March 11, 2009

Today was the festival of Holi! It was also my birthday…which is actually kind of cool that the two fell on the same day! Because of the festival, it was highly recommended that we didn’t go out into the streets, as Holi tends to get a little out of control. It is the festival of colour. People use all different colours – red, blue, green, yellow, purple, pink – and put them on each others’ faces and clothes! I think that it was normally supposed to be dry powder, however it gets crazy and toxic paints, acid, and led are used. Even our guides told us that it is pretty much an excuse for the male population (especially) to get as publically drunk as possible and touch girls! Soooo….we decided to stay in the hotel!
All four of us in my hotel went to mom and dad’s hotel for the day because they had the amazing hotel! It was actually quite nice. We arrived there around 8:30 and the hotel had a “safe Holi” for those who wanted to participate! It turned out to only be us six plus two key staff…but then we got more staff involved as the time wore on! No other tourists wanted to participate, but it was sure fun! We were all very full of colour! It was a good excuse to ruin clothes I didn’t want to carry home anyway!
After playing Holi for a while, we attempted to play a very tame game of volleyball, however, being the athletic group that we are (not), it was rather unsuccessful! Then, the staff taught us to play cricket! The language barrier created some problems in the understanding process…but I do now have a better idea of what the game is about! It was fun to learn here, where the sport is so important!
Mom and I did work outs (in their beautiful exercise room) before relaxing by the pool with the rest of the group for a large part of the day. My family is pretty used to the sun and being by the pool, and I know how much sun I can handle – however, the other three didn’t do so well with the sun concept – Allison and Scott got pretty burned! I feel awful about it because when you’re not used to doing the pool thing it is hard to judge the sun….uggg…I hate sunburns!
Anyway…we stayed by the pool until 3pm, when we had my little birthday celebration! The hotel made me a cake and brought it out to the pool for us! And, this morning, my crew surprised me with a tub of chocolate ice cream that they bought last night when they went out! There were no candles in the hotel here (for the first time!), so they lit a match and stuck it upside down in the tub of ice cream! It was great!!! We brought the ice cream over to mom and dad’s place so we could eat it with the cake! Now, this is the kicker…the cake that the hotel made me was a PINEAPPLE cake! What are the chances?! At least I had ice cream – and, apparently, the cake was pretty good! J
The other three headed back to our hotel for a few hours before meeting us at a restaurant that was located half-way between our two hotels. Because it was a holiday, there were limited restaurant options. We went to a place called “On the Rocks”…we had a reservation for 7pm (that the hotel made), however, when we got there we were told several different things including that the restaurant wasn’t going to be open at all!! It was funny/annoying. The tendency here is to agree even though they don’t understand or know where you are talking about or speak the same language at all! It can be funny because the “head wobble” really means all of that combined…but a straight answer would be a nice change!!
We did get into the restaurant eventually…not without purchasing a couple of scarves in the shop next door in the mean time, however! I had better decide that I am going to wear scarves with everything when I get home! I have about 20 now, I think!!
The food was good,,.no complaints. I am not eating chicken and rice for a long time after I get home! 😉

P.S. Mom and dad gave me a card that everyone had signed…and in it were two pictures of what my B-Day presents were! I got a new set of BEAUTIFUL pots and pans from mom and dad and grandpa gave me an Electrolux car vacuum thing (that I am sure is in better shape than the vacuum I have in my house!

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