Rural and Turbans
Trip Start Feb 09, 2012
11Trip End Feb 26, 2012
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Today we took a jeep ride into the countryside to visit some small nearby rural hamlets. The people in this area seem happier than anywhere else so far. Almost everyone - men, women, and especially children - waved and smiled as we passed by. We got out to walk around at a few spots, which gave us the chance to interact with people in a much more personal way than we have elsewhere.
The children just loved getting their picture taken and then looking at the digital images afterwards. We got a peek inside a few houses, and saw how various spices and other crops are grown and harvested. One little girl motioned to me to come into her house to see their "machine", which was an ancient-looking sewing machine with a manual foot pedal. It was the only substantial piece of furniture in the spotlessly clean one-room home. A boy held out a clenched fist to give me something, and when I extended my palm, he opened his fingers to give me a handful of sesame seeds, coupled with a mischievious grin.
It turns out that all the land we drove through today is owned by the family who owns our hotel. The families are either employed by the owner, or rent land from him. It seems they are all comfortable and content, and Sam said that the sense of community is strong - they help each other when needed.
Our last stop was at a Hindu temple where the priest and a few other turbanned men were sitting on the steps, smoking and shooting the breeze. Inside the temple were a large number of painted plaster horses, left by pilgrims who had once prayed there with a wish or request, and then came back to dedicate a horse once their wish was fulfilled. Before loading us back into the jeeps, our drivers pulled out a picnic basket and served us hot tea and biscuits. Yet another of the nice surprise touches to which we've been treated on the trip.
But the day wasn't finished yet. Before dinner, Sam gave us a turban tying demonstration. He started with a piece of brightly coloured starched cotton that was 9 metres long, and somehow fashioned it into a a funky shape, leaving about half a metre of fabric trailing down in the back. He explained that this was more of a festive style for wearing to weddings or parties, as opposed to the casual, every day turbans we see men wearing on the streets. To complete the look, he even slipped on a beautiful long brocade jacket. Who knew there was such a thing as a party turban?!