Monday, July 18, 2005

Botanical Gardens, a bookstore, and a train ride home (Day 14)

This morning, a few of us woke up at 6am to visit the botanical gardens with Cathy and Mr. Subramaniam (the infamous mani-ji). Maniji was very tired, as it turned out, because he had stayed up from 2 to 5am to take care of Johanna. He got a doctor, who diagnosed her with Colitis, then he made a pharmacy open up just to get her medicine. What a hero!

So anyway, we walked around the gardens, saw people doing yoga, viewed the cactus house, etc. Then we headed back through the trash-filled streets of Lucknow. I note this because it is a marked difference - Dehli and many other larger cities have developed at least basic sanitation, and are moving rapidly forward.

When I got back home, I packed, ate breakfast, and rested for a bit. At 11, I headed into town to check out Mr. Advani's bookstore. Mr. Advani has lived in the area for about all 80 years of his life, and has lots of books on Lucknowi culture. I met him the other day, and he seemed quiet but nice. It was nice, but nothing special. From there, Lee and I walked around, distributing balls of Bhang I had no intention of using to homeless people. We found Christy and Maria shopping, and stopped by with them for a bit. Finally, we headed back to the hotel for some lunch with the Urdu grad students, who for the most part we do not get along with, I guess. They play Urdu Boggle (the game, with Urdu instead of English) together, but I get the idea that they aren't a very well-formed group otherwise. They seem very standoffish, minus a few of them, and this sentiment has been echoed by most of our group. I guess we were lucky to have become such a cohesive entity.

Just before lunch, I ate one of the balls of bhang. We then left for the train, and I had a very enjoyable ride up to the point that I fell asleep. Part of the blame lies in that I was listening to lectures on tape by a guy with a soothing voice. Anyway, even when we got home, I headed straight to bed, and probably slept about 12 hours total. Much needed. Great dreams.

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