Friday, December 28, 2007

Hot Hampi Scampi!

Hello from Hampi everyone! I am happy to report that there has been NO NEED for immodium, I have not eaten the sugar crystals Karenji! I remembered what happened last year and I warned Gary as well. I am sad to report that the holy man never went to Bangalore for his back surgery as beauracracy (sp?) has halted his moneys for that, and also he told us that he was afraid to go to Bangalore. I cant say as I blame him
Now I must sorta relate this post to Karenji but of course you can all read. Ok Karenji, so would think I have learned something from last year but again we got on train, were pushed and shoved, had a very tough time finding the right car, then there were people in our seats so we got in an argument with them. Of course 10 other people have to join in the mess, and before you know it everyone is yelling in Hindi, and I am yelling "Panch! Panch times in India, so dont mess with me!" Ok , so along comes some modern Indian men with a cell phone and very good English. They text message the train station which sends him back the train schedule, then he says, "so where are you going anyway?" We tell him Hampi. He tells us, "well THIS train is going to Rajastan, madam!" EEEEEKKKK! Right seats, right car, right time, right platform, wrong train! So, being totally embarrassed we apologized profusely and then ran off! Once on right train, all was well. In the morning, when the sleepers had exited the train, and other people got on, we met a man who was traveling to Hospet for work. He gently reached over and took Garys hand and started reading his palm. He was an amazing man, telling us things about ourselves that he could NOT know unless he had known us all our lives. We chatted with him awhile and I slipped him a 100 rupee note on the way off the train. He held the money to his heart and his eyes teared up. Later I was told that he makes only about 100 rupees a week.
Ok then we are in the train station, looking for Ramesh but not finding him. Some of you will remember him from last year as he was our guide. We waited about ten minutes and he didnt come so we got another driver. As we are pulliing away, I suddenly hear about 5 men yelling my name "SUJIIII SUUUUJIIIIII!!!!!" I look and there is Ramesh and his friends running after us, Ramesh holding the letter I have written to him last month! Hurray! Heres a funny thing, in India Suji means needle or a sewing machine or a tailor and it also means some food product but I dont know what...and everyone calls me Suji and I AM a tailor afterall so it's just too trippy that my name to them means tailor.
Once with Ramesh, all was well.
SO Karen, we did the entire Hampi tour, Queens bath, palace etc, being surrounded by Indians the entire time. You know the drill. At one point, 5 little boys that had befriended us jumped into the rickshaw, climbing on our they joined us for the remainder of the tour! It was really fun and we are going to have some really precious pictures of those little rascals. One of the boys noticed that I had a cut on my finger and he gently took my finger, held it between his two fingers while gently massaging the cut, as same time giving me the most precious caring look that I have ever seen on a little boy! My heart melted. Those boys hung out with us all day, climbing on our laps or hanging off the rickshaw. In a way,. they were totally a pain in the ass, at the very same time, pure preciousness.
I have given the Green Eggs and Ham book to Varsha, the happy brothers 6 year old daughter. She read me the entire book! At six, she is fluent in English, Kannada and Hindi. That child is amazing, and again, you are going to be blown away at the pics! Of course, we layed around in the restaurant on the floor, and I flipped Varsha, and Appu in the air. I must've played with them for three hours as it was about 95 degrees and I just couldnt go out there.

Ok next, bought some hippie clothes and wandered. Gary just came back and said he was following an elephant! What am I gonna do with that boy? You'd think hes been here all his life! Now I didnt even know there was an elephant in Hampi, but Gary found her, her name, Lakshmi.

OK so Kareniji you are not going to believe this but Ramesh got married last January and he has a baby girl already. It has been so good to see him and hang out and of course, he is still the best guide in Hampi as far as I am concerned. I can tell that his life is more serious, having a family now, and this year after his marriage, took his father to Chennai for heart surgery. His father is well now thank Ganesh.

Today is also Vikkys birthday so ya know. He was sporting a new shirt and pants and we all had gulab jamon that Vikky and Sudis sister had made for Vikkys birthday. Here is the thing, Hampi is very busy this time of year and we were given the families front room as our bedroom. We were the only ones staying in their house, and you know, we really felt the love. When we left, they ALL came out of the house to say goodbye, mama, papa, all the wives sister, and kids. I am totally in love with Varsha and will spoil her rotten now as if she is my own girl.

Ramesh took us to the train in Hospet and then he had to run off to help a Chinese girl find the bus station. We were on the train when Ramesh came running back, hopped on the train to come and say goodbye again. He told us, "of you I am very fond, please asking your daughter if you can again come back next year to see me." LOL, because we told him that Little Rita "let us" come to India together this year.

Karenji, I am telling you we both forever have a home and family in Hampi. They asked about you, missed you and want you to come back. I have had about ten people ask about you, "where is your friend", while holding their hands up at the 6 foot level to show they meant the tall Karenji! So cute!

Gary is in LOVE with the people, and he is doing so great, and I am so proud of him. You all know me, I had to have a few I hate India moments, crying and stuff. But I have such the fabric stash and I havent even gotten to North India yet! Karenji I got 25 silk scarves from Khadi Bandar, Indian prices only madam, and one black one for you!

Well, as I expected, being in India with a man opens many doors and I am loving watching Gary meet people and he is getting us into situations that women just cant do alone. Also met a really awesome drummer named Abdul in Hampi and he gave Gary a drum for so little money, we felt bad about it, but promised to send him an MP3 player because he can get c/ds but not computer.

So now we are back in Bangalore because I couldnt post this in Hampi, power failed! No big surprise! Tomorrow afternoon we fly to Goa to that crazy place with all the Russians! Got Vat 69? You betcha, betas.
I hope you are all well and if you are reading this Little Rita, we love you and you are going to be ok. (She's starting to really miss us, but we are calling everyday)

Be well everyone and lots of love from India from Susie and Mr Ratburn!


Polt said...

WOW! This is great, it feels almost like I'm there with you!

Can't wait for the photos!

Continue to have fun, kids, and be safe!!!


lime said...

sounds like things are going incredibly well. so glad gary is loving it and that's giving you a whole new side to see. what a blessing to have such dear friends to be welcomed by too.

snowelf said...

Susie, India sounds fabulous! I am glad you are having such a great time and I love the pics!!

Take care and enjoy the toasty weather!! :)


Seamus said...

I'm glad to hear that Immodium wasn't needed and that you are having a good time!

sis said...

Hey Sis, sounds like you are having a great time, your descriptive stories make me feel as if I am there or at least want to be there, also make me cry, for how strong you really are... love you so much sister.... Love J

Photocat said...

Susiji it was incredible to hear all this - what a story of Hampi - another home! Glad you got Ramesh and that he is well - a baby - oh my goooooodness - another Green Eggs and Ham book! I am so sorry about the Monestary Keeper - that he never got that operation - funny stories of the cheeky boys. - I cannot beleive you are in Goa - bringing me all these flash backs - same manager? Angry English fellow there? Russian Gals? How wonderful - hugs to Sebby - hey did you see Sharooon Stone? Miss you guys - HUGS

Caroline said...

More thoughts - the train story is hysterical - I am so glad you did not miss your train to Hampi! Glad Garry loves India - maybe we can all go back together! I cannot wait to see pictues - you must have made Vikky's day with the birthday party! Hugs - Coco been sick so we have not called Rita - will do today - hugs - KB

BTExpress said...

How do you say "Frigging tourists!"? in Hindi? LOL, funny story.

Thanks for sharing these stories about your trip.

Rebicmel said...

What a fantastic post! Felt like I was there in it all. OMG I bet you got some great silks and being a textile sort of person I bet you are in hog heaven!!!!!!! Have fun be safe

Sudiegirl said...

What an adventure you're having!