April 30, 2003

Delhi Belly

So after months of good health in India. I finally sucumbed to Delhi belly... In Delhi of all places... Kept me in bed for a couple days. I got better and then.. Somehow tweaked my neck and spent today on anti-inflamatory drugs with lots of hot packs... Shesh...

And for some reason I don't feel down about this... Not sure why... Maybe it's because I don't have any plans or anything else that needs doing and taking care of myself is actually a really nice thing to do... (despite having to.)

I spent a day (a few days ago) doing a Delhi tour. Mostly it sucked. Not very interesting things to see (Indira Gadhi's House for example.) I think most of the sites were geared towards Indian tourists. The Lotus Temple was really lovely!!! First time I've really felt the power of a pyramidal structure... and it isn't really a pyramid... Just has that magical sense of space inside... Other than that we drove past most of the other interesting places (Red Fort and the tall phalus thingy... ah... tower.. I don't remember the name)

Other than that. I've been reading, watching TV, being sick, walking around markets, surfing the net, eating good food. Has actually been really relaxing.

I'm very excited to leave for Thailand in a couple days. I just confirmed my flight and although the time has changed, the flight is still supposed to go. Yay. I'm esp. excited about learning to Scuba dive. Anyone out there know a good Scuba school on Ko Tao?

As for SARS, I expect I'll extend my stay in Thailand for an extra month and I really hope that a cure/treatment has been found. Because it will be very hard for me to miss Hong Kong, China... Will see as the time comes.

Much Love!

-- Bindu

Posted by binduwavell at 10:12 AM | Comments (2)

April 19, 2003

Northern India Galleries

I just uploaded a bunch of new pictures of my tour of northern india

Hope you all enjoy, I have been!

Posted by binduwavell at 05:25 AM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2003

Temple Tour

After several days in Delhi dealing with my Indian and Thai visas, I headed off to Agro..... I mean Agra ;) Mostly a horrid town, although I discovered on my second (last day) that the warrens around the Taj are pretty cool... Still major hastle from the Touts... Shesh... Anyway, I did a proper tour of Fateh Pur Sikri, The Taj Mahal and The Red Fort. Quite amazing... Esp. the Taj which did not fit my expectations at all, but felt so magical inside... Amazing... Hard to put into words. There are all these inlaid flowers that are made with semi-precious stones. The ones outside are nice. The ones inside are breath-taking. They use the grain of the stones to create wonderfull textures. Too bad there is no photography inside (although I have a big photo gallery, from this trip, that will include some shots of the outside in the works.) I stayed at the Red Fort so that I could see the view of the Taj and sunset. Alas they close half an hour BEFORE sunset :( On the positive side, the guard that gave me the bad news took me into one of the fenced off areas... Aparently the guy who comissioned the Taj was imprisoned in the Red Fort by his son. Since his eye sight was bad, one of his daugters put a huge diamond in one of the walls of this fenced off area. Apparently the diamond projected the Taj into the room so that papa could see his monument to love. Very cool! Too bad the diamond wasn't there anymore ;)

From Agro, I headed to Orchha (near Jhansi which is a travel hub for Khajuraho) for a couple days. Very nice small town with some great old palaces. Not anything like the fancy stuff at Agro, but you can climb around and find secret passages and there are some nice mosaics (pictures in the works.)

From Orchha I came to Khujaraho. The temples here are AMAZING... At least the sculptures. There are a lot of erotic sculptures, and many many more that are not erotic, gods, nymphs, etc. I went on a day trip today to see a Tiger Reservation (not very exciting really, no tigers today ):

Tomorrow I'm off to Varanasi, I hope to take a boat ride on the Ganges at sunrise. Chill for a couple days and then head back to Delhi. Not sure if I'll just hang in Delhi for the following couple weeks or make it up to Simla and Manali which should be cooler and mellower than Delhi... I really want to do that because it is DAMN HOT here (no I TOLD YOU SOs please ;) Just not sure I can handle the train ride up there.. Will see if there is a good express.

Posted by binduwavell at 06:36 AM | Comments (2)

April 06, 2003

More Galleries

I just uploaded two more photo galleries (since the two earlier today :)

Munnar 2 has some really lovely landscapes.

Kerala 2 has more interesting stuff from the last few days.

I think both of these galleries are really worth a look, I hope you do too :)

Lots of Love,

-- Bindu

Posted by binduwavell at 07:29 AM | Comments (2)

I Karalot

I spent 8 days in Munnar, which was beautifull! The first morning I was there I took a Rickshaw to a local National Park where they have Nilgiri Tahr (some kind of Goat/Dear that is only found in that park and in Switzarland.) I also went to a tea factory and saw the whole CTC process... Damn! What a way to treat such a lovely plant :)

I met a couple (Dave & Tara) from England in Munnar and we spent quite a few days hiking together, seeing sights, etc. We traveled back to Kochin a few days ago and have been taking in the sights here. Yesterday we took a day trip to Athrapally where there's a great double waterfall (pictures of waterfall and more from around Kochin will be forthcomming :)

I'm taking a 3:35am flight to Delhi tonight so that I can take care of some Visa stuff and check out the sights up north. It has been so wonderfull here, I'm sure I'll miss it and especially I'll miss Dave and Tara's company. And I'm looking forward to seeing new things. I hope it isn't too hot and if it is, I'll head up into the hills (Manali, here I come :)

On a tangential note, I'm concerned about the SARS issue. Esp. since I'm planning on going to Hong Kong in 3 months and to Bangkok in 1 month... I really hope that this gets sorted quickly! Yikes!!! I also hope that we get better information on how to prevent infection and how to treat infection if it arrises.

Lots of Love to you all!

-- Bindu

Posted by binduwavell at 03:42 AM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2003

Munnar Landing

I got up at 5am to catch a bus to Munnar (hill station in Kerala) this morning. When I got to the bus station, they said, oh the bus has been canceled today... Shesh... So I got a taxi :)

It is sooo beautufull here! About 220 square miles of tea plantation. All of it is owned by TATA. Looking out over miles and miles of tea is really quite beautufull (as cultivated landscapes go.) There are also some lovely big trees with purple flowers (I'll try and get some photos :) in the middle of the tea gardens.

The village is based around a baazar. Lots of fruits and veg, etc. There is a private tourist info office run by Mr. Joseph Iyer (sp?) who also has some really lovely cottages on his property outside of town. He's a historian by training, although he worked on Electronics (TVs, Radios, etc) for 40 something years. After he retired, he setup shop as a tourist info guy. He gets rave reviews in all the big tourist guides (Lonely Planet, Let's Go, Rough Guide, etc.) Anyway, I'm staying in a very nice (simple) cottage on his property. There is a really lovely garden with roses and other lovely flowers... How cool!

Today, I'm exploring town, tomorrow, I'm planning on heading out to visit some tea and coffee plantations.

Lots of Love!

-- Bindu

Posted by binduwavell at 12:37 AM | Comments (1)

March 20, 2003

Photo Galleries

I finally got it together to publish some Photo Galleries from my trip.

Hope you all enjoy!

Posted by binduwavell at 06:07 AM | Comments (5)

March 18, 2003

Kerala with a good book and a cup of chai

I'm not really in the mood to write a travel update (see my previous post.) But if I don't do it now, I think I'll forget some of the more juicy recent stuff so here goes a short (hopefully) travel update.

Had a lovely time in Goa. Good company, beaches (Vagator was my favorite that I visited), food, markets and motorcycle rides up the coast.

I took the train to Kerla because I hoped it would be even sweeter, but alas, I think my expectations were inflated. Or maybe I just haven't seen the right parts of Kerla.

I hit a woman who was begging from me... I didn't know I had it in me... Actually I pushed her, but still... She kept grabbing my clothes really hard and demanding money. Every time I shouted at her to leave me alone (I did start by requesting nicely) she would smile an evil smile, look at my crotch and lick her lips... Or say she loved me and call me her husband... Her husband/boyfriend played the good cop, he kept saying sorry and asking for money... Every time I walked away she would grab me or step in front of me... I have always thought that in such a situation I would just be incredibly clear verbally... and it would work... I was and it didn't... Yuck!

OK now that I have that off my chest, I'll tell you the better stuff. The spice and rice markets are nice, but not as "amazing" as I had hoped. You know how a trip can be made by the people you meet? Well, I met a really sweet couple from Canada in Kochi. I had a nasty belly and went to a fancy hotel for some comfort food, and bumped into this couple. We ended up talking for 5 hours. Then having dinner together the following night. They have been teaching English in Taiwan and Japan... Hmm... I wonder... (they gave me some good tips in case I want to make a go of it, sounds quite tempting actually.)

Now, I'm staying in a nice house (Dilip's cousin's shared rental) in a small village on the south east edge of the backwaters. Actually its about 1km from the backwaters,and there isn't much access. The village is about 1.5km away and doesn't have much to offer in the way of stores, but the people feel very friendly and open.

The rental is shared by some associates of Dilip's cousin. They (Jacob and Bobby) have been incredibly generous in introducing me to the local area, people, food, etc and helping to plan activities here.

I got back from a 22-hour house-boat trip this morning. Which was lovely in some ways, and a bit crazt in others (the engine broke down and took 3 hours to repair and then the captain crashed into a wall at low speed this morning and bent the front of the boat.) The food was great, the sunset and sunrise were staggering. The two guys on the boat Rajesh and Saji were very nice, although I wish we would have been able to communicate better.

This afternoon, Bobby told me about the GW's 48-hour deadline... I fear for us all.

Posted by binduwavell at 10:36 AM | Comments (1)

March 08, 2003

Goan Awal

It's been too long! So much to report and yet another full day... at least a day away from the computer... full with the beach and swimming, and poi, and motorcycle rides up the coast to find a restaurant run by a German lady :)

My last few weeks in Pune were quite intense, had short and sweet relationship. Worked on my friend, Dilip's, internet cafe and had my last two wisdome teach pulled, one at a time, one week apart. Also tried to go for a tandem Paragliding flight a few times (with Dilip) but the wind wasn't right.

After being in the commune (resort) for a while I definately started feeling how much I create a daily schedule... I started getting very bored...

I took a bus from Pune to Panchgani (sp?) for a few days at an realy sweat Eco Camp... Tents overlooking a beautifull ravine! It was quiet a magical experience. I got to the bus station early and hoped to get an earlier bus, but that didn't happen so I ended up sitting arround for two hours watching the life of a metropolitan Indian bus station... Heh... Then 3 hours on the deulux bus (yeah right)... And get to Panchgani... I started on the 10 minute walk to the camp, halfway there someone calls my name. A paraglider I had met a few weeks before was driving into town in the Eco Camp Jeep for grocaries... So I hitched a lift to camp and we caught up with good home made chai on their porch (what an amazing view!!!) The wind came up and we rushed off so I could have a tandem flight... WOW!!! It was amazing... It wasn't very long, but was enough to pique (sp?) my interest in learning to Paraglide... Afterwards, Gerard (french tandem pilot who took my up) invited a bunch of us to dinner at a fancy local hotel... Or should I say the fancy local hotel... He had given the managers free flights and in return they gave everyone dinner and a movie... James Bond in comfy leather couches... Somehow, not very Indian... but it was a blast...

The next few days were relaxing... The trip to Goa was a bit of a fiasco... Took a Taxi for 3 hours over the mountains to Khed. Then waited for two hours for my train. No trains went through the station until the exact time of my train. I was so impressed with the timelyness that I got on the train... Ooops... wrong train. Four hours later on the slowest train in the world I got off at Ratnagiri, so that I could call the cab driver I had booked so he didn't drive the 1 hour to pick me up and then not find me... Wasn't sure if I would have to stay there overnight or not. Ended up getting a ticket for 6:20pm... The train finally arived at 8:20pm... Shesh... The rest of the journey was short and sweet... I slept the whole way :)

Spent the night in Panaji and then came to Candolim. Have been here for a couple days... More levels of relaxation... Playing poi on the beach. Eating yummy food. Went for a lovely moonlight walk on the beach last night... Then the moon dissapeared... not sure how that happened. At first it was bright white and then it just got oranger and oranger (is that a word :)... Then it was gone... The stars were still out, and we could still see the lights of the boats out on the ocean... It was back when I woke up in the middle of the night...

I have some pictures, but am finding it hard to find somewhere where I can upload them. Will keep trying to get them posted.

Tons of love to you all!

-- Bindu

Posted by binduwavell at 01:49 AM | Comments (1)

February 02, 2003

Remember Shakti

I went to the Remember Shakti concert (John McLaughlin - Guitar, Zakir Hussain - Tabla, U. Shrinivas - Mandolin & V. Selvaganesh - Kanjira) a couple nights ago. Totally amazing you should all go see them if they are in your neck of the woods :)

The previous week I saw Prem Joshua, who also rocked! The laser show was a bit much since the thing kept shooting in my eyes, but the music was great!

Getting the tickets for the Remember Shakti concert was a lesson in what India is like. My roomate (more on that later) and I went to the local spice market where they were supposed to be selling tickets, but they were closed (at least the ticket office was)... "Come back in 45 minutes" we were told... So rather than taking both of our time, I decided to get tickets for the both of us. An hour or so later I walked back there and they said, oh sorry we sold out yesterday... Damn... So as I'm walking out I hear some people in a rickshaw talking about tickets and I pop my head in and tell them the tickets are sold out... No problem they say, we just have to go to The University Of Pune where the concert is being held and we can buy tickets, do I want to share the ride? How cool is that, so 30 minutes in a rickshaw through what I think would pass as pretty main roads here, and we get to the Uni, buy tickets and ride back for another 30 minutes.

Now about the room-mate situation. Pretty soon (following day maybe) after my previous post I got fed up with dealing with the rental agents here and went out on my own. I found a posting in the welcome center at the "resort" that was recent and suggested that interested parties should stop by before 11am.. It was 2pm already. I figured I stop by just in case. Amazingly Kish (the owner) was there for 2 minutes and we happened to be there at the same time. He has a really nice two bedroom apt. nearish to the resort (at the Woods for those of you in the know :). I took it on the spot, and have been really happy with the whole setup.

A few days ago, Kish (Avalon) and his GF Neera (Michele) left for Goa and they rented their second room to a woman from Italy. She's here for a 21 day training, so is not really going to be arround much.

So I have this really nice apt. with a modern kitchen, washer, dryer, TV, etc... mostly to myself!!! Yay!!!

Kundalini continues to be good, more silence and less fantasizing about romance :) I have also tried the AUM Meditation a couple of times. It's quite intense, but so far I haven't found it "meditative"... 12 stages over 2 1/2 hours... The initial ones take lots of energy!!!

The first time I did AUM, my glasses broke, so I had to go buy new ones (I'm sooo glad I brought a spare pare with me :) $100 for glasses that would have cost at least $300 in the states... Definately some benefits to this country!!! I'm having the old ones mended, but doubt they will last long since the bridge snapped.

Now for something completely different. Have you ever heard of an Ego Search? If not I bet most of you have done one, and if not you will :) The idea is that you go to one of the big search engines Google or Altavista for example and put in your own name. Search the net for yourself... it's called an Ego Search... I think I have discovered a new height to this ego searching phenomena ;) One of my roomates from college (Crosby) came across an article about those infamouse "orange people" written by an old friend of mine... Anyway Crosby mentioned it because the article makes some brief reference to me... If that isn't enough reason for you to read the article ;) it is a really interesting and worth reading. What's more, Tim (Yogesh) is writing a book about the whole life of a commune kid so there should be more eventually.

Oh and did I mention that Crosby is getting married!!!! My good friends Eric and Heather are also getting married!!!! Congratulations you guys!!! I'm so happy for you!!!!!!!

Wishing lots of love and peace to everyone out there!

-- Bindu

Posted by binduwavell at 10:18 PM | Comments (7)

January 21, 2003

Meditation Resort

OK, so I was going to go to a wedding in Delhi, but the wedding is tomorrow and I only just got in touch with Gopesh (my friend who invited me) this evening. All trains are booked and the flights cost way too much $$$... In a way I'm really bummed, because I would have really enjoyed meeting Gopesh's family and also, I imagine that Hindi weddings in India are huge affairs. At least I'll get to meet his wife since she is comming back here with him in early Feb. Also, I will visit Delhi later in my trip as that is my departure city for Thailand.

Last night I was walking to a friends house for a Japanese party when I ran into a wedding procession. Holly crap!!! It was night time, but there were all these guys with huge lanterns on their heads (too bad I didn't have my camera.) Very loud wonderfull music, dancing in the street (totally screwing up traffic.) and very loud firecrackers!!!! Yikes... Fun though.

So I'm still in the cheap ($18/week) apt near the commune. Lots of people were here for the death day celebration (Jan 19th) and are leaving now, so I hope to find a much nicer place soon. I have an apointment with a reputable agent tomorrow. I'm currently thinking that I'll spend a month more here and then head out to Goa. I have heard that a really nice apt will cost between $100 and $200 per month! (Which I'm happy about :)

A couple people have asked via email about my dialy routine, so far it looks roughly like this:

Get up between 9:30 and 10:30 in the morning.
Head over to the "Resort" for some samosa and tea
Goto Teartha Zen Garden and read
Have lunch
I started playing with Poi (colorfull spinny things, the guy that was here with juggling clubs left so I'm taking up a new sport until I can find something to juggle :) today, so I will probably be doing that for an hour or two in the afternoon.
Shower and change for white robe
White robe
Get changed back into streat clothes
Dinner (maybe in the commune or maybe out.)
If something is going on at the resort (like dancing) then hang out
Usually get to bed by midnight or 1am (just like home)

I usually find some time to do some emails in the middle of all that hard work too :)

Kundalini is really good. Although I seem to be fantasizing about romance when I'm supposed to be in inner silence :)

I have another Core Alignment (massage) session tomorrow which sounds like it will be really good (will be doing deep abdomen work.)

Have been spending some time with Vardhan (used to be Ben -- of solstice fame) and his japanese GF, Hansa. Hence the japaneese party last night :) It is strange to sort of know someone for a long time but not really know them and then meet and hangout half-way around the world... Pretty cool really.

Peace and Love to you all!!!

Posted by binduwavell at 10:48 AM | Comments (2)

January 15, 2003

Dance Party

Had a great massage today. Lots of stretches... I feel soo limber! Did Kundalini again... Lots of mind today then silence for the last 15 minutes... yum! Skipped White Robe because I have developed some sneezing (which is not allowed)... :( As soon as I got home, my nose stopped running for the first time in 3 or 4 days and no more sneezes... go figure... now there is an awsome techno dance party!!! I'm in here "cooling down" :)

Peace and Love to you all!

Posted by binduwavell at 10:08 AM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2003


I'm in Pune, I've been here a little over 4 days. The first day, I arrived in the afternoon and got checked into my hotel. The first thing I did was to try and get in touch with my friend Gopesh who lives here. Unfortunately we missed eachother. We finally conntected yesterday evening and had a really nice time together. Ahh, but I'm getting ahead of myself. So I went to the Osho Meditation Resort and proceeded with the whole sign-in process, HIV test and all! Part of the process was getting signed up for a welcome day (day 2). This was good since I haven't been here in a long time, and things have changed significantly. I ended up paying admision for the day and strolling arround (un-welcomed :). Was really interesting seeing how the grounds have changed and expanded.

I am still having this experience of seeing double. Like I see how things used to be and how they are now. I keep trying to fit places together, old memories rush back when I see something I wasn't expecting... The really strange part is that today I started having a similar experience inside myself. So being aware of who I am now and who I was then and how things have changed... It feels a little clostrophobic having two of me in here ;)

So bright and early the next morning I was at the resort in my freshly purchased maroon robe (requirement for daily entrance) waiting to be welcomed. Turns out that the guy who meets us was the doctor at Medina where I lived when I was a kid. How cool is that! Asanga (the doctor) and an Indian woman gave us a bit of a tour of the grounds and then took us into a group room where we had a really good intro to the resort and Osho meditations (we did several short versions of meditations and got info about how they were created etc...)

My plan has been to move out of the hotel as soon as possible so as to reduce my burn rate :) and so that I can be closer to the commune.... Arg... so there it is, great pains are made to point out that this is no longer a commune/ashram but rather a meditation resort. But I still have my double vision :) It kinda interesting. I guess it doesn't help that the Ricksaw (taxi) drivers still call it the Ashram. In many ways this feels like a resort and not a commune/ashram, there is a whole recreational facility and guest house. The workshops, classes, trainings etc are really clearly offered in a central location. However, there is also the meditation part of the equation which still feels like an ashram to me. In the evening many folks come together for a meditation called "White Robe". I still feel a strong communal energy at this time... Everyone changes from there (requisite maroon) clothes to the similarly requisite white robes. Sounds kinda like an Illuminaty (sp?) event or something... Heh... Not knowing much about the Illuminaty I couldn't say how much resembelance there is, but my guess is not very much.. heh...

Ahem, back to my plans to get out of the hotel and into cheaper accomodations. I met up with an old sannyasin who had a room to rent and we aggreed to meet the following morning.

Day 2 1/2 (Jan 12th), we met outside the main gate and agreed (I thought) to go see the room at 4pm. I spent a lot of time being pretty mellow and a little time juggling with a really funny Itallian guy! At 4pm I was at the gate, but Santosh was not... We ended up meeting on the way to the White Robe meditation in the evening and got things sorted. I was to go by his office the next morning.

Jan 13th, Major cold (or is this allergies?) today. I spent the day in bed then went out for dinner with Gopesh in the evening. Also spoke with Santosh and postponed our appointment.

Which brings us today. This has been my first really productive day. Met with Santosh and checked out the apt. It is very basic, but is cheap and I only have to commit to 1 week (I'm still planning on going to Delhi for Gopesh's brothers wedding on the 22nd so will probably be away from Pune for a week or so.) The apt is walking distance to the resort and 90% less than my hotel!!! I checked out of the hotel and moved all my stuff to the apt. Then came to the Ashram and signed up for a massage tomorrow. Then I did Kundalini meditation (for those of you who don't know you can read all about it on the resort website above... it's basically a very mellow movement/dance based meditation.) The last 15 minutes were really lovely for me. Very mellow, very present. After the meditation I had some dinner, and then got ready for White Robe. Went to White Robe and then found the resorts Internet Cafe so I could send this update. :)

Oh did I mention that the food here is really good? It is... And because things are very hygenic, you can eat raw fruits and veg.... yay!!!

Posted by binduwavell at 09:46 AM | Comments (2)

January 09, 2003

Friends in Mumbai

I met two really nice women from Canada at the hotel my second day in Mumbai. They are both studying Occupational Therapy and are here on their way to a placement in the boonies in southern India. We spent the day together today figuring out how to deal with our respective train journeys at VT station (I think we won a world record for how many times you can be bounced between two queues).

After sorting our tickets, we went in search of a big market called Mortha (sp?). As we got near this little guy attached himself to us and wouldn't take no for an answer. "I work in the market" he kept saying. We kept asking him to leave us alone and he would go off sulking and then as soon as we would turn our backs, there he would be! Yikes, eventually we asked someone for help. Our "savior" said two or three words to the little guy and "poof", he vanished... amazing, I want to know what was said!!! That was a cool trick.

We walked through an amazing fruit market. Too bad we can't eat raw stuff, it smelled so good. We found an alley that had tons of sari stalls. And then a building that was filled with people selling dresses.

Tamiza wanted to get a couple more outfits for the placement so we went through the whole bartering processing with 3 or 4 different vendors. They appear to ascribe to the following marketing strategy: Overwhealm the heck out of people and they will make bad/hasty decisions. Amazing.... Dress after dress after dress being thrown down (esp ones that didn't meet the requirements...) At the 3rd or 4th stall this sweedish guy shows up looks at a couple dresses and proceeds with the most amazing bargaining process. I really thought a fight was going to break out at the end... It was good for us, because we got nearly as good of a deal without having to fight very hard :)

The three of us went out for a very hot Indian meal at my current favorite Indian restaurant ever :) Apoorva in the Fort area of Mumbai.


I left for Pune the following day (10th Jan)

Posted by binduwavell at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2003

First real day in Mumbai

I wasn't expecting to have as much culture shock as I do (been there done that syndrome :) Today is better than yesterday. Just went out and found the tourist info office on foot which was a good experience. I was planning on hanging out in Mumbai for a music festival (big sitar competition) that was supposed to be today and tomorrow. Turns out that it was rescheduled. So not sure if I'll stay until the 11th as planned or try and get to Pune sooner.

I'm off to the train station to sort out trains to Pune (not sure how far in advance tickets need to be purchased.)

Posted by binduwavell at 11:04 PM | Comments (1)

Arrived in Mumbai

I have arrived in Mumbai! Got to my hotel and slept for 12 hours... Yikes... More later, I must get some food :)

Posted by binduwavell at 06:18 AM | Comments (4)
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