1/13/11 - Shopping and Flight Home

Last Morning in India

Drawing back the curtains of our hotel room in the morning, I saw another of those little Hindu temples that we had gotten so used to.  Ah, India! 

Then we went down to breakfast… at the All-American Diner.  I guess the gods wanted us to start to acclimate back to the US.  I may mention here that the hardest part of returning to the US was no longer starting the day with an amazing buffet of spicy Indian dishes.  “Where are my idli and sambar?” I would say to myself plaintively.

A Day of Shopping

We had planned this as a day of shopping, so that we would not have to carry things around with us all over India.  Of course, that plan was only partially successful, since we seemed to buy things wherever we went. 

Our first stop was the Central Cottage Industries Emporium.  This was a government-run venture that featured an amazing collection of arts and crafts from all over India, in a huge multi-story building.  In fact I never made it to the top floor or two.  I was especially drawn to the textiles, and made several purchases that I cannot divulge since they are presents for people who may read this text.

For lunch, we went to a South Indian restaurant that Shobhana knew.  The food was wonderful and for the first time, we saw the traditional way of making South Indian coffee.  The milk is foamed by pouring it back and fourth between two cups, with the waiter holding the cups 3 feet apart!  This procedure was clearly both an art and a form of entertainment.  I think that someone could open a South Indian coffee house chain in the US and it would compete successfully with Starbucks.  I have included a video that Tricia made, although she turned her camera sideways.

After lunch, we went to Dilli Haat, a crafts marketplace with stalls from all over India.  In addition to browsing among the vendors, we enjoyed a dance performance.  Shobhana also found a speaker of Lamkang, a language that she studies.

Dinner with Devalina

Devalina invited us to have dinner with her family, and we gratefully accepted the invitation.  She, her husband, and her two daughters were all very hospitable.  Develina had also helped us with the trip planning – she connected us with the travel agency, and lent Shobhana an Indian cellphone at the start of the trip.  So she was kind of like the backbone of our travels.

When we arrived at her home, Devalina started off by warming us with tea.  Her husband carried on the good work by opening a bottle of wine.

Devalina’s cook also showed me how she made paratha bread – it was cool to see it being baked on the stovetop.  It is a flat circle of bread that poofs up in the heat.  Dinner included many dishes, all of them delicious – maybe my favorite was paneer tikka with a lovely grilled flavor.

Because our flight was delayed, Devalina’s family patiently visited with us until about 10 p.m.  Then we took our departure.

The Flight Home

Our flight ended up not leaving until 3 a.m. of January 13.  We were so tired!  Here we are at the gate, waiting…

Once underway, everything proceeded smoothly.

We arrived in Chicago at about 7 a.m., and got on a flight to Dallas at about 9.  We arrived around 11:30 a.m.  In Dallas, Tricia’s husband kindly picked us all up.  

When I got home, my animals were happy to see me!  Here is Pierre enjoying the silk scarves from Mysore.

The End!  Or – Until my next adventure!