North America | United States of America (USA) | Southern States | Tennessee | Nashville – Countdown to India
My trip preparations are beginning to feel like a NASA launch. An apt comparison, as I am truly going to another world. So many things – Visa, vaccines, proper sandals, the right bag (that will hold enough, yet not be pick-pocket-prone or too big or unwieldy…), to bring a water purifier, bulky and costly as it is, or to risk the sometimes-impure bottled water? and practice, practice, practice! Dancing, that is, in front of my camcorder for objectivity. It’s like hearing your voice on tape – what a disappointment, at least the first few times. So much improvement, so little time! And how will I dance in 85 degree weather and humidity?
Previously I had planned to travel with a friend who would then depart for his own itinerary. Now I’m travelling alone, to a country known for hassling Western women. Thankfully I will be in the more traditional South, with its somewhat more genteel ways.
The Chennai Festival will be in full swing when I arrive – about a full month or more of the best in classical Indian dance and music. There will be so many programs daily it’s impossible to see all but a few.
Already I miss my car and the independence it affords. Soon I will be ensconced in a world in which I can go nowhere without haggling (for a reasonable fare, as the drivers always overcharge foreigners). The smallest thing, i am warned, often becomes a big hassle. A few weeks ago I began having second thoughts….do I really want to do this? For the experience, I told myself – yeah, an experience all right! the cynic inside answers. Surely a former New Yorker from the Lower East side should fear for nothing!