Sunday, 25 July 2010

The day before departure! What have I forgotten?

Sunset at home ... the eve of departure
The day before I leave is always chaotic! It doesn't matter how much I've planned ahead, there's always something I've forgotten, so my day is punctuated with trips to the store, frantic telephone calls and checking of lists .. and sub-lists and trying to find the lists I've lost to see what I've forgotten! But rest assured, it's not my clothes and possessions that I'm wrestling with, it's all the extras that go with me to India when I visit - books, electrical goods, medicines, even wellington boots on this trip, because it's monsoon time! It's raining hard in Udaipur .... several inches a day if the local forecast is to be believed and that means there's going to be a lot of mud!
There's an awful lot of things you can't get there and I'm pretty good at doing a fairy godmother impersonation when I visit, or in this case, it might just be more appropriate to describe me as Mary Poppins - especially when you see what I'll pull out of that suitcase on arrival!
Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open.
Sir James Dewar

And then of course, there's my newly-acquired Hindi language skills which are bound to get me into trouble. I've spent the last month doing a total immersion study course, which seems to have taught me a lot of unconnected words that I'm very unlikely to use in India like "fish"(there isn't any fresh fish where I'm going); "fox"(tiger would be more use) and "fence"(they hardly exist there), when I need to know  phrases such as "Please speak more slowly" or "I don't understand". So the picture above is just to remind me that I need to retain an open mind when practising my new skills! I can say "Pleased to meet you" and "Where is ....?" which is more than I could last time, but I certainly won't be engaging in discussions about Indian politics or literature!
Sunrise in India - what I'll see when I get there
I hope to see some gardens ... even in the rain ... and I'm staying with dear friends who have one of the best gardens I've ever seen in India, which always lifts my spirits. I have it on good authority that the internet connections are pretty erratic during monsoon... but I'll let you know when I get there. And if you don't hear from me, you'll know it's true!