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February 19, 2010 Jaipur India

Written by GingerBlossom Published in
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India is doing a huge world wide tourism campaign, and their slogan is "Incredible India". This is Truth in Advertising. It can be incredibly smelly, gritty, funky and sublime. India will definitely stretch your comfort zone. I contracted an auto rickshaw for a few hours today, didn't go far at all, and we almost got creamed by a huge Tata truck, and we almost creamed a man on a bicycle. I'm on foot for the rest of the afternoon, and as a pedestrian I'm on the lowest rung of the traffic hierarchy, but at least evasive actions are easier. While walking I had a chuckle. I'd noticed a Hero Honda totally loaded down by three adults on the litttle motorcycle, and when it got along side of me, the driver said "Hello Madam - taxi?"

In the last two days I've put in over ten hours a day with Kishor, but it's been fun. His place is a jumble. Piles of textiles so high that they just topple over and no one can move until a path is cleared. I'm used to it, more or less, but I can't imagine what first-timers to his place think of it. He gets a cross section of humanity through his doors everyday - chai wallahs, Japanese school girls, well to do Indian matrons, and the B.P. There was one B.P. couple yesterday, he was part of the British Attache to India, she was a relative of the Royals. The daughter of the director on the movie "Gandhi" was in briefly as well. There was my Dutch counterpart, she had just gotten off the train from Himachal Pradesh, looking for textiles for her shop in Amsterdam. We had fun bouncing ideas off of each other. I'd seen this beautiful velvet table runner the day before, with gorgeous zhardozi or metal embroidery on it. I asked Kishor if he'd ever made up a jacket out of it, he said just once, so overnight one was done, and we worked on the fit to make it better. Voila, I've got an order now for 18 zhardozi velvet jackets. I also made an order for the white on white organdy cut-work bedspreads, but quilted with fluffy cotton. I don't have a light weight quilt at home, so will product test it and I can give feedback on how well it washes. A white quilt with a black dog and three cats, one with a nervous tummy, will get product tested a lot.

I've got my bus ticket back to Delhi tomorrow, and I'll get music to go to sleep by tonight - there's another wedding under my window. Two days ago was an auspicious day for marriages, there were three across from the hotel. The grooms are beautifully decked out, and ride on an equally dazzling white horse. Usually the grooms just sit there like statues, or worse, look like they're headed to the guillotine. One of the Wednesday grooms was having a great time, animated amd cracking jokes, and instead of a bunch of glum faced relatives walking behind the band, his chums were out front doing their best Bollywood dance moves.