$93 – houseoffraser.co.uk
So, 2016 kind of zoomed past. It was a blur of not balancing work and life. And then I found myself at the end of the year running away about an hour away from Bombay to this little yoga institute. It wasn’t planned, I was in India for work – but then on the weekend, Mum said let’s go and I did. We stayed in a simple (and I do mean simple) room. In the morning, I saw a tail of a lizard outside my room and pretended it wasn’t there. I looked outside and saw the hills not too far away and much closer a family of monkeys – just sitting. Everything was not as loud as Bombay, it wasn’t bright like the movies, and it wasn’t comfortable as one imagines vacations to be – but it was, and it was surprisingly peaceful.
I came back to New York – M and I celebrated the start of 2017 – and Kaivalyadhama slipped in to romantic memory. I call it romantic because my memory tends to make things much nicer over time. (It’s a blessing if you think about it!) And then I was in India again – more work than last time and even less time. Lee said to me “What is more important?” and I answered without a pause “Me”. And now, I am trying to put that in to action. What does prioritizing yourself look like.
H & I went to India.
We went to Istanbul first. In probably one of the oldest mall and then out. We ate corn on the cob and then drank turkish coffee. Ayub, our driver, of the accidental mercedes bus we hired – sat waiting. Next to Collin’s he repeated.
We went back to the airport somehow. It didn’t seem like we were moving. Asia on the other side of the water – we watched the boats. The marina. And then Bombay. The maximum city. We drudged our way to my little flat in a broken building…waiting to be rebuilt. Jazz at Olive’s Sitar at Saffron… Salads at Eat Around the Corner and all that noise. That loud noise. Jewelry shopping at Aquamarine and Curio (always Curios) Le Pain / Indigo’s / Starbucks… Bombay is a city to eat I said. But it isn’t. It’s a city for me… to hide with M on Yaari Road. To wake up to curtains and shining star. To take an uber “back” somewhere. To cross over the streets now no longer where I grew up. And before I knew it, it was Delhi. Another home now because Bombay is quieter. We drove to Agra and I saw the Taj Mahal. Again. But really for the first time. Because memory is a funny thing. And then it was over. All of it, and I’m back in my real “home”. Where we live. You and I.
Over the weekend M, A, A’s mom and I decided to go upstate – you see we consider ourselves quite the adventurers. We will hike, swim in lakes and be “of the earth”.
Here is what we did:
After spending about 10 days in Montreal, I’m kind of sad to not have had more time in an interesting city just a few hours north of here. I don’t usually feel this way… I’m usually always ready to come home. But Montreal was cool and I liked it … like I said already, I liked it a lot more than I like other cities that aren’t New York.
Here is a little bit of what I can put down for those who visit… I recommend the very much cliched (and actually quite useful) hop-on hop-off bus tour, I also had some time to do the normal life things. But let’s get to the tourist stuff first: Saint Joseph’s Oratory – we spent an afternoon here and while we thought it was beautiful, I’m not sure it left me wanting to come back. I would recommend going here during a tour and/or when there is worship music. I was not able to visit the Basilique Notre-Dame but I think that was a mistake. This I should have gone to (perhaps even over Saint Joseph’s). I spent quite some time in the old port… it was walk-able from where we were and just being around the water and general market scene was lovely. They had an international fireworks competition while I was in town and that was definitely a treat. I was able to spend some time with Rodin at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and I think this is top of the list of places to visit. Spend a day here / many days. It’s beautiful – even without the Rodin! If you’re in Montreal on Sundays – the Tam-Tams are a fun Sunday summer event.. bring some beverages, food, and a blanket and hang out. Actually summer in Montreal is essentially a giant gathering of people doing street festivals- so take your pick. The Jazz festival is better known all over the world so it’s a shame to miss it if you’re in Montreal in July. For food stops I definitely recommend Fairmount Bagel – it is delicious. I also recommend the competition. The city is alive with fine foods so if you want to skip Poutine – skip away! But don’t miss the restaurants in the various neighborhoods… Chinese food in Chinatown, Israeli food, Greek, Italian, French.. you name it they’ve got it and it’s good. (For example – This Icecream!) And of course French food – d’uh! I like the Eater Guide quite a bit to get me to food choices I would appreciate. But before I forget – I recommend the botanical garden and the intimate concerts they hold within their landscapes. Breathtakingly amazing. Go here on a warm breezy evening. You are so very welcome!