The official bandh (strike) day for Karnataka state is tomorrow, so we are finishing up our marathon internet session today, but after several days of 4-5 hours uploading photos and videos, the multimedia components of our digital travelogues are mostly up-to-date. So next time you have a few hours to spare, we know a great way to spend them :-)
We are still in Mysore, we decided it was easier to remain here, with friends, than try to travel elsewhere in Karnataka to finish our uploading, plus the internet would only be slower and more expensive outside of a (relatively) major city like Mysore. We are probably completely grounded by the strike tomorrow, as in Monday, but assuming that everything is back on track for Tuesday, we will, ideally, swing by the post office quickly to unload a few kgs of America-bound boxes, before taking either a train or bus to the northwestern beach side town of Gokarna.
We have heard from a fellow American traveler that it is possible to extend your stay in India beyond the restricted maximum of 180 days consecutive (regardless of actual visa length) bu registering at a SSP (some sort of Police Superintendent), so we plan on looking into that, since it would free up our schedule somewhat considerably, if we didn't have the mandatory May 11 departure date (6 months after we arrived, back on November 11), but instead could stay as late as August 28, when our 1-year visa officially expires. We don't know how easy this actually is to accomplish, but we're going to look into it on Tuesday, though either way is fine by us, it's just nicer not to have a deadline when possible!
Tomorrow will most likely be spent reading, since even auto-rickshaw drivers and taxis will be involved in the strike, and every business we have been in/talked to is planning on being closed, so we just hope that finding food isn't too difficult, but we may stock up at dinner tonight just in case, especially since once we leave Dhvanyaloka it may be quite a while until we can take advantage of the luxury of a refrigerator and microwave! Once we mail these packages we will be down to only 2 bags, one large internal-frame pack, and one backpack, so every book we read is just that much less weight we have to lug around, so there is definitely a dual incentive to tear through our books; Anderson's parents sent us several (requested) books via Luke, so Anderson has been cruising through the Wheel Of Time series, and now that Liz is done with one of our once-many Ruskin Bond books, she is diving back into David Eddings' Belgariad series, which makes us both "high fantasy" nerds, but swords-and-sorcery worlds do make India seem just a little bit more "normal!"
Peace from Mysore - A&E