Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Men At Work???

Today, our apartment was a hive of activity!!! It is the first day this week that I have had a full quota of workmen on site! Our 'chicken pox' suffering carpenter arrived, having made a remarkable recovery. He was accompanied by his VERY young assistant (must be on a YTS - does that show my age???) Our wonderful painter who is quiet as a mouse and doing a sterling job showed up early, again without his workmate who has been AWOL since Monday (presumably his tummy ache is STILL not better!) What with them, our maid Vijaya, and visits from three girlfriends, our apartment was THE place to be!!!

Of course, I should have known better than to get over excited - tomorrow is the Ugadi holiday and it is forbidden for our carpenters to work (because they make noise) but okay for the painter (because as mentioned previously, he is particularly quiet!) It should be an interesting day tomorrow as the Ugadi customs seem very wonderful - new clothes, sweet food, lots of mangoes, wishes for the new year, and did I mention, new clothes? I was getting particularly excited til I heard about the custom of smearing cow dung on the doorstep... it is not, however, the first time that we have come across, or stepped across, cow dung.

On Christmas Day, we met this haunting little girl in the village near Devi Garh, waiting for her cow pats to dry which are then burned for heating and cooking. That explained the smell eminating from the village every evening! I guess we put it on our rose bushes, the Indians are much more practical and use it for fuel - and decoration....

Horses for Courses

Today I tried to book a couple of hours horse riding in Goa. I had visions of Tom and I riding along the beach, wind through our hair, waves crashing, sun shining, etc..... I was told that unfortunately we can't get horses, but we can have elephants! Not much difference there then!!! Not that I have anything against elephants - I LOVE them, but it's not quite what I had in mind!!!

If anyone comes across this posting and knows where to hire horses in north goa, please let us know!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Virgin Blog

So, today is the first day of the rest of my blogging life! There is no excuse as to why this hasn't happened sooner - I left the US four months ago to start a new life in Bangalore with my husband, Tom - but in India, time seems to slip away quickly... Today seemed an appropriate day as I am trapped in our apartment with the painters and have been advised not to leave them alone. I use the plural for painters and the word 'them' optimistically - three men were due to arrive yesterday, two to paint, one to construct mosquito screens for the doors and windows; suffice to say only two arrived, one had chickenpox but I was assured he would be here today. (Who knew chickenpox ran such a quick course!!!) After much chattering all morning, the activity went quiet and I discovered that one of the painters had jumped ship, allegedly with a tummy ache! That leaves one. He is hard at it despite that fact he has a paintbrush the size of a blusher brush and four large rooms to paint. Ever the optimist, I am sure the other two will make a miraculous recovery and join us tomorrow..... that is, before the New Year holiday on Thursday, which no doubt they will ALL be taking off!