We’re back from our whirlwind trip through Ahmedabad, the desert cities of Rajasthan, Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, and New Delhi. Virtually every day was marked with a four-six hour bus drive, visits to extraordinary palaces and forts, super-careful food and water decisions, unpacking, repacking, snapping endless pictures (I mean endless) and lots of fun shopping.  The textiles over there are so beautiful, colorful, delicate and yes, affordable, that Anuj and I decided on the spot to open a line of credit somewhere, import a warehouse’s-worth of rugs, blankets, tablecloths and pillows, and sell them at a store in downtown Chatham or Pittsfield.   What store?  Ours, naturally.

photo: JohnRobshaw.com

This was pure fantasy, of course, but I’ve been stoking the coals of the store-fantasy for a good year or two now and I’m telling you, sitting in those Indian shops, shelves stocked floor to ceiling with colorful hand-embroidered and block-printed inventory, negotiating prices with the owner (this is part of the process of buying anything in India – a process I’m not terribly good at because I don’t know how to hide my enthusiasm for pieces I would happily overpay for) was the closest I’ve ever been to really imagining what it would be like.

Then we came home and opened two weeks’ worth of bills and remembered why we work 45-50 hour-a-week corporate/office jobs in New York City instead of running a little store in the country that makes no money.

Three days back and it already feels like we never left except for the exhaustion and bad colds we picked up along the way.  I have no photos to post yet, they’re still sitting on our camera because I’m afraid that putting them on my laptop will cause it to freeze up and our only other computer just died so I’m looking for an upload alternative in the form of an external hard drive or an online photo archive company.

We had a great time, and Anuj is breathing easy that I didn’t freak out over the open sewers, poverty, chaos, dust, crowds, or stray dogs, in fact he thinks I fit right in over there (the locals might disagree – I’ve never been stared at so much in my life – nor have I ever been asked to be photographed by strangers in my life!)   That said, we haven’t been upstate in 4 weeks and I miss it badly.  We missed a few snowstorms while we were gone, but there are two hitting Columbia County and the Berkshires this week, and I’m so excited to get up there and play in it!

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