Friday, Mar. 20, 8:55 PM
Ulalla beach, last stop in Karnataka (just below Mangalore), India
Here’s a quick update, but as usual I need to sleep soon before the 5am beep. I can’t always keep up in chronological order as it’s usually more convenient to write about the present than the recent past, but I look forward to sharing more about the last farm we were on very soon (10 days which fleeew by, so nice.)
The main update is that Amy is on vacation from the bike tour, not doing this southern leg of the trip with us. She’ll actually be staying at the farm for another week, then heading up north for a Rainbow Gathering (way back up in the Himalayas), and maybe she’ll do a Vipassina (guided, but speechless week of all-day meditation) or travel around in the North for a while. A fellow-Wwoofer from the Bhaktivedanta farm named Lesse, from Denmark, is riding her bike around the tip of India with us. The plan is to meet-up in 6 weeks at our final Indian Wwoof farm in Pondicherry, a mere 100km south of Chennai where we’ll be flying to Thailand beginning of May (hopefully with Amy). In other news from ‘the crew’, Bonnie is still in Berlin and nearly out of money, and so may not be rejoining us. [ Big sad face. ] Cara, who will be finishing her Yoga training just as we will passing through the city she’s in (Trivandrum), may opt to fly straight to Thailand to join her friends who will be arriving 2 weeks later. I see this as a great opportunity for her to rejoin the tour for a couple weeks, but I’m not holding my breath. [ Big pretty please face. ]
Regarding ‘the crew’ of this bike trip, Jamey said it well today, and I paraphrase: “I came here with one girl (Bonnie), met up with another (Cara), Anthony came, then 2 girls left but another one came (Amy), I met another (Sara) who came but then she left, then the other girl left, and another guy (Lesse) joined us…” Regarding these gains and losses, I can say that each and everyone has played a huge part in making this a memorable and enriching travel experience, and I feel like it’s only just begun (as we’ve only covered a fraction of what we set-out to do… but 4 months anyhow!) I took this expedition very seriously as I planned to do it, and I intend to continue on it until I feel like stopping or doing something else. But more on the loss which you’re probably pondering; how do I feel? Well I miss everyone who’s come and gone, and I wish to see and continue on with everyone again. I really do hope to see Ms. Amy B again on the other side of India, but that is up to her, and anything can happen once you start off on a new path.
Krishna Maii, a truly amazing woman who we worked closely with on the Bhaktivedanta farm, taught me so much on a daily basis, and I really appreciate her insights. She’s a bit unique in that her husband, a German-born man who hasn’t been back to his country in 31-years (it’s funny how one’s birthplace is an identity stamp more-so than a last name could ever be, even if they haven’t been there in 3 decades), and their gorgeous son and daughter who all live on the farm, are somewhat traditional Indians but also have their own modern thoughts which break the mold. So this makes sense, I’ll just say that stereotypical Indian family ties are Close, typically So Close that the parents and children (even those who have grown up, married, and moved-out) will communicate daily, or twice daily, or at least every other day. Last week Krishna Maii’s son left to go to Spain, his first time leaving India since his birth, and simultaneously her husband left to Delhi for a week. When we asked, will you miss them, for each it was the same answer: No. I’ve tried and I can’t quite summarize her brilliance, but she made an analogy to birds that feed their young, who then someday fly off to live their lives, as do people in your life. You’ve served your duty to them and afterwards they’re too busy busy to even send you an email, but that’s just the way it is and it’s best to accept it. I also took from this conversation that Missing someone (in the negative sense of suffering a Loss) is a wasteful emotion, much as I’ve always regarded jealousy. It doesn’t accomplish anything and you’re best to just let people Be. If your relations bring you back together again someday, then great. If not, that’s Life.
So my traveling ‘companions’ served their roles for a period of time, and some I may see again, and some I may not. I’m trying not to miss any of them too much, as great as they were, and I do hope they come back again someday. If not, it was fun while it lasted. For now I’m on my own adventure, and I am best embracing the moment, the company that I have, and the long road ahead of me.
Speaking of that road, today, our first day with Lesse, we traveled over 90km. That’s the most I’ve done in a day this whole trip! Then, so tired, we flopped around in Ulalla Beach’s ferocious rip-tide as the sun set. Our book predicted this un-swimmable evening current, but refreshing it was, not only in the getting wet but in the endless laughter that being repeatedly dragged all around and clobbered like a rag-doll can bring after such a long hot day. This town is almost completely Muslim, hence we couldn’t find a Veg restaurant, but I did find the best sweet shop ever and they were feeding me samples galore. I’m happy, full, and ready to bike into Kerala State tomorrow, which boasts the nation’s highest literacy rate in addition to being the most progressive and special in so many ways. Onward Ho!