alilou's Adventures in Wonderland - all over the map.

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by alilou, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    You are in the land on my distant ancestors and it sounds like you are having the best time. Thanks again for letting us in on your journeys. As always keep safe and look forward to your next entry! :cheer2:
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  2. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Yet again, another great "slice of life", from a part of the world that I would likely never discover "up close and personally" without your kindness in sharing your experience with us.

    Looking forward to the next installment.
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  3. BelleBway

    BelleBway a monkey stole my title

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    Loved the latest entry. (as usual) Just be careful with your belongings around the monkeys... ;)
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  4. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    So you're part Indian eh? We're doing all we can to stay safe here and still live. The more we adjust the more we love it here. There is much to appreciate.

    You're welcome, and thanks. Sharing the blog is just fun. And even more fun to hear it brings pleasure to others. I'm looking forward to the next installment too :lol:

    Hey Belle, I remember your story about the monkey coming into your room in Africa - must have been quite freaky. But I don't get "A monkey stole my title" What does it mean?
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  5. BelleBway

    BelleBway a monkey stole my title

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    I was bored with my user title, and couldn't figure out what to change it to. So I decided that I don't have a title because a monkey must have stolen it. ;)

    it kinda makes more sense when I am not trying to explain it :shuffle:
  6. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Oh, thanks. Now I get it. It's not you, it's me :lol: If I known that "Crazy stalker lady" is my "title" I probably would have got it :duh:
  7. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    LOL@Alilou! :lol:
  8. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Yeah :duh: I'm a bit slow sometimes :lol:



    New blog post is up - some musings from Mr alilou, and a couple of short descriptions of Tiru and some people pics from me.

    Link for IE users http://alisonarmstrong.blogspot.com If you want to post a comment directly onto the blog you have to use this link

    For Safari/Firefox/etc users the link in my sig line will work.

    India is a trip and a half. A whole other world.
  9. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    I am using safari and it works just fine. Thanks once again for another beautiful Blog post. I love your photographs and tell Mr. Alilou thanks for sharing with as well. :respec:
  10. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks Buzz.

    There's just an issue with posting comments on the blog. Posting comments on the sidebar link won't work no matter which browser is used. It's a Blogger thing. I hope to get it sorted one day. If I switch the whole thing over to the new format (sidebar view) then IE users can't access the blog at all. So I keep the old format but it means comments can't be posted from the sidebar link. Anyway it's no biggie.

    If anyone out there is using IE could you try the sidebar link for me please? Maybe Blogger has fixed it so you can access it. Thanks.
  11. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    Just dropping in to say hi, Alison. Reading your blog has allowed me to vicariously enjoy places I can't travel to at present and to affirm places I have never wanted to go (namely, India - I doubt I'll be up to that in this lifetime).

    Know that I continue to enjoy the yellow and orange energy in the paintings I got from you everyday!! It really is color therapy.

    Maybe we'll see you back here once your travels are done, all enlightened and blissed out. :). In the meantime, send some bliss over the internet to those of use who are lacking it in. Okay?
  12. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Hi Japanfan, good to hear from you. How's things in Van?

    Good to hear the painting is still speaking to you. It obviously found its right home. And good to hear you're enjoying the blog.

    I never wanted to go to India either, but I did want to sit in the energy of Arunachala and Ramana, and so it was finally time to come. We are so very lucky to have Canadian friends who have lived here for 25 years to show us the way and to make our landing here as easy as it possibly could be.

    I'll be back in Van at the end of May and probably staying for a couple months. We'll have to get together then. We'd better have an FSU dinner :cheer2:


    :saint: :saint: :saint: Bliss for Japanfan from India :saint: :saint: :saint:

    (Isn't it ironic that one of the grottiest countries is also the most deeply spiritual. Not an accident I think.)
  13. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to both of you for continuing to share your unique perspective about your experience.
    So much "food for thought" there.

    Your photos are wonderful
    Your subjects spring vividly to life.
  14. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    You bet. In your honour and looking forward to it.

    :) Thank you

    I don't know about that. My brain is going into pinwheels as it contemplates the idea.

    But then, I'm really not a very spiritual person - to me spirituality is a rough and ready thing, something bestowed rather than something pursued and attained by an enlightened few. It's a very good excuse for eschewing meditation. :p
  15. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Oh I just think that the tougher life is the more likely a person is to turn to some form of spirituality. And life's pretty tough for many people here. Plus there is a deeply rooted and ancient spirituality here. I'm not talking religion, though there's plenty of that, but rather about a deep experiential mysticism. And maybe you're right about it being bestowed, or imposed, or a simple twist of fate, or something like that. I would never have thought in my 20's that I'd be on such a committed spiritual path a few years later and on through my life into my 60's. Who knew? I sure didn't, but I couldn't have changed if i'd tried.

    Hey skatesindreams, once again thank you for your positive feedback :)
  16. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    But equally likely to turn a person into a gritty realist or a maniac, I'd think.

    You're there and I'm not, but I'd ask: isn't the mysticism part of the religion and the culture?

    I also wonder what you think about the caste system in India, which some have questioned in terms of its capacity to deliver a sense of agency and autonomy.
  17. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    I think the caste system is appalling. This is a culture that has brought us some of the greatest mystics of all time, but it is the same culture that has a group of people that are actually called "untouchable". It boggles my mind.

    I am by no means any kind of expert on India. Far from it, but for me mysticism is something vastly different from religion. I see religion as dogma, and rules, and be good and do what you're told, and worship and pray and maybe you'll be safe and saved. I see it in all religions. They all have their rules and veiled threats. And yes the Indian people seem to be very religious (Hindu) and there are many temples, large and small, and lots of praying and worshiping and ceremony and ritual going on the same as any other religion, only here it certainly seems more obvious than in the west. It's out on the street, everywhere.

    On the other hand mysticism/spirituality is about a genuine search for the truth of being. I've been on this path for my entire adult life and all the teachers I know (who I consider really do understand this absolute truth, the true nature of being) would be appalled to be worshipped or prayed to. Their message is look within and find out for yourself.

    The mysticism has been co-opted into the culture and turned into a kind of religion (which shows up as people praying to, and worshipping, enlightened beings) but I don't think true mysticism is the same as religion at all. There is indeed lots of spirituality/mysticism here - it's strong here. But I would guess there is a lot more religion happening.

    Oh boy, Japanfan. You challenge me to really think about this stuff, and try to express it. Don't know if I've made any sense or not, but either way India seems to be both very spiritual, and very religious. Just a final thought - the way the Indian people have turned spiritual truth into religion is no different from any other people or any other religion, anywhere in the world, it's just that it's much more open and prevalent here.

    Mysticism is part of the culture. Religion is part of the culture. Don't think mysticism is part of the religion. I think they're two different things.

    BTW I agree that a tough life can equally well turn a person into a gritty realist or a maniac.

    I qualify all of this with a great big IMHO!
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  18. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the wonderful post. Travelling to a country like India is always so challenging. If it is any comfort cast system is slowly, think glacier, changing because of the skewed girls to boys ratio, and a need to compete with it's neighbours.
  19. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I'm always arguing about this type of stuff, to a large degree because I stand apart from so much of it :slinkaway
  20. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    What an interesting read this has been. I'd love to have you all over for a long chat over wine and/or coffee! :summer: :40beers: :coffee:
  21. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    So would I.
    I'd love to have a reason/excuse to fly to Vancouver!
  22. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    I don't get this :duh: I would have thought there were more boys than girls (since they're more highly valued than girls) and that males would want to keep the caste system in place, or is it that there are more girls than boys now? I'm both confused and lacking knowledge.

    And could you explain more about the need to compete with neighbours (India with it's geographical neighbours?)

    I think you just love to discuss stuff. It's that fine intellectual mind of yours :) (just in case I need to say this - not being sarcastic at all, it shows in your posts/discussions on FSU)
    That would be so fun. You're in China aren't you? I'd love to come to China, it's on our bucket list so we will probably show up there one of these days.

    So first we have to all meet in Van (I'll be back in May), and then continue our discussion in China :lol: What fun!

    So I'm in India - our at-home internet connection has been dead for a day and a half (so I'm in an internet cafe), a woman knocked on our door this morning claiming ownership of the fridge in our apartment and wanting 600 rupees a month for it :eek:, power goes off several times a day for sometimes up to 2 hours, at irregular intervals, I've had mild nausea for a week, yesterday a man in khaki shirt and pants claimed he was security for our building and wanting 50 rupees a month :rolleyes: (which we refused to give him) and so life rolls along :lol:

    We're still meditating twice a day and loving it. It helps keep us sane if nothing else :lol:
  23. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the problem is too many boys and too few girls, in both India and China, because of boy's value to society. Girls are intentionally aborted in both countries and the abandonment of baby girls has been a tragedy in China in years past.

    But this is inadvertently improving girls' value and status, as they really get to pick and choose which man to marry.

    Thanks!!

    What an interesting contradiction of experiences.
  24. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    When are you here in May?

    I hope I don't miss you, we're on holidays the first two weeks of the month.
  25. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    After reading that post, I can see why meditation might be needed!
    How does a "visitor" to the community differentiate between a legitimate expense and being "taken advantage of"?
  26. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Yep. I'm following your blogspot, so you should be able to see mine. :)
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  27. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    I meant that abortions have lead to more boys than girls and China has a better education system as well as a more educated population. Then thre are other established Asian economies like Souh Korea etc. If India wants to keep up it will have to educate it's population better. Also I read an trice that said some men who are depere to get married are marring women of very different backgrounds. Something that would have been unthinkable before.
  28. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks Buzz and Japanfan for your explanations re the imbalance between boys and girls. I did know about the abortions/abandonments of girl babies in both India and China, but I hadn't followed through to the conclusion, so though the practice appalls me I can't be entirely upset about a situation that gives the young women in both countries a little bit more power, if only to try to choose a kind husband.

    To answer your question skatesindreams - we mostly differentiate by initially refusing to pay, then checking with our friends who've lived here for many years and know the difference between prices for Indians and prices for foreigners. Also sometimes we feel we're being taken advantage of, but just let it happen anyway because it really is such a small amount of money for us. We buy a bag of groceries here for about $15 that would probably cost $40 in Vancouver. We ride home in an auto rickshaw for a dollar. We buy a bag full of vegetables for 80 cents. The fridge was a different matter though. Our friends told us when they rented the apartment for us that the landlord said the fridge was included so we just handed it all over to him. So far so good, and fingers crossed, we still have a fridge.

    Angelskates I'd love to see your blog, if it's open to the general public :)

    We're back in Vancouver May 25th and probably staying through the end of June and maybe longer. Might go to Montreal and/or Okanagan for part of the summer. After that who knows. It's all very loosey-goosey at the moment.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  29. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    Sorry about my atrocious typing and spelling peps. Apparently I still have not gotten a good enough grip on my iPad typing skills. :slinkaway
  30. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    I'm surprised you didn't tell the "security" guy that the fridge is apparently worth way more per month than he is :)
  31. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Well I can always figure out what you mean :lol:

    Maybe I would have but the security guy came before the fridge lady. All just too funny.

    What's not so funny is I have mild jaundice from taking artemisia (a herbal anti-malarial) that my liver apparently didn't like very much. It hasn't affected Mr alilou as he wasn't taking as much as me. Our friends here know a British doctor who's always here for several months at this time of year. He sussed immediately I could have liver problems and sent me to get a complete blood count and liver function test. All is normal except for the jaundice which means obviously no more artemisia ever, and no fatty or oily food for a while. I'm sure I'll be fine within about a week, but it's been 10 days of increasing nausea and headaches, and all kinds of aches and pains and low energy. And this is mild jaundice. I have a whole new sympathy for people with hepatitis. It must be hell. Anyway I'm on the mend now and looking forward to getting back to my normal energy levels pretty soon. With all the illnesses you can get in India I get an illness from something that's supposed to prevent one :duh:
  32. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    Get better soon Alilou and that was scary about the people who showed up looking for money. India suddenly ounds a bit more scary now.
  33. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Sending many "feel better" wishes your way, alliou!
  34. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    That just sucks, Allison. Hope you're feeling better very soon.
  35. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Thanks for all your get well wishes. I feel like I'm on the mend now.

    Buzz the people who showed up demanding money weren't remotely scary. The lady who wanted money for "her" fridge was a bit abrasive but we managed to calm her down and send her way and haven't seen her since. The "security" guy was barely 3 inches taller than me and twice as skinny. I could have knocked him over with a feather. Haven't seen him since either. They just try it on and when it's clear that you really do mean no that's the end of it.

    Since I'm starting to feel better i'll probably do a new blog in the next few days.

    I wouldn't wish jaundice on anyone :scream: :scream:
  36. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    There's a new blog post about life here in Tiruvannamalai - mongoose! :swoon: swami! :saint: jaundice! :scream: rickshaw ride in a blackout! :yikes: and more! :)

    Hope you enjoy.

    I think everyone can open this link now. If you can't open it please let me know.

    http://alisonarmstrong.blogspot.com/view/sidebar

    I could only follow 4CC on FSU - no live stream for me :( but fabulous to read all the PBP and comments and snarking. And kwanfan1818 is recording whatever was shown on Cdn TV for me so I'll get to see some of it eventually :cheer:
  37. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    The above link does not work for me but the one below does. And OYYY @ that alien photograph! :wideeyes: Thanks once again for sharing you are one lucky and brave chick! :respec:

    http://alisonarmstrong.blogspot.com/
  38. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    OK, so I still need to sort out stuff with blogger re the new format. Apparently the /view/sidebar link still doesn't always work for IE. Thanks for letting me know.

    Re the alien photograph :lol: at first I wondered which one you meant, but then I had another look at the pic of me and mr alilou with our buzz cuts :rofl: aliens! I'd never seen it that way before. Perhaps next blog I should put in the pic where we don't have our sunglasses on. We look a bit more like normal people in that one, only with very very short hair ;)

    It's so hot here, and dusty, it was so freeing to have it all cut off.

    People say I look like Sinead O'Connor :D
  39. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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  40. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    But you've been married longer than 16 days though, right? :D