It’s too hot to get mad when the temperatures rise to 115 degrees.
Still, I manage to dig into reserves of mad when I order my iced coffee at the school coffee shop and they tell me that there’s no ice.
There’s ice in Old Delhi though. People are lying on blocks of it to stay cool.
We don’t talk about the “heat index” when it’s 115 outside. My friend Cecile said it best on her Facebook page in her beautiful French-English: “How to explain?”
Her husband, Peter, can explain. He says it’s so hot in their living room, the unlit candles are drooping.
Recalling one exceptionally hot summer, a biologist told me that he was sitting under a tree to rest from tracking tigers when a freak gust of wind blew and the birds in the tree fell to the ground, dead.
Even stranger, Eddie put himself to bed at 7:30 the other night. No books, no snuggling, no negotiating. He was already asleep when his head hit the pillow.
Still, all this heat doesn’t make leaving easier.
Some places ask more of you than others and India asked a lot. It is a good bit Hell and a good bit Heaven. What lies between the two is complicated.
And so is saying goodbye.
It was nice to have my long and dear friend, Karen, visit from New York. She jumped into the chaos of our last three weeks and while this could have been a disaster, it wasn’t. I returned to places with her that I hadn’t seen for four years and she helped me bring this chapter to its end.
I will not forget our bicycle ride through Old Delhi. And I can safely promise that I will never visit this urban maze on two wheels again. I sacrificed a few of my remaining lives on the trip, and stole a few lives from people who nearly found themselves under my wheels.
My favorite memory of the adventure: Karen turned to me as she was trying to negotiate through a traffic of cars, cows, rickshaws, goats, and ox-carts to shout: “I’m surprised they don’t make us wear helmets!”
It was difficult to take photos while negotiating the streets of Old Delhi, but we managed a few:
A bit of California comes to my neighborhood every Sunday at the “Organic Farmer’s Market”….
It’s all rather shabby chic:
And a few other photos from our last weeks. The kids and I have ten days left.