India Bound

Sunrise at 5.30 am Sunset at 7.05 pm

Location: Mussoorie and Delhi, India

Engaging in wild acts of exploration and inquisition.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Well, I'm not very good at putting up pictures and they take ages to do, so I've got to find some way about it to make it happen eventually. For now I have just gotten through being sick as a dog for a few days...all of us are dropping like flies. I had thought that people living here were immune to all the bacterias, but my Hindi teachers were explaining that everyone constantly gets sick, especially the children, as no one knows what food is contaminated or not. There is a complete re-evaluation of what one can take for granted here (goodbye clean water, toilets, fresh foods, clean air, electricity) and it is very surprising what you can always expect to find (tea services, pizza, vegetarian food, someone to drive you or carry you).

Its raining constantly and a busload of pilgrims headed to Gangotri, the source of the Ganga river plunged over the edge of the road near a couple of my friends who were traveling the same road and half the bus died. Yes, and then there were these Mumbai train bombings (everyone's parents are calling to make sure everyone is still alive though Mumbai is all the way down the coast)...interesting to be in a place where such terrorist bombings are somewhat frequent (coming from Kashmir). Yes, death is much closer here....

On a lighter note, was chased by a mother cow this morning when I walked too near her calf and when I turned a corner to safety a hoard of monkies came running at me screeching and throwing their shit. A very "ha! I am in India" moment.

And so we went to Rishikesh....

There seem to be as many holy cities as there are people in India, and in the North they usually are connected to the River Ganga. Rishikesh is one of a few holy cities at the mouth of the Ganga and is also the place where the Beatles stayed while they were working on the white album (so there were a lot of hippies...) and is a huge center for astrology and yoga and all these new agey things that seem too stereotypical to exist.

The East Bank of Rishikesh is mostly made up of ashrams where you can stay and practice yoga - so for a few days we hung out and did yoga and listened to lectures from a swami who told us how to do rectum strengthening exercises and to please clean our noses with salt water every morning.

I had my Vedic charts drawn up by an astrologer and it took him nearly two hours to explain it all to me in a little musty bookshop down a dark alley and it was amazing all the things he said and knew....


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