Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Temple and Random Thoughts

I did some sightseeing today after work. Manickam and Anwar took me to a temple not far from the office. The largest temple-type structure served as the entranceway into the complex itself. The vast majority of the structure consisted of a pyramid-shaped top, probably about 100 ft tall, on top of a cube, about 20ft square, with a 20 ft tall opening to walk through. Many, many carved and intricately painted figures depicting various gods and characters from traditional stories covered the pyramid roof.

After taking our shoes off, we walked through the entrance into the main complex. This was a courtyard type area with various shrines and smaller temples to various gods, also covered with the carved and painted figures. The stones making up the floor were pleasantly warm on my feet, although the thought of stepping on a wayward sharp foreign object did concern me a bit.

Some people wandered around, some sat on the ground, others waited in line to pay their respects to certain gods, still others bowed and kissed the ground at what seemed to the uninitiated (me) to be random spots on the floor. It was a much more chaotic, disorganized, and free form type of worship than that found in your typical Christian church. Some of the smaller shrines had certain routines associated with them. For example, at the shrine to the 9 planets of the solar system I could see a path worn in the stone where people walk (and were currently walking) in a circle around the 9 figures representing the planets.

Pretty cool experience. Too bad I couldn’t take pictures (not allowed). I did take a few from outside of the big entrance temple. Not like you’ll see them.

Iron Maiden is playing in Bangalore (about 2 hours from here) on March 17th. Too bad I’ll be in Sri Lanka and unable to play with Indian madness.

At lunch the other day the water poured from the metal pitcher, presumably filled from the tap, was a nice shade of yellow. Um, can I have some bottled water please? Thanks.

There’s a brand of car out here called “Tata”. If you own two of them do people ask, “How are your Tatas?” Heh heh.

I spent all of Thursday on the way out here from California in the dark. I took off at 5 after midnight on Thursday morning. Darkness followed us all the way to Hong Kong where the sun finally came up on Friday morning as we reboarded our plane.

People out here point a lot with their middle fingers. It’s disconcerting and I still am not used to it. “Oh yeah, buddy? F you too, pal. You wanna go? Oh. Right. Sorry. Here’s your hat back.” Though I did just read it’s rude here to point or gesture towards someone with your left hand. I don’t know if it’s quite the equivalent of flipping someone off, but, well, I’m an American. Isn’t it just assumed I don’t know anything about anyone else’s culture? They can cut me some slack.

No comments: