A Madurai morning – market magic

The next morning

day-9-img_5187aToday is slow. I’m in a five star resort converted from a British cotton and silk merchant’s company estate. It’s lovely. There are peacocks outside my bedroom window. There are cool sweet scented breezes. There is a pool to which I will retire directly for the afternoon.

After last night and before this morning’s violent re-emergence of breakfast in under 15 mins – Karthick took me early to the Madurai markets. Apparently it’s Sunday and in good post-colonial style Sunday is still a holiday here so much of the markets were closed. But I still had fun wandering around the flower wholesalers taking photos scented with jasmine and rose. The rose wholesalers offered me chai and a smile.

Then we went to the vegetable market where my pictures smell of coriander, mint and curry leaves. Lots of smiles and waves and head wobbling.  Being 80% closed was much more relaxed than a normal day I’m sure, but that suited me and my camera.

Aren’t these just such beautiful people? Makes me smile just remembering them welcoming me like it was perfectly normal for a crazy Australian woman to be wandering around at dawn taking their photographs like they were royalty.

It was then back to the hotel for breakfast hmmmm. You will have guessed above, it was a fatal mistake. No more to be said about dodgey omelette. I’ll live, just feel like a day by the pool. Sorry to today’s three programmed temples, but I’m sure there will be more in the next 12 days.

I now receive a daily call from Delhi office to make sure everything is in order madam. Ah well, good to be memorable! I’m not mentioning the omelette, they’ll only worry. Now for that nap then the pool.

Blessed in Bangalore 

As I said, this is a trip of firsts for me, and my trip to Bangalore was the first time I’ve been invited to stay in a family home. A family home with four dogs and three cats was also a first! I felt totally at home the whole time – thank you.

I did spend a lot of time around the house relaxing, talking, feeling so welcome and loved. Even Toffee the cat loved me, although he mostly wanted to eat my feet. We ate in because the lady who prepares the family’s meals is a wonder and the food amazing. I thought I was doing so well on the spices, but then I found out that she was making it mild for me. I would come back just for the food, and the love.

Each day I went for a walk. These photos are from my longest walk through the neighbourhood, I do so love India. Other days we walked around a local park, reclaimed from an old quarry. The park was always full of kids squealing with delight, runners, old folk walking their grandchildren. I saw one lady every day walking briskly in pastel color coordinated tracksuit sets. On our fourth passing on my last day (we walked in opposite loops), I asked her how many laps she did each day. Five to ten, she replied.

The streets nearby were green and tranquil, well appart from dodging the two-wheelers and not listening to their horns. And maybe I did a little shopping.

And finally some cows, although, there really must be a ban about plastic bags soon. Any of these lovelies eat one of those bags and they’ll die, horribly.

I was very blessed on my last day to be taken by a friend of the family to the local Hanuman temple for prayers and blessings. Very special. Very happy. Very blessed.img_6853

Of course Zorro shouldn’t be in my blog or the kitchen, but he just saunters in quietly when no one is looking!