Impressions (after 1 Week in Northern India)

  • Northern India is a lot like Northern California —  only with much taller and steeper mountains.
  • Indian people are just like you and me.
  • India has the most heavenly desserts you have never heard of.
  • After you crow about how many pieces you’ve had accepted for publication in a certain span of time, you will get nothing but rejections for an even longer span of time (Self checks her e-mail religiously, that’s how she knows.  Aaargh!)
  • Mumbai is the New York of India.  New Delhi, the capital, is 10x more “hip” than Washington, DC.
  • Indian women are some of the most beautiful women in the whole world.
  • They are strict on security here.
  • India is cold (Ha ha ha, what a shock!).  At least, northern India in January is.  Dharamsala was downright freezing.
  • Shiva is a very cool God.  He covered himself in ash on his wedding day, causing his in-laws to faint at the first sight of him.
  • One must never bring anything metal into the house on a Saturday.  The corollary to this rule is:  one must never get one’s hair cut on a Saturday, because cutting involves using scissors.
  • One must never wash one’s hair on a Monday.
  • Tibetans must be pretty rich to be able to afford all those huge temples in Bir.
  • Tibetan monks are among the healthiest-looking, most well-fed people in northern India.
  • Indian drivers are among the craziest drivers in the entire world —  crazier even than Filipino drivers and definitely crazier than New York City cab drivers.
  • Tea-drinking is to India what coffee-drinking is to the rest of the world (except perhaps Britain)
  • There are no Starbucks here, or at least there were none in the places self frequented.  Self has seen a McDonald’s, however.
  • Women do most of the carrying around here.  At least, they seem to in the rural areas.
  • One good cow can provide enough milk to sustain a family of five or six people.
  • One must attempt, if possible, to avoid dying when the sun is in the southern hemisphere.  (Since the sun is in the southern hemisphere six months of the year, self surmises it must take extra grace or fortitude to put off dying until a more auspicious time)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Bir, Himachal Pradesh: Day 1

Self awakened to bright sunshine.  She looked at her watch:  she had been asleep for seven blissful hours.

Tea was brought to the room at around 9:15 a.m.

Then self was taken for a walk.  She saw farms and farm animals.

She passed a school.

And a pretty woman carrying a load of cow dung.

And then her kind host took her to see a Buddhist monastery.  And it was one of the biggest Buddhist monasteries self had ever seen.

Self had never expected to find a Buddhist monastery of such size and magnificence.  In Bir.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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