Shopping in India is an experience in itself. After dance class today Julia, my dance friend, Odesheva, my interpreter, and I went to the market. I really needed to get clothes that are more suitable for the heat. Western clothes are not made for 120 degree weather; it can be so hot that the sweat will literally evaporate as it hits the surface, so you do not feel like you are sweating that much and dehydration can set in pretty quickly. I have been carrying a liter around with me at all times just in case. But I digress, back to the shopping. We walk into the store and everyone looks at us, which has become the norm for our group and they usher us over to an area to sit down. The walls are lined with fabric and outfits and it is hard to decipher what is what, but the best part is that you don’t have to figure anything out they bring everything to you. There are cushioned seats near the wall and extra plastic seats if you have a lot of people with you. The salesman took everything out in our size so we could see what patterns we liked and let us take everything out of the bag. I can’t lie I was having fun. There were patterns for weddings, work, dinners, and everyday wear. It was so hard to choose among the many patterns so I got about 6 different outfits and only spent $40. It was awesome! After we picked everything out they went to the store and bought us cold drinks to cool us down and had turned the fans on high so that we would not feel warm. My interpreter says that in India the customer is “the king.” We are treated very well because they know that we are giving them money and are treated with more respect because of it. It was pretty nice to not be ignored in a store and to be treated with respect because we are the consumer.
I have not mentioned why I am here in India; the reason is that I would like to learn about Ayurvedic medicine and the health of women. I have met the doctor and she has been teaching all of us yoga for the past two days and tomorrow will be my first interview with her. I am excited to learn and nervous about it too. Bapa says I need to offer her my services in any way that I can and I fear that I will not have anything to give, but I need to let go of my reservations and seize this opportunity. It is not often that someone gets to learn first hand from an Ayurvedic doctor. I will be recording her interviews and if I am lucky I will get to sit in on a patient or two. Maybe she will even teach me some health tips to bring back to my friends and family.