India~ Day 2

It’s 9PM on Sunday and we are on a train to Varanasi, India.  My classmates are tripping about the train ride because it’s a bit sketchy.  There’s nothing secure what-so-ever and they are young and concerned which I get. I feel kinda like a momma hen, reassuring them they will be fine. I think now that we are all settled in they will feel better.

I have a strong stomach but let me tell you, that train station was worse than any farm I’ve ever spent time on.  Men of all ages just peed down on the tracks like it was a huge urinal.  I realize the toilets on the train go right onto the tracks but it was strange to witness grown men piss in public with no concern of the police walking around the platform.

Speaking of which, the police must not enforce anything in India. We were waiting for our bus to pick us up and I watched (and photographed) a man roll a joint and smoke it.  The police rolled up and one hopped out of the minivan. He walked over to the tokin’ Indian and waved the vehicle around him to park.  I’m glad they didn’t arrest him for smoking that joint, or run him over.  He was all huddled up under a blanket and nearly passed for a speed bump.

I’m getting ready to hit the shit hole. There really is no other way to describe it and from what I’m told, there is no door. Guess any Indian hanging out by the tracks might get a glimpse of my white ass. Hope they have their cell phone ready. We are extremely popular here and regularly asked to pose for pictures with citizens or even holding their babies. Maybe it’s good luck to get a white person to hold your baby and take his/her photo.

That happened at the site of Gandhi’s assassination.  This Indian couple with their four children ages roughly 9 months to maybe 8 years old was beyond tickled when Gabby agreed to hold their baby and pose for a picture. Gabby was also asked by a school boy, maybe 12 years old, to pose with him while his friend took the photo.  She agreed and afterwards Fyfe told her they like to photo shop naked bodies onto the heads of white women.  Strangely, we found that amusing rather than offensive.

Caitlin and I just hit the head. I handed her my camera to make a permanent record of me doing the squat over the hole.  There are slightly raised platforms in the shape of shoe prints to indicate where to put your feet.  Well, shoes, no one would go in that “bathroom” without shoes. I took a napkin from Starbucks to wipe with.  Who knew all those napkins I’ve been saving up would come in so handy?

I realize I’m jumping around about day two in India. I blame it on the lack of sleep and the inability to focus in a linear fashion. We had a very late lunch, around 2 pm, in a very fancy restaurant. None of us were dressed appropriately but when you have the money I suppose it doesn’t matter what clothes you have on. I’ve been super lucky with eating the food. Nothing has made me sick and I’ve liked the taste of everything.  At breakfast I ate these little potato cakes and donut shaped cakes dipped in an onion and pepper sauce. I was asked if I wanted an omelet and I said, “Yes please.” There was no cheese in the omelet but there were onions, peppers and Indian spices. I had two pieces of burnt toast (my fault for not watching the toaster) with butter and a mixed jelly that had the taste of vodka. I found it all delicious.

The mosque we visited today was impressive.  The largest mosque in India. I paid the 300 rupees to take my camera in. My souveniers are my photos so if I have to pay to take photos, I will. No one else coughed up the cash but I said I would share my pictures cause I’m nice like that. Karma you know…I am in the right country to be throwing out her name. If only I could get her to visit a few people still back in the US…

We took a rickshaw ride and let me tell you that were more dangerous than hold the cobras yesterday. My driver was a skinny dude and I had Fyfe with me so “puffer” as he smoked while he tried to haul my professor and I around New Delhi had his work cut out for him. Let’s just say I got some great photos and videos as he hauled our asses around at break-neck speed.  At one point we passed all the other drivers as I stuck my head out and yelled, “We kick your slow asses!” much to our driver’s amusement. The one thing that sticks out isn’t the close calls as he whipped in and out of traffic, but the electrical cords zipped tied together like octopi with juiced up legs waiting to explode into flames. Amazingly, our guide said there has never been an electrical fire. Hell, I’ve had several and they were just from one toaster and a hand-held mixer.

The market today was interesting to say the least. As tourists, we are walking targets and Indians are seriously aggressive when it comes to selling their wares. And the street urchins…forget about it, they will sell their souls to make a sale. Well, basically their parents will sell their children’s souls cause their fat mother’s are sitting along the street with babies while the children run around with beaded necklaces and cheap ball point pens hawking them to food for their mother. I would say because the baby needs a new pair of shoes, but the baby was naked sans a sweater. I suppose that cuts down on diapering costs…forget about the shoes.

We ate at the McDonald’s in New Delhi. McDonald’s here is different in that there are no beef products. Cows are sacred and McD’s doesn’t get a free pass. So there are other options, none that I would recommend. In fact, according to Caitlin, the McAloo Tiki smelled and tasted like BO. I’m sure no that we’ve smelled the fecal tracks of New Dehli, the McAloo Tiki was nearly delightful. I ordered a fish sandwich meal, something I never order in the US so I felt I was actually living large. The sandwich looked tiny on the normal size bun so I guess the US really does make their serving sizes larger. It was ok, I mean, its McDonald’s and not a Big Mac.  How great could it be?

By 7:10 pm our “guy” still hadn’t arrived with the train tickets. We were all excited to be traveling on a train where we could sleep.  Funny how that became terrifying after the train resembled a New York subway car…but worse. Never say things can’t get worse.  They can ALWAYS get worse.

I’m reflecting on my shopping today. I honestly didn’t spend that much money as things are really cheap, especially with the money exchange.  I bought 5 outfits for our time at the orphanage, only to be told I got the wrong type of shirt.  Guess what, it’s going to have to work cause I’m not buying more. I bought some gifts for family (Mom, Suz, Tesla, Brian, Blaine and Matthew) and for my friends. Nothing fancy but I think items they will like. I didn’t tell anyone I’d buy them a gift personally so anything should be a nice surprise.

The kidlings are now following my example and writing in their journals. I’m the only one who brought a laptop so they are writing with a pen and notebook. I brought my smartpen and notebook but haven’t used them so far. My eyes are getting heavy as my sleeping pills are kicking in. I think everyone has come to terms that no one is going to yank their curtain back and rape them. I’m ready for some sleep.

I miss Tesla so much and Brian too. I talked to Tesla early this morning (which was about 9 pm for her) and also skyped with Brian. He is so happy for me to be on this trip but misses me as much as I miss him. I feel bad because I’m super busy but I know time is probably going slow for him. Nothing like absences making the heart grow fonder and I wouldn’t have believed my heart could grow fonder for this man. Mark my word, by the end of 2014, we will be happily married. 😉

It is now 12/30/13 and we just arrived at the hotel in Varanasi and will be going Ganges River later this afternoon.  It’s 11:40 AM here!

~P.

P.S. I ran out of data space on my blog for photos.  I upgraded but the funds are on hold so until they are released, I can’t upload anything.  Talk about frustrating!!

Comments

  1. I miss you too…. you are having so much fun….enjoy!!!

  2. I am so glad you are enjoying the experience and throwing yourself fully into it

  3. PS, I do weddings, got my internet preacher license and all

    Ryan Roberts

    Captain/EMT-Intermediate

    Nederland Fire Protection District

    5668

    All e-mails are my opinion and do not represent any district

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