Monday morning I got up before the sun to catch the bus to Udaipur. I hadn’t slept well due to the marching band practicing outside my window much of the night (and my especial irritation that they seemed to know when I was about to look out and would dive for cover, furtively replacing themselves with a gang of street urchins banging on pots and buckets). So I was pleased to find a sleeper bus. Along a central aisle you have two levels of foam mattresses, with singles on one side and doubles on the other, upper level accessed by ladders, and curtains everywhere for privacy. If you were actually trying to get a night’s sleep you might be disappointed, as the beds were undoubtedly made for dwarves, but for a morning’s nap next to a huge operable window I was in heaven. Continue reading “Udaipur”


Proved to myself today that it is possible to ride a bicycle while wearing a sari. Probably not advised, but possible. But it’s so hot and humid today that I can’t wear it much longer and must retreat to my house to take off all my clothes. A few of the teachers said it might rain, which would feel wonderful but would apparently be bad for the crops. I don’t quite understand why, as I think most of them are irrigated.

Mornings in the Keralan countryside are peaceful, but could by no stretch of the imagination be called quiet. Apart from noisy birds and monkeys, the temples like to get into the action at around 5:30, blasting music to let their parishioners know it’s time to get up. I took a sunrise walk the first morning I was here and was amazed to hear music from each temple (and they are densely spaced) at rock-concert volume billowing out into the rice paddies. Surreal. Continue reading “Rain?”