I’ve just arrived in India where I’ll be spending a whole month studying yoga. I did my research carefully and found myself what appeared to be an upmarket serviced apartment five minutes walk away from the yoga school. Early mornings yoga, the rest of the day doing a little exploring and lots of writing at my desk in my comfortable apartment. That was the plan. But the “apartment” is not quite what I imagined. I’m not sure where hotel room ends and serviced apartment begins, but this is little more than a hotel room. It’s clean, the bed is comfortable, and there’s a hot water shower.
But the table at which I had imagined devoting myself to writing for large chunks of the day for a whole month is a wonky slab of formica that you have to pull down from the wall, and the curtains have to be kept closed because nestling up to the windows is the skeleton of a half-built house. Oh, and it’s noisy! People shouting at the reception desk down the hall, traffic thundering along the main road, babies crying, dogs barking, birds screeching, Bollywood music blaring from a radio somewhere, and last night I fell asleep to the sound of joyful chanting from a group of yoga hippies in a neighbouring building. (You have permission to shoot me if I turn into a joyfully chanting yoga hippy.)
Yet I love love love it here. I love my leafy neighbourhood full of trendy cafes catering to the yoga crowd, the friendly people, the cool of the mornings and evenings (you can sleep in pyjamas under a blanket, what a treat after the sweat-drenched sheets of Borneo), and I love the noise and the chaos and the colour, and hopefully this exciting new environment will stimulate the writing juices. I can’t see myself doing much work in my room but there is a roof terrace cafe upstairs where I’ve just had a breakfast of potato curry, coconut chutney, dhosas, and very strong, very sweet tea, and I am going to take my computer up there later today and see if the cafe has the potential to become my new writer’s room. I’ll keep you posted.