It's Friday, and that means a few things. Around here, it doesn't mean much, as our weekends are usually pretty much the same as my weekdays, but you've gotta have something to look forward to, right? My something is Fridays. This week was fairly eventful... compared to my usual GTL ("gym, tan, laundry" thank you, Jersey Shore) routine. Monday I recovered from a weekend of kite flying and learned how to do a handstand in yoga (with assistance), Tuesday I had a lunch date with the expat ladies at a new restaurant(!), Wednesday.... um... oh! I video Skyped with Aura for the first time! Pretty awesome. While it gave me mild nausea to go on a virtual tour of her new house, I can definitely see the draw. Why don't more people know about this?! (By more people, of course I mean more people in my family/friends circle. I'm pretty sure we're about the last people on this bandwagon.)
Thursday my yoga friend, Dhwani, invited me to a glass workshop where she does projects sometimes. She is an artist and got her masters in glasswork in Edinburgh, Scotland. I've been there before, so that seems as good a basis as any to base a friendship. Anyway, she took me on her scooter to the industrial part of the city where all the factories and stuff are... I saw some monkeys and a guy picking through a lady's hair looking for lice - it was a nice scooter tour. I was a little nervous when we got there because I was only wearing short sleeves and flip-flops, and I kind of assumed they'd make me change. I even brought extra shoes just in case! I mean, it's a glass workshop! Do you know how hot it has to be for glass to melt? Neither do I, but I'm assuming something along the lines of pretty damned hot. Of course, I shouldn't have worried because this is India. One guy wasn't even wearing shoes. Anyway Dhwani gave me a quick tour and then showed me how to make glass beads! Well, kind of. She tried to show me.
First you melt the glass tube (in her right hand), and then when it's gooey, you wrap it around that kebab stick. Voila.
Dhwani is pretty good at it, even though she's only just learning. I was horrible. I attempted once and failed after about 30 seconds. Of course I ruined both the glass tube and the kebab stick in the process. At least I didn't shatter anything or get molten glass in my unprotected eyeballs, which was my main concern anyway.
Some of the products this workshop produces. They only work on commission, and didn't have a store, so I couldn't buy anything... like that cool lampshade in the corner.
Thursday night Dori (Canadian expat here) called and invited me to the "Friday Market" in the Old City, and of course I jumped at the chance. Everyone knows markets are always a good time. This market was basically a huge flea market/yard sale. It had everything: clothes, tools, lamps, scales, beds, couches, and every feasible part to anything ever made on earth.
This could be anywhere in Arkansas.
For whatever reason, everyone was really friendly to us, which was a nice change of pace. Of course they wanted to sell us everything, but they also kept asking to have their pictures taken, and I was only too happy to oblige.
This woman sold me some fabric and then asked me to take her picture. I think she was pleased with the result.
I was a little concerned because I only had 200 rupees with me (less than $5), but again, this is India. I bought 3 huge piles of used fabric and spent all my money. Later, Dori's driver, Sanjay, told me I overpaid... I felt kind of bad, but only because I guess I'm losing my bargaining skills.
I keep telling people about the guys who sell earmuffs because it's winter. I was so excited to finally get a picture of a real life earmuff vendor! I think it bears mentioning that it was 88F today. Prime earmuff weather.
Unquestioningly the best part of the day was when I captured this picture:
There are no words.
That about does it. Dori and I have big plans to hit up the other side of the Friday Market next week to find even more great deals. All in all, pretty solid week. We'll see where the weekend takes us... probably to McDonald's.