HEAVEN IN THE MIDDLE OF HELL
India is full of the runs or the shits. It is impossible to just live normally and have daily trips the toilet before breakfast. The food is crap and so spicy the body has to revolt and spew out or forth on a regular basis. It is not for the most worth mentioning because this is minor.
But I have found a daily Heaven. For some unknown reason the shower in the YOGI LODGE is very hot and has lots of pressure. I can stand in this shower and be baptized of my sins or wash away the world. The problem is that I never want to leave, and in my selfishness I am hoping to use all the hot water, and then I would feel guilty again. It is just too much.
WHAT I FEEL IN VARANASI
Yesterday it was wet in the streets and alleys because it rained the night before. As I took my morning walk there whole city had a ½ inch layer of cow manure and mud mixed together. There is almost not barren soil as all the walking area are stone, concrete, or asphalt so the blackish mud is really a mixture of something I am not sure how to describe. I am sure there is lot of the spit from beetle nut include as the ground is covered with red splotches of spit.
In my State of Indiana terms I would describe it or explain it this way. When you have milking cows there is normally a tramp shed that is where the cows sit around and chew their cuds in safety from the rain, cold and weather. In this area wheat straw is place down for bedding and you can feed the cows bales of hay. Just outside in the barnyard is an area where there is a silo full of corn silage or Alf alpha silage that is dispensed by an auger system. This are is normally in my area has a concrete base, and the milking area or parlor will empty all the cow manure into this area. So as the cows eat silage and or are milked they excrement or defecate in the troughs or area of the barnyard.
When they clean the barnyard area has a concrete base or floor to it the farmers will take either an old tractor with a front end loader, or a scrapers on the back that looks like a road grader, or use maybe now a Bobcat that is a 6 wheel vehicle with a front loader or bucket. They will take and scrape this area.
Now if it rains the mixture of cow manure and rain creates a mush or slime over the area. There is always a constant drying factor, and cow manure when dried, or maybe dung is more of a dried grass or digested grass and is not so extreme. But when filled with water or hydrated in any way, the mixture is a slime of manure.
So how do I feel walking around Varanasi?
I feel like I am walking around in the barnyard that has been scraped recently, but there it has rained the day before and is slimy. If there I no rain, there are islands of dry spots and ways to walk around and avoid the slimy mud areas. If you are paying attention you can avoid the cow patties and other obstacles. Normally a farmer working in this area would be wearing some pull on boots over his work boots that lace up about 7 inches. If not really working in this area you walk around or skip on through in your normal work boots, but at the risk of soaking or stepping in extremely wet spots.
It is fun to watch the city kids come to this area or women in High heels trying to tip toe through the barnyard, as it is really impossible to avoid. This is Varanasi except there is another couple of factors.
Everywhere you walk there are store on both sides of the cow path and people are talking to you or saying things to you in English,
“Where are you going?”
“What are you looking for?”
“Hello, sir, just come in, it cost nothing.”
The speak more in command then real questions, and difficult to say no because the command or statement are not really open.
The will say,
“You come back tomorrow.”
It is not a question and it is more of a statement, and the only honest statement I can say is,
“No, I will not come back tomorrow.”
Sometimes they temper this with
“You come back tomorrow, maybe.”
“NO, not maybe, not at all. I will not return.”
If I do not do this, or I try to ignore them, when they see you the next day they will tell me, or say to you that you promised or you said. Now I am very good at ignoring and I do sort of chide them and egg them on or wind them up, or even take the piss as the English say, and try to be brutally honest with them and say.
“You are just trying to make me feel guilty so I will come in your store and it not going to work. If I wanted to come in your store I would come in your store.”
Now the problem is that their tactics work very well. You see lots of traveler inside the shops.
So as I walk around in the cow slime there are vendor laying on the guilt and trying to convince you to enter the shop.
Now the next factor.
In this stupid little slimy cow path with talking noise and guilt are motorcycles riding through as fast a possible. Now I am in a canyon of concrete building and India people are like 2-year-old children on the motorcycles and the beep the horn always just like a 2 year old child. So you are walking along and people are shouting and making noise and motorcycles comes along and beep their horn and make you dodge them, as the path is really not wide enough for everyone. I say an old man get knocked down yesterday into the slimy cow layers of crap. Now here is my nightmare. That I would slip into this stuff and have to think. I would think that I am lying in cow manure. In the middle of Human Urine, Human excrement and all is inhumane. Spit, and hockers, and spit of betel or beetle nut, or whatever that nasty red shit that is in the mouths of every India person. I would want to lie down and die.
So as you walk down the path with noise horns, people trying to lay guilt trips on you, fear of falling of choosing bad steps in the slimy cow manure you also…. Aagh This really never stops.
Then you have the tag-alongs. The people whether it is beggar with no fingers or a small barefoot child, or maybe a vender speaking good English that alternates between selling you silk or hashish is on your side and will not leave without extreme rudeness, or until about 10 minutes of ignoring. I think they know that maybe with enough time you will give in. They are beggar vendors. The will not stop whining in your ear until you give up and come look at their crap.
Varanasi is a shoppers 5 and dime buyers paradise in the middle of the barn yard. There are 1000’s of shops, and at the river edge you can watch burning bodies and people swim in the runoff from the slimy cow manure, spittle, betel, human urine and other ingredients.
I agree this place is Holy. You become so full of fear that you look to God as the only solution.
I also think to call in an air strike would suffice. When I leave I will not look back as I am afraid I would turn to salt.
Now that was a good ramble. I am going to put that in my newsletter and send and save myself another ramble.
ONE WEEK EXPERTS
I am having a lot of people accost me or ask me to buy, sell, want to show, or anything in the world. Some of the travelers in the Hotel were telling me that I needed lessons in how to manage the Indian people. I soon found out one of the leading experts has only been in India for one week.
I am blond and blue eyes, and older than normal so I think this is the reason they are after me all the time, but I also think I am not rude to people and do not get angry. I have found that people do not realize how rude they are to people because they get so angry, but I would say they are afraid and do not know how to deal with the people. I am just wondering around and I could care less that there are Indian people around me, and try my best to just ignore them, but they will walk right in front of me.
I do not think I need lessons in how to deal with vendors. I thought this was sort of silly, but people like to become experts in a week and this is not possible. I am always learning more on how to deal with cultures. Life is easy in India, but the smell! The dirt, and the ground in dirty is just hard to believe.
But really travel in India is so easy it is ridiculous. The actual crime is very low and this is nice. I just do not know where I would want to sit down my bag in some cities.