What’s on top?
Too many clothes, nothing to wear!
Over the next two months I will be in India (modest dress) then Thailand (beach dress) then Tokyo (smart summer dress (or so I imagine)) then back to India (modest dress) via travel with limited weight hand luggage…
I left a bag of things for our guesthouse manager in Varkala to take to the orphanage he helps at (my kurta (long top) that I bought from the khadi shop that is rather thick and doesn’t look that nice on me; some thick fawn coloured leggins that are too hot and look like I’m not wearing anything- rather defeating the object; a new pink Indian dress that is really tight across the bust; two scarves that have proved unsuitable, wrong colour, wrong material. I binned a much loved spaghetti- strapped black vest top that the elastic had gone in and looked worn out and, with much sadness, a black skirt bought from an expensive outdoor shop in the UK that went bobbly and extremely tatty-looking very fast. It was just right, stretchy, soft and comfortable and it even had a tiny zipped pocket inside.
This is what I have:
Six dresses- one long with long sleeves, three that can be worn without trousers depending on where we are, two with side slits so that they can only be worn over trousers; 3 pairs of loose black trousers; 1 long-sleeved tunic top; two comfy t-shirts (that have holes in them- they were bought from poor quality tourist trap stall) to chill out in room in and sleep in hostel dorm in (although for travelling and in Chennai I have been wearing them outdoors with a scarf as they are so comfortable); one sun top for Thailand; five scarves- to wear over shoulders to protect from sun and/or to cover up/for evenings, and to wear as sarongs in Thailand or for chilling out in room in. Two lungis (2 metres of green/purple and gold material) useful as bed sheets or to maybe get made into dresses. One white ‘scarf of freedom’ given to me by a shaman; 3 pairs of socks; two bras; four pairs of knickers -two pairs of old comfy cotton; one pair of fitted cotton lycra; one (relatively) ‘sexy’ silky material.
The downside is that three out of the six dresses are slightly too tight across the bust; it has been hard to find dresses to fit, even though one of them (the green check) was made for me. The dark red dress with navy sides and flowers has been made for me out of a lungi I bought for the fabric. I have had it made/remade five times so far! First it was far too tight, sexy across the hips but boob-crushingly tight at the top, then remade far too big, then remade with armholes too tight and still too big, then to a different tailor, too tight under bust, now (fifth time) it is more or less okay except that the armholes are slightly loose and stick out and are too high at the same time. Maybe I will try again in Chennai, sixth time lucky!
On a positive note, I am very pleased with the scarf-as-sarong with sun-top look for Thailand.
An imaginary interview with Eminem
What would you do if you suddenly found yourself backstage with Eminem? What possible conversation topics or questions could there be that wouldn’t sound lame? This was a situation that confronted my husband recently in a dream.
‘I had this dream where I found myself backstage with Eminen, just hanging out. I asked him about American music venues, I said that in the UK we’ve only really heard of CBGB’s. He kind of sneered at that but I explained to him that we just don’t get told about the others.’
‘Well I would never have thought to ask him about that,’ I said, ‘That’s really good.’
‘Well I don’t know how well it would prepare me for a real life meeting… In the dream everyone was smoking weed and I remember making sure not to have too much, I didn’t want to get really stoned, I thought I need to keep it together, I’m talking to Eminem!’
‘I can’t think of anything,’ I said, ‘Everything I can think of to ask him he’ll have been asked a million times: ‘How is your daughter, what does she do; Do you still have problems with your ex wife; What’s it like getting old and having younger people coming up; What’s it like being famous?’’
‘You can’t ask him what it’s like being famous, that’s too broad, you have to break it down,’ my husband said.
‘Okay,’ I said, ‘Well what do you do when you run out of food?’
‘What would he do when he ran out of food?!’ My husband said, ‘Sack the housekeeper, probably.’
‘But can you go to a shop and buy food? Is there a restaurant you can go to where you can just eat and not get hassled? Do you ever just go and buy a loaf of sliced bread and make yourself some toast?’ I think I was almost crying with laughter by this point.
‘Really?’ my husband said, ‘That’s what you want to know? I’d ask him about the nature of reality. He’d probably say, ‘What do you mean,’ so I’d say, ‘Well, do you believe that what you see is all that there is; or do you believe in anything else, anything mystical, or spiritual? Do you believe that this world is an illusion? Do you believe that we live in a matrix and that this is a computer simulation? Or do you believe that it’s all an illusion of the mind? Or that the dream world is the real world and the waking world is a dream?’
You know, that kind of thing.’ I guess we’ve both got too much time on our hands…
On Friday we went to Kochi, a four hour train journey from Varkala where we were. On Sunday we went by train from Kochi (in the state of Kerala) to Chennai (in the state of Tamil Nadu) a fifteen hour journey, we arrived in Chennai on Monday morning.
See my husband’s Instagram travelswithanthony for good photos of Kochi and Chennai
Before we left Varkala I had a burst of working on the Kerala Chapter, looking at the period we spent at Osho’s guesthouse which included a big spiritual and emotional upheaval. It was tiring and a bit intense, mirroring, as writing often does, current feelings. Still, I am pleased with the progress made on this chapter.
Right now, I am working on ‘Kochi’ and plan to publish the draft or part of it on the blog next week. I am also handwriting and typing notes about my Chennai experience.
At some point I will need to go back to ‘Kerala’ and finish that draft, as well as going back over the other chapters but right now, stuff just keeps happening that I need to capture!
Thank you very much for reading
See you next week