Sorry for the brevity of this update; just typing a few lines to thank you all for your emails, concern and birthday wishes. I am in the midst of a 3-day Kathmandu Valley rural walkabout, so email access is sporadic. Today was a wonderful, sunny fall day full of villagers harvesting rice and potatos, snowcapped distant Himalayan views, Buddhist and Hindu shrines and temples, a Tibetan monastery, dusty roads, terraced green fields, aching ankles and many, many glasses of scalding tea at roadside stands. The crisp fall weather means that even four hours of walking daily produces only a hint of sweat. (Why, oh why, did I spend so long in South India?) In response to the omnipresent "which country"?" questions, I had fun alternating answers of "USA," "New Zealand," "India," and "Canada." (New Zealand has a special status here because of the first Everest summiteer was a Kiwi, Sir Edmund Hillary.) However, things close very early here and I have yet to eat my rice-and-dal dinner so I must scram soon, or go to bed hungry (as I'm afraid more than a few Nepalis do).
Today had the added intrigue of receiving an email from the "Warden" of Kathmandu warning all American citizens that there was a political strike today, supposedly with the result of no public transportation and possible violence. As usual, the US government was erroneous and it was a peaceful day concluding with not one, but 2 public bus rides.
Thanks again to everyone for remembering me. In a few days there will be photos up here. Just catching my breath....next stop, back to Kathmandu to do laundry, download photos, catch up on mail and replenish for the next outing (probably Pokhara and the Jomsom trek). Halloween seems strangely redundant in a nation where bloody animal sacrifice is a daily occurence and all the temples have delightfully macabre skulls and skeleton decor. The plastic ghosts and jack o'lanterns in the local American-run restaurant literally pale in comparison.
Sirensongs: Indologist At Large
Somewhere between Kangra, Kashmir and Kumbakonam, India
Sirensongs moved to India in 2002 to complete her six years' study of the ancient temple dance, Bharatanatyam. Apprenticing with a revered master in Madras, she learned a great deal; however, most of it was not about dance.
Disillusionment and childhood memories of "Tintin In Tibet" have led her to adventures as a spiritual investigative reporter throughout India, Nepal and Sri Lanka; as documented on this blogsite, her Flickr photo portfolio and various newsmedia (see sidebar).
She holds a certificate in Spoken Sanskrit from Rashtriya Samskrta Samsthan (deemed university, New Delhi) and is a lifetime member of ABHAI (Assoc. of Bharatanatyam Artists of India). Sirensongs is inordinately proud of her ability to read street signs and argue (successfully) with taxi drivers in Malayalam, Hindi, French and Nepali languages.
Her Tibetan, however, is still a total disgrace. She's working on it.
Quote: "Why do people go to India to find themselves? India is where you go to LOSE yourself."
Unless otherwise noted, every word and photograph on this website, including the phrases "Spiritual Investigative Reporter" and "Indologist at Large," is original and copyright from 2005 into perpetuity by Sirensongs (yes, I have a real name I use for legal purposes). It is not public domain. It is not there for the borrowing. If you would like to use it, write and ask nicely. Karma is a bitch. Thank you.