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Saturday, 19 January 2013

Another way of life

Well, tomorrow Mum and I are getting the train to Pune to stay at Sangam for 3 days. Sangam is one of 4 World Centres of WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts). I am not sure whether they will have any internet connection so I thought I'd better give you all a quick update before we leave (we are leaving the hotel at 0600 tomorrow morning...ouch!

Today we spent most of the morning packing and sorting out our stuff (we are leaving 2 suitcases at the hotel and taking one with us) and we also sat in the sun by the pool for half an hour. We were then picked up by one of Mehroo's friends who took us to the Willingdon Club. It is a very fancy, traditional club from pre-Independence days and has a very colonial feel about it. We went for "ladies' lunch" with Mehroo, Avi and 2 of their friends. It was a lovely, charming if slightly surreal experience. The club is lavish with a golf course, terraces, dining rooms, bars, swimming pool with tables and white gazebos, a library... It is very easy to forget you are in the middle of a busy, noisy city once you are within it's beautiful, sanctuary-like grounds. My family, the ladies in particular, spend a lot of time there and seemed to know everyone we passed. After lunch we had tea on the terrace where there are fancy armchairs and even little brass bells to ring to get the waiters' attention! Like I say, it was surreal. At one point I found myself imagining living a life like theirs, where I was waited on, didn't have to work and had relaxed social occasions with my friends daily. No obligations, very little stress, fancy food, smart clothes...It seems like a very nice idea when you go as a treat but when I thought about living like that for more than a few days I realised just how bored I would get! Still, it was very nice to have the chance to live like that if only for a few hours!

This afternoon we went for a wander along Colaba Causeway. It's a busy street just behind our hotel, packed with shops of all descriptions and market stalls galore. It was very crowded but in a comfortable way. You didn't feel like you were being pushed around or cramped, it was just very alive. We bought a couple of things, having a good time haggling with the stall owners! Would you believe though, so far, we have not been able to find a single postcard?! I would have thought that in such a touristy area they'd be everywhere! Perhaps this a sign of advancing technology making traditions scarce...

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