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Sanctuary

Mysore, Karnataka
3/1/08: 

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, the part without a warm blanket. It is cold up in the hills something I did not expect in India. Usually, the benefit of sleeping with a significant other is snuggling and sharing body heat. Usually. My boyfriend and I played a tug of war for the minuscule blanket provided for us. Besides freezing for most of the night, I was having a hard time breathing due to the noxious fumes permeating the air from the recently renovated room. Although I was eager to escape the room in the morning, I was in no rush to leave Madikeri. Given the frequent buses and the fact Mysore was only a 3 hours away, we had time to enjoy a leisurely breakfast.

Mysore is the 2nd largest city in the Indian state of Karnataka but my 1st impressions was less than grand. Perhaps it was because of my less than stellar mood from feeling sick from being imprisoned in chemicals for the past few nights.

Alex & I spoke too soon by saying there was no longer a need to brace ourselves for an assault from touts like we did in Thailand and Vietnam. The bus stations in India are chaotic in its own right. Three seconds after stepping off the bus in Mysore and started to walk toward the target guesthouse someone shouted, “Marijuana!” at us.

We checked into a chemical and fume-free room but something always seems to be missing. Today, it was a screen to cover the window and mosquito net to cover the bed. The boy at the desk smiled, “No problem!” Within a few minutes, the boy knocked on the door and presented us with his solution to the problem: another sheet. I used the extra sheet to snuggle with during my power nap.

IMG_1077In the afternoon, Alex & I explored. We came upon a Catholic church, St Philomenas. Alex, per usual, wanted to check out the interior. After touring the church in Mangalore, I felt it was safe to step inside with Alex. For many, walking into a building like this is a sanctuary. For me, as soon I stepped the feeling of claustrophobia overwhelmed me despite the spacious interior and vaulted ceilings. I guess I’m not fully cured from the trauma from a Catholic upbringing. Why does Alex feel the need to torture me? He is traumatized from growing up in the Mormon religion. Sadly even if there was a Mormon temple around, non-members are not allowed inside.

I had looked forward to getting a good night’s sleep. Upon check-in, we were concerned about a few mosquitos that could possibly fly in at night. Little did we know another creature would invade our space: a mouse. I woke up to it rustling of plastic on the nightstand. Turning on the lights, I saw a hole in the bag of nuts and a few poo pellets. The furry critter scurried across the floor into a hole in the wall.

Alex got up to my insistence making a makeshift patch in the hole in the wall. While I put the extra sheet to good use by wrapping myself in a cocoon head to toe to prevent mice or mosquitos from biting me in my sleep. Alex wanted to share. I still felt bitter about him exposing me to the bitter cold the previous night and left him to be exposed to the possibility of malaria or rabies tonight. Alex had his sanctuary in the church earlier today. I vastly preferred having the sanctuary of my cocoon for the night.

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