I am in the Gujarat capital Amdavad spending a few days relaxing here before continuing on towards Mumbai. It's a nice city to spend some time. I've been using couchsurfing here and my hosts have made the experience. Of course I have also been eating plenty of delicious Gujarati Thalis.
I've visited a friend at the architectural university wandered about the lovely campus, attended some his lecture, saw an exhibition of Krishna paintings. I saw the Amdavad ni Gufa - an underground art gallery designed by the architect Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, it exhibits works of the Indian artist Maqbool Fida Husain.
Amdavad is a cool place. Its got areas of new development lines of global brand shops and such but it manages to maintain personality and a nice atmosphere. I went to the old city today which was rammed with the sunday market. Crazy, people everywhere in the street, a bit smelly and polluted, people interested in my bike. Lots of stalls selling sarees, clothes, coconuts, tat, belts, watches etc. The market under the bridge is rammed. People walking into me and staring at me. But I feel happy and people are friendly. Its a little confusing why I attract so much attention.
India has been great. A real jewel of a country. It's got bags of everything- personality, culture,architecture, contradictions and hypocrisy, poverty and wealth. I'm having fun here. It's also frustrating and confusing at times. The cultural difference is more stark. Dealing with attracting so much attention is a challenge. I'm starting to face it more calmly. It's an exercise in tolerance. People are always friendly and generally just interested in me. The disk brakes attract a lot of attention on the bike.
Anyway must go now. My plans are unclear at the moment. Money constrictions will play their part in my decisions as will my relationship with my girlfriend. Things will become clear as I go along.