We hired a car and are now in Mysore. Or, as my father called it in his IM yesterday, "Mysore, city of kings."
There's so much going on, and so many funny moments. The camera is simply not fast enough to record all of the great signs, and juxtapositions (like the signs on Chamundi Hill declaring it a plastic free zone ... followed by at least 100 plastic bags lining the side of the road.) Next time, I think that I'll bring a voice recorder.
Things here just take longer. I'm learning to keep a book with me so that I have something to do. I remember this feeling from my time in Costa Rica - things take as long as they take, and feeling anxious about it (or like they should have been wrapped up by now) doesn't really change anything. People here are also more .... assertive in restaurants. At first, I thought that we were being ignored whenever we ate out, but I'm starting to think that it is just that we are not as vocal about being ready to order, wanting more water, the bill, etc.
Visiting the Tipu Summer Palace yesterday, the ticket agent spent a good, long moment looking at me before asking "You are a .... foreigner?" (there's a difference in ticket prices.) That made me smile. The travel agent, after writing my name down, asked me if I knew what my first name meant. I was not so amused.
Today, we saw Mysore Palace. Unfortunately, no photography is allowed inside. The style is, apparently, Indo-Saracenic, but at least from the outside it looks like typically Muslim architecture. Also interesting: you remove your shoes before you enter. I'm used to doing that when going to temples, so this was a little odd.
Tonight we are heading to Brindavan Gardens (and are hoping to catch the kitschy water/light show.) I'm heading back to Bangalore tomorrow and out to in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivanduram - someone needs to tell the Keralites that nothing will happen if you don't use ALL the letters in one go.)
I wish that I could write more reflective posts right now, but I feel like not all of my cylinders are firing. I'm not sleeping very well, and a lot of time each day seems to be spent in making sure that the logistics are worked out for that day and the next. I feel like I am taking in a lot right now and will process and evaluate it later.
I am missing home. Like most of my trips - after about a week, I wish that I could magically transport myself home for 2 days (water with ice! movies! driving!) and then transport myself back to my travel location.