Eat, Dance, Beach!

I had a wonderful weekend.

Friday morning a violinist came to perform at the school and the village of SARVAM. Paul Peabody has performed the scores of many movies and hit songs, including Michael Jackson’s song “Smile.” Apparently he’s the violin solo in that one. It was fun to hear some jazz, bluegrass, and Mozart. Nice guy, he ate lunch with us at the ashram dining hall.

A giant man with a little fiddle

On Saturday I went to a dance program at the ashram school, where the young women performed some traditional dances. The audience sat on the lawn in the school courtyard. It had been raining on and off, but I was glad that the show went on. The dances were very intricate and beautiful.

On Sunday I biked to the beach, because I hadn’t been able to put as much as a toe in the water yet.  Packing some guavas and a mango for my breakfast I took off. I biked about 7 km out of town trying to find the beach at Auroville, but I never saw the sign to turn off. I ended up riding through a small but developed fishing village and spent a few morning hours there, swimming and reading. Despite my initial reservations, no one heckled me, only a few people came to talk to me and they were all very nice. As I was biking back through the village, women and children greeted the sun-hatted American with “hi, hi!”

The ocean was very refreshing, but the bike back home on the main highway was hot, sticky and hectic.  After I showered the sea off me and took a nap, I went to buy vegetables at the market. Sundays are the Big Shopping day. The huge street market is in full swing, only the mass amount of people makes M.S.Gandhi Boulevard impossible for cars or bikes to get through.

I also found Goubert Market, which is this magical market of vegetable and trinket stalls, hidden within an entire city block. I had heard about it before, but had never been able to find it. Suddenly, it found me. The second I saw a small gateway I knew what that was it. There are small entrances to it, but if you didn’t know where it was already you’d probably miss it. Once inside, it’s a half lit, bustling underworld of tomatoes and cucumbers and rice and jasmine.

I emerged with a bag of lovely vegetables that were better looking and about half the price of a grocery store. I got about ten tomatoes for 12 rupees, about 20 cents. Gah, I sound like an old biddy blogging about the price of produce. Ah well.

Hungry, I bought some vedas and tiny samosas from a food vendor. It hit the spot, but I was dying for some ketchup to slather them in. It’s the little things, you know?