Friday, June 22, 2012

I'm Back Again - Friday, June 22, 2012, 11:41AM

Building in New Delhi, India

Well, back home in the cool San Francisco Bay area, it's Thursday night, 11:15PM.  I'm
in a state of perpetual confusion, living between India and the Golden Gate Bridge.  I
enjoyed my brief two and a half months at home though I never could seem to get warm.
After the 25 pound weight loss during my last India visit, I seemed to feel the cool
temperatures much more.  Since all my clothes were packed to the ceiling in storage, I
couldn't even access them.  I, finally, ordered a couple of pairs of sweats and bought a
heating pad so I could sleep comfortably!  Also, even with wining and dining ( oh, it
was so wonderful to have good wine again ) with family and friends, I managed to keep
off the weight!  Hopefully, I'll lose a bit more this go round and return to delight my
orthopedist even more.

My flight to India this time was much longer than last.  I went from Oakland to Seattle on
Alaska Airlines, then from Seattle to Seoul on Korean Airlines.  After a three hour layover,
I continued on Korean Airlines to Mumbai.  It was my first flight ever on Korean Airlines
and the service was superb - as were the meals.  I chose Korean food both flights -
yummy - and even got kimchi the second meal.   Once, when I accidentally hit the call
light, a flight attendant appeared instantaneously.

Street vendors in Patiala, Punjab, India

I am excited about being able to spend a month in Jaipur which will be on the radar
of more Americans since the release of  "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel".  I saw the
movie twice in one week.  I have already arranged for my friend and taxi driver, Lala,
to pick me up at the airport.  We have stayed in touch ( that wonderful Skype! ) since
I left India and he had warned me that Jaipur is very HOT right now.  The monsoons
are supposed to come with my arrival and people are longing for the rains.  

I will try to post often but the picture situation is another story.  I had forgotten how
problematic uploads are with my Tata Photon Plus.  It is incredibly slow and takes
hours to upload a few photographs.  I will have to research something better or a
locale that has high speed internet for my use.

Namaste, but happy in the country of my heart!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Camera Critters #219 - A Party for Dogs and People - June 14, 2012

As I prepare to return to India on Sunday, for a five + month visit this time, friends have
been wonderful, inviting me out for lunch and dinner and one lovely lady really went all
out!  She hosted a soiree at her beautiful San Francisco home, with its stunning views and
treasured collections acquired from her world wide travels.  I only met her recently, thanks
to a dear friend who knew we both loved India.  The food was superb, as were the drinks
( we were even allowed to try her black Russian vodka, available she tells me, only in
Moscow - I must admit, I have NEVER seen black vodka before ), the music soothing
( the Indian sounds of Aarti ), the conversation stimulating and delightful.  As we chatted
and enjoyed the sunset views over San Francisco, the four canines in attendance, all very
well behaved, seemed to mingle well with each other.  One, however, snatched a piece
of Brie off my plate but, otherwise, we humans didn't have to share our food.

For some reason, the photos of the beautiful, shiny black Lab did not turn out well.
He was such a gorgeous dog!  I hope I see him again so I can get more photographs.

I am participating in Camera Critters. Camera Critters, #219

Add your critter photo to join in the fun.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Outdoor Wednesday 179 -San Francisco Scenes - June 13, 2012

The weather has been beautiful in the Bay area lately.  I was glad I had my camera
in the car the other day when I was in Noe Valley by Dolores Park and this view
of  San Francisco presented itself.

I am participating in Outdoor Wednesday #179 -
add your photo and join in the fun.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ruby Tuesday 2 - Indian Puppets - June 11, 2012

I've seen these puppets for sale all over India and I find them just delightful,
in all their brilliant colors.

I am participating in Ruby Tuesday 2 - 
add your photo with a little bit of red to join in the fun.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Camera Critters #218 - Peacocks - June 9, 2012

The peacock is the national bird of India.  I saw quite a number of monkeys, large
numbers of cows, and occasional camels and elephants.  I was always on the 
lookout for peacocks.  When my friend, Virginia Lynch, came to India, we went 
to Punjab University in Patiala where she had spent six months on a Fulbright 
Scholarship.  She told me, at about 5PM every evening, there was an area on 
campus where peacocks gathered.  I was anxious to see this.  For whatever 
reason, the day we were there, they decided to disappoint us.  Of course, we
couldn't remain until exactly 5PM and they may be birds who are quite rigid in 
their habits.  Only a few strolled by, rather drab peahens, bound for the same 
tree, in which nested  two males, their bright plumage folded.  So much for
India's national bird!!!

The Peacock

The national bird of India,
You strut with regal airs,
In terms of utter beauty,
No other one compares!

Your crown of brilliant blue,
Befits your splendid train,
Which you open to its fullest,
With a sense of great disdain.

Shimmering eyes peruse,
From the feathers of your tail,
With your train in full display,
You let out a piercing wail.

The courtship has begun,
You begin to sway and prance,
In hopes of enticing,
A peahen with your dance

Carmen Henesy

Copyright (c) 2007 by Carmen Henesy
All rights reserved. 

I am participating in Camera Critters #218,
Add your critter photograph and join in the fun.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Ruby 2 - Red and Black Flowers - June 5, 2012

From San Francisco's wonderful Botanical Garden which was introduced to my by
a dear friend, fellow blogger, Poetic Shutterbug.  To see some incredible flower
photography, you MUST visit her blog!  She is the queen of macro shots and
the Garden is her world.  She is even a squirrel whisperer and has charmed the
bees and other critters in that habitat.

I am participating in Ruby Tuesday 2 -
add your red picture and join in the fun!!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Here I Go Again - Namaste, Y'All - June 3, 2012

June 16th, I board an Alaska Airlines flight and, after a two hour layover in Seattle, one
of my favorite U.S. cities, I board a Korean Airlines flight bound for India.  After less
than three hours at Seoul Incheon Airport, I'll be in the friendly skies again, touching
down at Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai on the 19th at 1:25 AM.
This time, finances permitting, I hope to stay six months.  I still haven't found a room
to rent in Mumbai so I am exploring other options.  My dear blogging buddy in Bangalore
has offered me a room at his lovely home - where I definitely want to visit again - but I
am hoping to find something a little further north since the majority of my many Indian
friends are in the Mumbai - Pune area.  

Of course, I also want to return to Jaipur and stay at that lovely Umaid Mahal Hotel
which I wrote about in a previous blog.  It's my brief escape into fantasy and I can
pretend I am an Indian princess, waiting for my painted elephant to arrive to take me
off to meet my handsome maharajah.  Reality returns when my dear taxi driver, Lala,
arrives downstairs and the front desk calls.  He was such a blessing during my last
Jaipur stay, spending hours driving me to forts and palaces and markets and restaurants.
It's no wonder we became good friends and have stayed in touch!

I've already been to see "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" ( for the Elderly and Beautiful ) -
and I will see it again on Tuesday.  If you haven't seen it, you must.  Here's the
description from the website:

A group of British retirees decide to "outsource" their retirement to less expensive and 
seemingly exotic India. Enticed by advertisements for the newly restored Marigold Hotel 
and bolstered with visions of a life of leisure, they arrive to find the palace a shell of its 
former self. Though the new environment is less luxurious than imagined, they are forever 
transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life and love can begin again when 
you let go of the past

I've always loved Judi Dench and Maggie Smith and they are terrific in this movie.  

My favorite line from the movie was said often by Dev Patel, the star of "Slumdog" - 
"Everything will be all right at the end...if it's not all right, then it's not yet the end."

It always amazes me at how many different ways the English language is spoken.  I
really seldom say "y'all" anymore unless I've just returned from a visit to my Georgia
homeland.  I remember once, on a cruise with a number of British passengers, that an
elderly lady excused herself from the table saying she had to go and "spend a penny".
I looked at the others and asked, "Where on this ship can she get anything for a penny"?
Apparently, that was a polite way for excusing oneself to use the washroom back in the
day in the United Kingdom.  

I still have dozens of pictures from my last India trip that I haven't posted.  Here are
just a few from that wonderful city of Jaipur.

I just love these colorful umbrellas...but I didn't buy one.  With temperatures above 105 in 
some places, I just might need one to keep the sun off!  Now that I've had surgery for a 
basal cell carcinoma on my nose, I need all the protection I can get.

What do you think about these purple shutters?  Everyone airs their clean laundry in
public all over the world, it seems. 

Vendors are everywhere on the streets and the piles of "garbage" are eaten by the cows
and other creatures. 

The old town is incredibly beautiful with all its art work and arch ways.

It seems like everything gets hauled on motorcycles, bicycles, camel carts, elephants,
or on people's heads!!!

This was some sort of procession....I'm not sure what, though.

A wedding horse....I loved seeing them all decorated...that and the painted 

I'm not sure if this man was selling chai which you could buy all over from little roadside

Many cities have helmet laws.  Jaipur was one of the more compliant places.  I saw
more people there where both passengers used helmets.  Sometimes, though, in some
areas, you'd see whole familes...a husband, wife, and two toddlers and a baby, all on
a motorcycle, none with any protective headgear at all.

Always, there is such beautiful architecture, domes, arches.  I never grew tired of it.

Even before I get all my pictures from my last visit posted, I'll be starting on my next
collections.  I need to get out my Odomos cream and make sure I have fans with
me.  I know it will be REALLY hot this time...and rainy, something I didn't have
to contend with before.  I am sure the mosquitoes have missed me!  

Stayed tuned and......

P.S. No cows, Shiju!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Camera Critters Meme #217 -

Mother's Day fun at the home of the Calhouns, the parents of my daughter-in-law,
Laura, complete with pooches.  This sweet one is Tigger, who was brought home
from the shelter after their beloved Gus went to doggie heaven.

I am participating in Camera Critters #217 -
add your critter shot and join in the fun.