20 February 2017 local date and time when I arrive in Delhi.

This flight is really restful, with Premium Economy seating for extra leg room, close to the facilities, only two seats across, window location one back from bulkhead. Many children and large families on this flight. I have to give credit and extend patience to the wonderful mothers and fathers who attempt this 14 hour flight with their darling small daughters and sons. Even though sleep comes easily with exhaustion and not too many interruptions, it can’t be an easy trek with tiny lives to care for. Brava!!

My words for this trip included Patience, Process, Positivity and staying patient. So far with less than the size of this small space allotted to my seat and me, I have had plenty of opportunity to practice and witness my state of mind.

I have a friend beside me, my water bottle for refreshment and a beautiful new plane surrounding us as we careen through space. Temperatures outside ranging from -50 to -61 degrees that I have seen. Up over the pole, starting in northern BC and then down through Scandinavian countries, and now I see Kabul and Kandahar on my screen as I track the journey on my screen. Almost two hours to go, at 968 km an hour.

What will we expect? What delights greet us? What will I see that I did not in my journey a year ago to this location half way around the world from my home?

One More Sleep … India

Preparing for the next great adventure.

“One more sleep” is the mantra as I awaken on this fresh Friday. With my head full of thoughts of ‘what have I forgotten to pack’? I see items hanging in my closet wanting to audition for this trip in the small carry on bag …. heading back to India.

This time last year I was just returning from a month, my first time ever, in India. There were parts of that journey that deeply inspired me to return.

The contagion of sharing my blog and photos and excitement with travel buddies and friends, lead me to put together this 10 day local living type of vacation to that massive and beautiful country half way around the world. The focus for me this time is to practice patience, process and staying present. It is what it is …. can I be with it just as it is? Breathe.

13 and half hours ahead of me in time and a 14 hour direct flight from Vancouver to Delhi, in space. It is a long way from home, in every sense of that meaning.

The culture, the spirit of the place, the history, timing and cuisine, the method of dress, the climate, the modes of transportation, language and accent …..

So much of what is India is so different from what is Canada. For those who have been, you know what I mean. For those still undecided about the destination, I offer you my words, photos (on Facebook) and my stories to tell, if you want to know more.

The vast extremes of chaotic noise and spiritual silence, cluttered spots and vacant spaciousness, harsh and soft, kindness and cruelty, penetrating eye contact and complete oblivion to another’s existence / anonymity, the smells of sweet fragrance and that of decay from generations of neglect mixed with curries and spices – exotic and pungent.

Wildlife: cows in the street, elephants and camels on the roadways, monkeys on the high wires, bats in the trees, pig and goat families rooting in the refuse.

The desert of sand and sun set. The monuments of time and stone with unique doorway shapes and intricate designs. The textiles woven with love from skills passed down from ancient traditional ancestors.

Railways, tuk tuks, motorcycles, small three wheeled trucks hauling massive loads with “muffin top” bulges, old busses with people on the roof and in doorways, all honking to indicate their presence.

Here I come, India, with my small group of friends, to enjoy your bounty and brilliance once again. I will reconnect with the hearts and souls of those mentors and guides who so moved me last year to call this place more friendly than foreign.

Here I come. One more sleep.

I so wish you were with me!


Please follow my travels on my blog: http://www.PamelaTravelBlog.com

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