17 April 2016

Chennai, Again (Yes, Again)

When things weren't what I had expected at the ashram, I couldn't take it. The negative energy there was overwhelming; I knew I needed to leave. I didn't want to travel more; I realized I was sick of traveling and moving around.

I wanted to go back to my home-away-from-home in India, Chennai.

I was originally connected with Ash via my friend Graham and also the Ultra List. He invited me into his home, where I stayed with his super sweet parents and him. Ash and I went on humid, sweaty, hot runs every morning, ate at excellent restaurants around Chennai, geeked out on running, did a few tourist stuff, watched some movies. It was relaxing and super mellow. I had a nice time.

I cancelled some plane tickets, and booked a flight back to Chennai, where I was reminded that traveling isn't just about seeing stuff.

It's about the people you meet.

It's about learning more about yourself (ahem, that would be yoga here).

ash is sponsored by this protein powder....and they put him on the container!
Ash and I might not ever hang out again (though we hopefully will meet up at some races, if he doesn't end up coming to NYC....though I will likely be back to visit him in the next year or two!) so why not spend more time with someone that I think is absolutely awesome?

So I went back.

We had our routines. Hot sweaty runs, followed by fresh juice. We showered and ate porridge, then Ash napped (and I did once). Getting up to run at 4, 430, 5 am means that a nap is often essential! We'd drive out to do errands, and head out to lunch at some delicious place. With my stomach falling apart, we stuck to a lot of non-spicy eateries - some truly delicious ones! (Bombay Brasserie, you've won my heart! Your rose vanilla milkshake was the best....) We'd go back to AC or to a cafe or watch a movie - something indoors mid-day. The combination of the high heat and the high humidity just made mid-days too oppressive to be out. We tried one day and went to some temples, and nearly melted. We hid in an AC'd cafe until the heat died down enough to explore. In the evening, we'd get ice cream and stroll on the beach, or hit up a cafe, and get some delicious dinner. We might watch a running movie after dinner, if I wasn't falling asleep in our car ride back.
kurta shopping. showing me everything in a bright color in a size small mid-thigh length kurta.


We spent one day shopping - I bought sarees for me and a relative, bought some gorgeous sequined blouses I plan on wearing at Burning Man. I bought more bangles that I really need (but oh how I do love them!) and got my hands hennaed. We went to a nightclub after and danced to popular Indian and American music, and we were the only ones drinking juice. (I have not felt like drinking at all since I've been here in India.)

I had such a good time w Ash, just talking, creating an awesome friendship, enjoying running with the different runners of Chennai. I didn't want to leave - I had a sad lump in my throat when I was at the airport, and kind of wished my flight was cancelled so I could spend one more day hanging out with his family, running with his friends, drinking muskmelon juice, talking about who belongs in the Mount Rushmore of ultrarunning.

But travel is about bits and pieces, and it was time to move on. I came to India to do yoga, and I left to study at Kranti Yoga, an amazing yoga center, so at least, I left something amazing to be somewhere amazing.

1 comment:

Optimistic Existentialist said...

You are incredibly inspiring!!