After awakening with violent food poisoning for nearly the third time in three weeks, I finally had a friend haul me to the hospital a couple of mornings ago. It was the most efficient medical experience of my life. I slumped into the emergency room weepy eyed and heaving with nausea. There was a cluster of doctors and technicians standing idly next to the tiny reception counter. They took me behind the curtain just next to the desk, where I laid and let a pretty nurse pet my head while a doctor with kind eyes looked briefly at a few things on my body, announced me poisoned, and told me he was going to give me a shot which would stop the vomiting (I nodded, offering my arm), and some tablets to take for the next few days. The hospital was filled with lovely nurses in beautiful nursing saris. While it did feel quite clean, it wasn’t as culturally sterile as Western medicine can feel. The ceilings of the building glittered and the rooms felt cozy and smelled sweet. I was in and out of the hospital, feeling surprisingly much better almost immediately, within a mere twenty minutes, having spent around seven dollars in all.
This New Year’s Eve was my first to spend completely sober in a long while. I went to a party at Shoeb’s Crib. Shoeb is a beautiful Mysore native whose taste for art and fine fabrics fascinates and inspires me. His home is old and Indian and filled with paintings and candles. I played some tunes, met some nice people, watched some beautiful women dance with fire, and then I ducked out at eleven forty five to get home in time to ring in the new year completely solo before tucking in for an early practice this morning. There were only a few of us at practice, and since I take a while longer than most, I found myself alone in meditation at sunrise, under the glowing holiday lights and rickety “Happy New Year” banner dangling from the ceiling. Before leaving me to my finishing asanas, the Guruji gave me my teacher’s training certificate, both of us exchanging our thank yous and yes of courses, and then he accidentally locked my shoes in the hallway on his way out. I took myself out to breakfast shoeless, because you can do that here.