Saturday, January 29, 2005

Push ㅑt

I just arrived in Pushkar last night, and I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon. It's jaw-droppingly beautiful, and I had a great gypsy dance lesson this afternoon. But after an early morning hike tomorrrow, I think I'll be good to go.

You have to literally tread carefully in Pushkar--the cows and wild boars sure don't stop coming because of tourists--but otherwise it's a (Brown-educated?) westerner's city. The town's biggest industries seem to be reiki, yoga, massage, and quickie guides to eastern religion--Pushkar is Hinduism's holyest place, where every practicer should come and worship once in his or her life. The city was supposed to have been created when Brahma, the creator, descended to earth on a lotus flower.

surreal, alright. While the sun set behind a couple midget mountains, we strolled around the ghats--stone steps that descend into the lake in front of each stark white temple--listening to all the prayers chanted and bells rung for puja. Bats flew overhead and stray fireworks went off later (the whole day there were random marching bands on the streets behind us, four or five, which some said were for the everpresent weddings, some said for the victorious candidates in a recent election). I was hoping to see monkeys after most people left (worshippers come in for a dip at sunset; tourists gawk). But I'll have to wait until tomorrow morning, when they come out on the roof tops overlooking the lake to sunbathe.

But besides the temples, Pushkar is a bazaar of everything tourists love to buy: film, batteries, postcards, yeah, but also Indian-crafted clothing that only western people wear--pure cotten trousers cut to fit snugly, sleeveless silk dresses, even mini skirts, which it seems no one would dream of wearing on the continent. Of course I'm saying this without seeing Goa, the Israli hippie-overrun trace party on on India's southwest coast. But Pushkar is definitely seeming weird (even without consuming "special lassi") after I've been in Jodhpur for three weeks, without being able to find a zip-up sweatshirt, for crying out loud (I've gone so far as to request my poor mother ships me one from DC). We were escatic to today come across not one but two stationary stores (the population of Jodhpur seems to have chucked the postal service for email), where I got a set of camel-embossed cards. No more excuses for not writing home! I bought three luxurious leather wrap-around journals, stitched with thick, folded white paper (Burberry sells an identical one for $95) ($2 each). Jess got silver rings with turquise for under $10, I bought pink and yellow printed silk skirts for $1 each. Christmas 2005 and 2006 are covered, pretty much.

Ahhh everyone knows the westerner religion is shopping.

ㅑ ㅊ무'ㅅ ㄴ새ㅔ ㅈ갸샤ㅜㅎ ㅑㅜ 소ㅑㄴ ㅣ무해ㅕㅁㅅㄷ...??? 내 ㅑ'ㅣㅣ ㄴ둥 소ㅑㄴ ㅗㄷㄱㄷ

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