On my walk to the shala this morning for led class. The end of my first week, more or less, in mysore
I have been here just over a week, and am reasonably settled in. Everything seems to take much longer here (except for my practice, which has oddly speeded up). Even arrival takes longer, physically,I am here in mysore...but part of me is still in transit, or back home, or just somewhere else. Slowly I get used to things here, and feel like more of myself is truly here.
And nothing is ever what i thought it would be. Starting with the taxi ride from bangalore. I arrived at 5am, which meant i whizzed through immigration and such, the airport being empty at that time. I make my way to the exit, and find my driver, who doesn't know any English (which makes us even as i know no hindi or kannada, and am not sure if my few words of sanskrit would be of use). I had heard all sorts of stories about the ride to mysore
Which luckily dont seem to be true, at least this time. It's hard to summarize the journey, theway there is so much construction but so much stuff falling apart, the garbage everywhere and the cows, which seemed to turn up where you would least expect them. Oh, and the honking every time you approach another vehicle. Seems insane, but it works.( I actually feel safer on the street here than in nyc, in terms of being sure drivers see me)
After riding for about half an hour, i really started to wonder, was i even going to mysore. We started on a highway that was, well, a highway, then we turned off that road, or perhaps it merely morphed into another sort of road, one that snaked through small cities with no real division between them. Mind you, i had not bothered to change any money at the airport, and my phone battery was running low. The road we were on was nothing like the 4 lane highway that i had envisioned, based on the email from the person arranging the cab. Finally we end up on a road that was about 1 and 1/2 lanes wide, and the smaller vehicles would make way for the larger ones. We stopped, and my driver got out; i was mystified, was he going to pee or have a smoke? I realized later there must have been a tea stall nearby. At this point, i am wondering, did i get in the right cab? Instead of panic, i start to think, well, so i take an extra day to get to Mysore, i still have dollars.
The driver returns, and we make a u turn and retrace our way to a slightly wider road. Hmm, were we lost? It was another 20 minutes or so before i finally saw a sign on the side of the road saying bangalore-mysore road. It dawned on me, finally, a 4 lane highway here is nothing like a 4 lane highway back home.
So far, my stay, even practice at the shala, has been like that-completely different from what i had envisioned when i was home. Nice to have all my expectations upended.