Sunday, October 5, 2014

Saturday Socializing

After a slightly shortened day at work on Friday, with several people out for the long weekend, I was looking forward to a fairly quiet weekend. Dan got back from Delhi about 6:00 with his new dental bridge installed. It looks good and he says it feels good. And the cost was maybe 1/4 of what our US dentist had estimated. He wanted to attend a sitar recital at the Hanifl Centre, so had a quick bite to eat and took off.

Saturday morning Dan headed off for Second Jabarkhet for chai, then up to Sisters' Bazaar to see Momo. As he's done before, Momo loaned him a motorcycle to use while we are here. Dan enjoys riding it much more than the scooter, which is good for quick trips to town to pick up supplies. It needed gas, so he went down to Kincraig, the nearest petrol pump. There were many cars lined up waiting. This holiday weekend brought huge numbers of tourists to Mussoorie. We heard that all the hotels were full--and there are many, many of them!

About 4:00 our friends Anju and Sandeep from Delhi came to our apartment for tea and drinks. We hadn't been able to get together during our brief time in Delhi. We had a good time visiting.

We had a dinner invitation to the home of a former student, Arjun. The last time we visited him, he was living in the former Whispering Pine Lodge, just below the Hanifl Centre. He said he would send a car for us to the school gate where another family would also be waiting. We thought it was odd, as we could have easily walked, but we appeared at the gate at the proper time. To our surprise, once we were loaded into the car, the driver headed back toward Mussoorie. It turned out that Arjun and his family are now living far above and beyond Library Bazaar. It was a very long trip! We headed first down to the "New" Road, the Mussoorie Bypass, via the road past Fern Oaks. Then all the way down to Kincraig and up toward Library. There was a lot of traffic and we ended up sitting in Gandhi Chowk (center of Library Bazaar) for nearly a half hour. Eventually we were able to continue off to the left (the direction of Everest House). After some distance and two three-point turn switchbacks, we arrived at their very nice house. The Doon view would have been lovely if the clouds had lifted. The Raju family was with us; father David is Ambar's physics teacher and the mother is a substitute, the two daughters are about 4 and 6. We had a wonderful visit and meal with Arjun, Bhavna, and their son Ambar. The last time I saw Ambar he was a child; he is now a nearly grown young man!

Father and son
After we had eaten, their lovely dog Beethoven was allowed into the living room. He is a very nice, gentle dog. He became very attached to Dan, who enjoyed petting his soft, fluffy fur. For some reason, the dog liked licking Dan's feet! The younger daughter, Zinya, was frightened at first, but eventually enjoyed petting him too.

Zinya, Dan, Beethoven, Bhavna

Appetizer:  papri chat

Rice, naan, salad, chicken, prawn curry

Mustard greens, alu gobi (potatoes and cauliflower)
Below is a scene of Gandhi Chowk from the car window. I'm afraid whoever ordered Domino's Pizza didn't get it very hot.

We didn't leave for home until well after 11:00 (those who know me know how late that is!). The drive was much, much better. For one thing, we were able to drive right through on the Mall Road and through Kulri and Landour Bazaars. At nearly midnight, the shops and restaurants in Library were open and busy. As we got into Kulri, there were fewer people, but still a good number. By the time we got to Landour, there were only a few people on the streets and we met one car and a couple of motorcycles. It is clear that we are on the non-tourist end of the town, which is fine with us! It was good to get home and fall into bed. The Raju family live at Oakville, so they still had a good drive in their small car.

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