Sunday, February 3, 2013

Unsmiling West meets smiling East.

En route to the airport we pass a traffic accident. One driver , surrounded by a group of passers by, clambers onto the roof of his car and starts to hold forth on how stupid the other driver is.
At the airport gift shop a flower arrangement that stops us in our tracks.
After the sounds and smells of Delhi the Lufthansa cabin a haven of peace and tranquility. 

The stewardess says the wine has good ' mouth feel ' . She means taste.

On the far aisle an extremely affable Chinese gentleman in a tightly tailored suit made from a blue and black checkerboard material. The checkerboard squares are roughly one inch in size. A black shirt, white tie, canary yellow socks and red patent leather shoes add to the formality. He drinks a prodigious amount of neat Scotch from a tumbler throughout  the ( long ) flight. He smiles a lot despite missing a number of teeth. Can he be going to Germany on business ? What will the staid burgers of Munich make of his attire ? What business could he possibly be in ? He's still smiling when we land. We smile back. He's last seen being  questioned at immigration by an unsmiling frontier guard.
Home. ' The font ' unwraps the Kanchipuyamjari silk. '' It didn't look that bright in India ! " . The perils of buying things when travelling.


  1. After all your time with the Jain lady, who would have guessed a flower arrangement (of a Jain symbol) would stop you in your tracks!

    We have enjoyed your pictures of India, and wonder if "the font" got the special spices home.

  2. Bet it feels good to be back in your own nest. Very interesting trip for us arm chair travellers.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  3. I have so enjoyed the armchair tour of India, brightening up the gloom of an Aberdeen January.
    Thank you Angus!
    PS That silk would look even brighter set against granite.

  4. Having never traveled to that part of the world, I have to admit that at first I did not think that the flower arrangement was a 'Jain symbol' until 'Riley' mentioned in their comment that it was. But I've really enjoyed the glimpse of India, and the unique and unusual people and moments of your trip! And I think the silk is really lovely!

  5. Flower arrangements and other swastikas have been known around the world for yonks, powerful and positive symbols, the Nazi one was/is powerful, but anything but positive:/, also that one is on point, while the flower arrangement-type ones are up-down-let-right. Bright silk....when you wrote about the Font going shopping for it I felt tempted to say NO! It WILL look wrong, like a sombrero in Derby!.
    Thank you for the trip to India! Enjoyed it lots.

  6. The flower arrangement is an auspicious symbol, as Riley said, for the Jain as well as Hindu and Buddhist.
    Native Americans use a like symbols, sometimes opposite, as well. You can see it on older Navajo pieces, jewelry, baskets, rugs but is no longer used by them because of negative connotations. It is like being robbed of part of your culture.
    Thanks for taking us along on your adventure.

  7. I am currently reading a wonderful book by Erik Larson "In the Garden of Beasts" - the story takes place in Berlin in 1933 and describes American ambassador William Dodd and his family's time there as the nightmare of Hitler got underway. An excellent account. Those flowers gave me pause as well.

    The Chinese gentleman was certainly secure! Perhaps he was fashion forward and we may see gentlemen dressed similarly soon....... or not......

  8. "mouth feel".
    Such an accurate definition for "taste".

  9. The silk is bright but undoubtedly will look lovely when the "Font" wears it.

  10. Wondering if the driver on top of the car "mouthing off" was on the right side of the law. Usually it's the one who is wrong that makes the most noise.
    I am always learning something new from you I know that the swastikas symbol is also used in several Indian faiths/beliefs.
    Now regarding the Chinese gentleman, I wonder about him....hmmmm....
    Please tell the Font that I like her silk.

  11. That flower arrangement is a bit disturbing, but the silk is beautiful. :)

    Janelle, Maggie Mae and Max