unorganized splash of thoughts

I am now in a hippy hill town called Manali where there are a lot of Israelis doing drugs.  I got here via a pretty epic adventure that involved packing my backpack down a mountainside to catch a cab when our minivan from Leh got stopped by a rockslide.  Full story (possibly) to follow.

Himachal Pradesh is really beautiful, like an Indian mix of upstate New York and the Pacific Northwest–tie-dye and peace signs, impossibly tall fir trees and lush green hillsides.  Everything is so green after Ladakh! which is a desert.

Spent yesterday wandering around the town and visiting temples.  Touched the footprint of a god (Vishnu, perhaps?) at the Hadimba Devi Temple, which looks very plain inside unless you know that the long stone groove cutting across the face opposite the door is where they let the blood of sacrificed animals run into the mouth of the goddess.  I believe this is still done.  Went to Vashisht, a nearby town with famed hot springs, and saw two more temples.  At one there was singing and clapping of bells while everyone bowed to an incarnation of Shiva and an orange statue of Hanuman while men in pink and gold headbands asked a priest to tell their fortunes with grains of rice.

Leaving in a few minutes for Rishikesh by way of Haridwar.  Time for more yoga!  Jaipur for a few days next week.  Singapore on the night of July 21.  I underestimated how much time I would need in India.  This country has seriously grown on me.


One response to “unorganized splash of thoughts

  1. i have a jaipur recommendation for you if you’re interested. there’s an area of the city several blocks in each direction that is nothing but tiny marble workshops. they all look like they are owned and operated and lived in by single men or small families. it’s really cool to see and they sell really amazing stuff on the cheap – it gets marked up several times by the time it gets to the marble shops everywhere else in india. it’s also the place you go to commission anything personalized; i saw two guys working on a life-sized bill clinton. the difficulty with finding this place is that the rickshaw drivers will fight tooth and nail against it because they don’t get kickbacks there. i’m sure you’re familiar with that process: “its closed so lets go to this other place.” — “there’s a strike.” — “there are military troops stationed there.” — “it was flooded last week (even though it hasn’t rained in 6 months).”

    also, a good friend of mine from high school lives in hong kong. she’s a writer and a foodie, so if you’re looking for a friendly face there, i’m sure she’d be happy to oblige.

    the animal sacrifice temple sounds really cool. i hope you took pictures!

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