Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

9/2/2012- INDIA – part 2
Since I first wrote about India, I’ve been too busy and the topic was so depressing, it was hard to write about it. I awoke early on March 2nd and heard people talking downstairs, and thought I’d at least check it out before going back to bed for more rest. I found half a dozen people in the lounge downstairs having breakfast which was coffee or tea and assorted ‘cakes’ and gruel. I also ran into someone who told me that Jonas and Inija would NOT be there due to Jonas having taken ill. On hearing this I was ready to leave then and there, but maybe I was just tired.
There was also a group of people who were planning on an excursion to Rishikesh (the holy city) for the day, and asked if we wanted to join them. We did, although Rachael tried to tell them she couldn’t walk very far.
 India is full of many beautiful and ugly things. On our excursion we walked across a suspension bridge over the Ganga that was wide enough for people to ride bikes and motorcycles across. On the way, as we moved to the side of the bridge to let a cycle through, a monkey grabbed my arm and almost bit me. My companions told me I was lucky! Usually they knock your glasses off into the Ganga (their word for the Ganges River) below.
We saw lots of temples, statues, filth, poverty, fakirs, holy cows and other livestock, gods & demons before we went down to the Ganga and achieved varying individual degrees of immersion before we caught a ferry back to the other side. That night our guide told us we could move to another guest house off-campus or across the street to the 4-star Grand Hotel Besant (which advertises on its card that it is “opposite Asia’s largest Ayurvedic University”) on 3/3. Easy choice! Especially since they had elevators and the toilet had a seat instead of a hole in the floor. The room service menu was very disappointing, but we managed to subsist on spring rolls and French fries for Rachael for the rest of the conference.

Can’t wait for my Baltic trip? Check out this poetography shoot at my house in our village:

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