Tuesday, July 30, 2012
Today my friend, Susan, and I registered for classes at the Institute (RIMYI)! It took us two days of trudging around to get it done, but I have my class list and am ready for tomorrow morning. I have a daily morning class, a daily practice and one evening pranayama class. That all adds up to at least five hours of yoga six days a week (no class on Sundays).
In our attempt to register yesterday, we found that our proof of residence at our hotel would not do, so we went in search of the bungalow we will move into tomorrow afternoon to get the needed paperwork. That adventure proved challenging but also rewarding, since in one day we acclimated to walking alongside and dodging the crazy traffic in the rain, mud and more rain.
In our first attempt to find it we were following verbal advice from friends who knew the bungalow’s location. We walked through a lovely park and through a couple of mini-neighborhoods. We failed to find the bungalow though, so went back to the hotel to ask for directions and they could not figure out where it was either. It really was comical, since three of them were discussing it and consulting two different maps, google maps, etc. Finally the young woman at the desk suggested we go to the bank and ask there.
We found the bank, walked in, and the sea of people parted for the poor lost American women, letting us go to the front. This bothered Susan because because she interpreted it as being deferential (having traveled in Ethiopia she has seen that a lot). I realized that although she was right, this kind of behavior is also typical of the kindness we seem to be experiencing over and over here.
We asked for directions and there was consensus (several people trying to help) about where to find this place, we walked out and then a lovely lady in a beautiful sari followed us out and told us to wait. We did for some time kind of wondering why. But eventually she emerged and said she had to confirm what she thought, which was that the consensus was wrong, and that they were about to send us to the wrong place.
Then she asked, “You must have the phone number. Why don’t you just call?” When I said we didn’t have a phone (Susan bought texting but not calling for the trip and I plan to get a SIM card soon….another task for the next couple of days), she thought that was hilarious, which it was in retrospect. Why didn’t we just call at the hotel? Hindsight says that functioning on very little sleep makes you take two or three steps when one would have been sufficient.
She let us use her cell phone, and then gave us her phone number because she wanted to have us over for tea. Can you imagine that happening at say, Wells Fargo in Ashland?
Milind, our landlord, sent his gardener over on a motorbike (no English but he’ll be wearing a yellow shirt!) which we followed for a 1/4 of a mile one block at a time, before finding the bungalow.
To be fair, the bungalow is really tucked away on a dead end street, marked by a sign with small writing. We studied the area to make sure we’d find it tomorrow, got our forms for RIMYI and felt all kinds of warmth for all of the help from strangers.