People can tell you all their stories about what a place is like in an attempt to help you share their experience also - but the impact is never the same until you are the one standing there, physically ‘having’ the experience. Well, I have thought about this a few times today. For one - I knew there were going to be cows in the street, but I can guarantee there is still a shock moment when you walk out your front door only to be greeted by cows… in the street! The same goes for the chaos. I knew it was going to be loud and shocking - but again, until you’re the one standing in the middle of a main dirt road, 9th Cross, surrounded by all sorts of speeding contraptions the locals use as vehicles, with no idea whether you will make it to the other side of the street alive - one cant possibly understand the experiences others describe. And for that very reason is why I love to get out there and explore, despite how nerve racking the experience can be,
Surprisingly, Gokulum is not too out of control - not compared to what I saw in Bangalore last night. Although its busy and people have their hands permanently stuck to the horns of their 'two wheelers’ (as they call scooters) or cars, all in all its not too crazy.
I spent today wandering around my area trying to get a grasp on where everything is. First stop was my Shala, Yoga India. About a 5 minute walk downhill, I eventually found a stunningly vibrant lemon yellow and white building which is the Shala where I will train for the next 9 weeks. Amongst a street littered with rubbish and broken road, the Shala certainly stands out.
I walked upstairs to reception where i was greeted by Barath (my teacher) and his wife Ramaa (reception). Entering the Shala barefoot, I chatted with Barath about the training which was to come. He asked how I was going with my preparation. I was quite honest in saying its been a challenge, however i feel I am well prepared for the TTC 500 which is about to begin.
Barath seemed like a lovely, gentle man, but I couldn’t help feel somewhat intimidated by him. I guess being the guru he is, and me having no experience compared, I can see why anyone would feel this way. But of course I need to challenge those feelings and not let them interfere with my practice in anyway. My own neurosis which I must not give into.
I forgot to bring my passport etc to the Shala so I wandered home and collected this, and returned to meet Ramaa and register in full. We start Sunday at 11.00am - our induction day.
Afterward, I wandered down 9th Cross. This is only one street over from where my apartment is. The further down I walked, the busier the area became until I was in the thick of the area. People everywhere. It’s amazing. I was looking for the famous Anu Cafe, however stumbled across another cafe full of westerners, so I thought I would eat there. Fingers crossed i don’t get gastro!
With my vegan thali served, I sat looking out at the world flying by me. There was a very entertaining policeman who would suddenly stop scooter drivers so he could get on the back for a ride. In one case this meant leaving the existing passenger on the side of the road!
I needed to find Ganesh, who organised my taxi last night, so I could pay him - but whilst looking I found Anu’s cafe. Let’s just say its not the type of cafe one would normally visualise. With mats on the floor and flat pillows, Anu’s is a place to chillout and relax like no other cafe I have been in. Very cool.
After a coconut smoothie,, and chatting with another Aussie who is en route to Sydney after 4 months here, I found my way to Ganesh who is also within 5 minutes walking distance.
Ganesh is such a wonderful man. I can see he is someone I shall speak with often. In his mid 60’s I would assume, Ganesh has a joyful and gentle way about him which makes you feel right at home, in his home. He is there to help with anything i need, whether is be hiring a scooter, to organising other travel arrangements, or money exchange. He is also link with the police and explained he commonly tells the tuk tuk drivers on 9th Cross not to exploit the westerners who seek their service. Although Ganaesh cant physically stop them, his efforts to help us are much appreciated.
After another greeting from a cow in the street, i wandered back to Good Touch where I have chilled out for the afternoon. I chatted with Owen and his parents via Skype. I cant help but feel lonely when you see everyone together and here I am completely alone in the world. But… this is how it has to be so I guess I have nothing to complain about.
Tomorrow i intend to get a tuk tuk into town to try and see the markets of Mysore. I hear they are amazing. So for me, it seems an early night is therefore in order.