I had a nice weekend. We have to teach on saturday afternoons (don't get me started on why they make us teach on weekends when we already work a billion hours a week... it made me miss a potentially awesome journey to the jungle with two couchsurfers and an Albanian girl) which did encourage me to be productive that morning. After class, the instructional staff planned to go to the temple on the hill then to a sound and light show at Mysore Palace. Unfortunately, the drivers took so long to pick us up that we missed the temple so we went straight to the Palace.
The drivers-for-hire around here are pretty ridiculous. I think the company that we use from Infosys is fairly legit (although not necessarily timely) but Anne came to India two weeks before camp started for sight seeing through a reputable tour company. Her driver had worked for them for 25 years but she said that while they were in the car, he knocked down a gate and ran over and killed a dog, without a backward glance. Later on, they noticed him drinking from a flask in his glove box so they had to let him go.... Gosh, the guts in a land with minimal regulation.
At the light and sound show, I met up with Achyutha, a couchsurfer who was very knowledgeable about the mythical origins of the city. Mysore was named after the buffalo-headed monster demon that ruled the city according to the legend. In response to the prayer by the Gods and Goddesses to save them from the demon, Goddess Parvathi came down killed the monster on top of the Chamundi hill (which is where we were supposed to go and see her temple). The palace is large from the outside but it's even bigger inside- as the sun was setting, we explored one of the eight auxiliary temples on the ground then we settled down for a 45 minute, very dramatic tale about the history of the city. Unfortunately, it was in the local language so I didn't get too much out of it besides that there was a lot of fighting, partying, some soup slurping and a fire. But then, they lit up the palace for five minutes and it was gorgeous! (They do it for an hour on Sundays but according to my couchsurfer, it's better to come to these shows to avoid some of the crowd)
|Anne, me, Todd, Tyler, Jimi and Krisnan- all the instructors|
|Sujay and the Brindavan Gardens|
Well, I think it's time for bed- an old friend from my Research Experience for Undergrads in Minnesota is teaching my Nuclear Science course this summer so I've got an early Skype meeting to catch him up to speed. Good night!
|My class and their balsa bridges|