15 June #savvytraveleraj224asia2016

15 June

Sarah woke up at 6am to take her daily morning medications while I lingered in bed until 6:45am to catch up on my beauty sleep. I slept well. Sarah left for her massage and treatment at 7am as I attempted to catch up on my blog.

When Sarah returned to from treatment we ate breakfast together. We chit chatted about her treatments and how she has been feeling. The past couple of days have been really rough for her. We enjoyed each other’s company, and fell back into our old routine of chit chatting, reading, and lounging around. The doctor came to visit and commented how how much better Sarah looks compared to a couple of days ago. Sarah feels much better, but she still experiences bloating and an upset stomach after eating.

Just before lunch, I took off on a bike ride to explore more area around the hospital. When I take the bike out, I usually ride west on Trichy Road. As I viewed the map before heading out, I mapped up a 3 km (I’m assuming) circular route that would show me the area east of the hospital. I rode east down Trichy Road.

As a traveler, I’m not a big fan of ‘knick knacks’ to clutter and weigh down my pack. I rode past a sticker shop, stopped in, and through broken English asked them to make me a sticker: Tamil Nadu, India. We agreed on a color, font, size, and style. I’ve purchased stickers in the past, but I haven’t paid attention to the detail and work that goes into making these kinds of stickers. They must have thought I was a crazy tourist taking pictures of the process. It’s interesting to see how the sticker is made. For some of you reading this blog, you must think I’m crazy and have lots of time- you’re right, I am and I do. I enjoy seeing the ‘how things are made’.

As I continued riding, I felt as thought I had gone too far: I did. I got lost- go figure. As stated before in another blog entry: my father always hits dead ends when we are in unfamiliar areas, and I get lost- thanks, dad! However, I checked the map and found a way back. Thankfully, many of the streets in India have street vendors. I stopped and purchased some sugar cane juice from the side of the road. The guy takes the ‘stalk’ (3 ft long) runs it through a machine and produces juice. He gave me a cup- a glass cup- and I drank it down! Sugar cane juice is very sweet with a hint of Iime in it. At this time, my mouth was parched, so I enjoyed it. I thanked the man for the juice and continued on my ride. As the sun beat down on me, I continued to feel hot. After continuously checking my map to ensure a correct route back to the hospital, I finally found Trichy Road. I was riding west back to the hospital. I stopped by a shop to purchase a 1.5 L bottle of mango juice- delicious! I love mango juice! By the time I was withing eyesight of the hospital, I stopped and bought a small pastry-type puff with an egg inside of it- like most Indian food, it was spicy . . . for a white girl! Finally, back at the hospital for some relaxing!

When I returned, Sarah started her ‘mud pack’ treatment on her back. She listened to her audio book while the treatment stayed on her back for an hour as I updated another day on my blog. After treatment, we fell into our usual routine: chit chat, visit with neighbors, read, lounge, relax, etc.

At 6pm, K. Veensha, one of the housekeepers, offered to take Sarah shopping at PSR Textiles in Gandhipuram- a night of freedom and retail therapy for Sarah. We phoned for a taxi, walked outside of the hospital, and met K. Veensha near the main road: Trichy Road. We loaded into the taxi and set off for Gandhipuram. As we were driving, I pointed out a couple of things to Sarah. Mind you: Sarah has not been off hospital grounds since Isha Yoga (2 weeks ago), and a smile flashed across. We arrived at PSR textiles. When we entered and Sarah’s face lit up as she saw the different textiles and colors of the different sarees. When you travel with a local, they speak the language and guide you accordingly. K. Veensha spoke broken English, but she talked with the PSR representatives and directed Sarah to the material/textile area which interested her. Sarah looked and looked and looked and looked for the best sari material. We went to three different floors, explored the different material, viewed many beautiful pieces of material, and Sarah continued setting aside beautiful material. After we exhausted our sari material options, we meandered over to the punjabi and pant set section. We viewed the different pants and punjabis. Many different styles of pants and prints. She went to the ‘trial room’ (fitting room) and modeled the clothes for us. She looked stunning in her ‘new’ outfits. She loved one of the punjabi tops, but the cut just wasn’t right on her- unable to tailor because too small. She continued to set aside a couple more pieces of clothes. When we finally decided to call it a night, we threaded to the main floor for purchase. Sarah had set aside 10 sarees and 2 punjabi sets. Her first comment was ‘I can’t buy 10 sarees even though I want to’. We went through the different material one by one. She ended up purchasing 2 punjabi/pant/shawl sets and 3 sarees for herself. Her face beamed!

After we left PSR in the taxi with K. Veensha, we headed over to Aandahaus- a pure veg restaurant. K. Veensha ordered dosa, but Sarah and I wanted something other than dosa- as we can order that at hospital. Sarah ordered ghee rice with mushroom gravy, and I ordered honey chili potatoe. The potatoe dish was spicy, but so delicious. I ended up drinking rose milk to decrease the spice. Sarah and I shared our dishes and K. Veensha happily ate her dosa- occasionally dipping into the mushroom dish as well. the food was delicious.

We arrived back at the hospital at 1000- ready for bed. Good night!

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