From January - July 2010, we are roaming the Indian Subcontinent (and beyond, as it turned out)...

...during that period, this blog page is the temporary home of

Saturday, January 30, 2010

We're Bendy!

Friday (yesterday) marked the end of our two week yoga retreat at an ashram in the hills of Kerala. It was pretty full-on: 5.20am wakeup calls, 4 hrs of yoga asanas, 3 hrs of chanting/meditation, then a mix of meals, tea, Hindu philosophy classes, and a bit of socializing. We each also had an ayurvedic massage, which is basically lying on a wooden slab and getting a naked full-body rubdown with about a liter of coconut oil.

Despite being on the early side, mornings were fantastic. The ashram was perched on a hilltop above a lake, surrounded by verdant green peaks, and our morning sessions were accompanied by roaring lions (from a reserve across the lake) and chirping birds.

We both increased our strength and flexibility by a fair margin. Rebecca was happy to finally do the "Wheel" pose, while Brian became comfortable with "Peacock," "Crow," and headstands.

After two weeks in such peaceful, relaxed, and insulated surroundings, we reemerged yesterday into India proper - Trivandrum. Honking, dust, and people. We love it. The most difficult parts of each day are what order to do nothing in and which diner to eat at.

Other news: Brian got a haircut and a shave from a barber while Rebecca looked on (and hid her grin when it looked as if he was going to get typical Indian mustache - though he did emerge with the classic slick side parting). Rebecca raves about Tiger Balm and LOVES the food, especially masala dosa and paneer and ladoos. Brian's life is greatly enriched by his new flip-flops, coconut oil, and idli.

Rebecca's parents are in the air as this is typed. We meet them at the airport in the morning, and will spend the next week or so with them (their first time in India)!

Friday, January 15, 2010

They All Have Mustaches?

At Kochi airport waiting to pass through immigration. Rebecca: "Look Bri, all the men have mustaches! Is it part of their uniform?" Brian: "No, it's India."

All has been great thus far. Goats and dogs and beeping horns. Eating with hands - both of us, for about a pound, or under $2 - in roomsful of staring Indians. Buses and long walks and sun and heat. Rebecca's adjusted remarkably quickly and well for a first-time-in-India-er.

We haven't been to many places so far - only Thrissur and Kochi - but then we've only arrived just four days ago. Today we head further south!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

English Holidays and Indian Adventures

It's been a busy few weeks. In mid-December, we both left Australia "for good" - Rebecca for the UK, and Brian to the USA. A week or so later, we reunited at London's Heathrow airport, then zipped through Brian's old neighborhood in Oxford en route to the Wilding residence in Kidderminster. The holidays were spent with Rebecca's family, the New Year with friends in Wales, and time since (and in between) has been split between friends, family, English pubs, and (for Brian) a trip to Devon and Dorset.
Time passed quickly, and before we knew it, the 10th of January has arrived. Our bags are packed - and are thankfully small (not bad for Rebecca's first big trip)!
Goodbye comfort; hello India.