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February 2010

24 Feb 2010 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 24, 2010 Delhi India

The last two days in Delhi at The "Y" hammered home what a small world this has become. I met the buyers for Global View, which is just west of Madison, Wisconsin, and ran into Barbara, a funny and fun to be with textile buyer from New York. We get very nerdy, extolling the marvels of ikat weaving and Rabari stitchery and where to find the best Kantha Bengali quilts. Barbara had just recently arrived to India from Thailand, I am on the reverse route, off to Bangkok tonight.

22 Feb 2010 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 22, 2010 Delhi India

On the trip back to Delhi today, in the middle of nowhere, the bus driver pulled over. Monkeys started swarming towards the bus and the driver threw out two loaves of bread for them. I didn't see any shrines around, so don't know what that was all about.

19 Feb 2010 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 19, 2010 Jaipur India

India is doing a huge world wide tourism campaign, and their slogan is "Incredible India". This is Truth in Advertising. It can be incredibly smelly, gritty, funky and sublime. India will definitely stretch your comfort zone. I contracted an auto rickshaw for a few hours today, didn't go far at all, and we almost got creamed by a huge Tata truck, and we almost creamed a man on a bicycle. I'm on foot for the rest of the afternoon, and as a pedestrian I'm on the lowest rung of the traffic hierarchy, but at least evasive actions are easier.

16 Feb 2010 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 16, 2010 Jaipur India

The best laid plans of mice and men........Our plane was late taking off from Kathmandu. (Thanks to the rain the other day, though, it was the best view that I've ever had of the Himalayas as seen from the Kathmandu Valley). Vini at Vinstring Travel knows his craft well, so he'd scheduled plenty of time between my arrival to Delhi and the flight to Jaipur.

14 Feb 2010 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 14, 2010 Kathmandu, Nepal

I'd forgotten one of the charming aspects of Shivaratri. Gangs of really little kids will cordon off a road or alley, and they won't let you by without giving them small coins. Then later in the day they go with offering plates to the shops for donations, chanting Shivaratri, Shivaratri. I'd had a pocketful of coins that I'd been wondering what to do with and they were perfect as baksheesh. The kids were off the chart for cuteness factor when I'd get a big smile from them and a T'ank you!

11 Feb 2010 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 11, 2010 Kathmandu, Nepal

This year Shivaratri, Valentine's Day, and Tibetan New Year (Losar) all pretty much fall on the same weekend, and it's getting kinda different out on the streets. I had two offers today to go smoke ganja and dance at the bonfires at Shivaratri and the saddhus are out in force, real ones and the faux kind as well. I might be wrong, but the guys who chase you around to smear a tikka on your head and then want rupees I've lumped into the faux catagory.

09 Feb 2010 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 9, 2010 Kathmandu, Nepal

Today is the first day that it's rained since October. With no sunshine and no power, I had the novel experience of eating breakfast by candle light. Raw, rainy and cold, it makes me want to stay indoors, but I've got work to do. Heat and lights go back on tonight at 9 p.m., I am already looking forward to it. Shopkeepers have set up little bonfires in the street to keep warm, and hot milk-teas are in abundance.

07 Feb 2010 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 7, 2010 Katmandu, Nepal

"Om mani peme hun" fills the air and the ubiquitous inquiries of "Rickshaw Madam? Tiger Balm? Smoke ganja?" I try to be polite, they are just trying to make a living, so give a sincere and apologetic "No , thank you", and often times I get a "you're welcome" back - these are nice and easy street venders and touts, not what I'll be battling when I get down to the Plains of India.

06 Feb 2010 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 6, 2010 Kathmandu, Nepal

Lucky me on rooms at the Potala Guest House. I got a top corner room, so that means early morning sun, which means HEAT when the electricity is off.

04 Feb 2010 Written by GingerBlossom In
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February 4, 2010 Delhi, India

Sign at the airport outside an office "Please do not annoy by idle sitting".