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2004-01-29 01:01:00

I am real behind on writing and sending my newsletters. I like to finish one newsletter or one project before going to the next. I was reading yesterday about India wanting or trying to be the leader in the computer industry, and I am not even slightly worried. This has got to be one of the most delusional countries in the world. There are signs everywhere for computer schools, or computer this, and computer that, but in the end one thing I have learned about computers.

“A computer has no tolerance.”

A computer is either yes or no, there is no in between. It wants perfection and nothing less than perfection. To create perfection in an environment that is less then perfect is almost impossible. To create a mind that is intolerant of an imperfect situation in a world of chaos is very difficult, if not impossible.

I will go look and hopefully find a computer. I am looking for just one computer that is in good condition and maintained well enough to use. I have given up on finding an Internet Café that is good. I am now looking for just ONE computer that is good in a world or crappy computers.

There is an old saying in the computer world.

“Garbage in and garbage out.”

A culture is the sum of all the specifics. You cannot negate the minus of a culture while adding up to the sum, that is to create a world where only the exceptions are true, we are part of the whole, and no one should be excused.


I was told yesterday if I wanted a clean room, I should go to a 5 Star Hotel.

I was saying and learned a long time ago that you cannot get an employee that has lived in squalor all their life to think like the boss that has lived in cleanliness all their life. They just do not think clean.

To me a 5 Star Hotel would be staffed only with maybe Americans or Swiss on vacation.


An alarm clock went off and rang for about 15 minutes in the Hotel. I am pretty sure people are depressed or stoned. People want to sleep that are avoiding life or depressed.


Yogi Lodge

It is off of both “Gali” Street and

Off “Dasssaswamedth” Street

it is NOT on a street it is on a walking lane.

Telephone: 0542-2392588

The guy that manages the place may be able to speak English well enough to talk on the telephone. I have no idea why people call Hotels, but if you for some reason people feel a need. That is the number. A reservation without MONEY is not a reservation. It is HOPE, 80 percent of travelers stand up Hotel Reservations with no money, so the owner of Hotel is just hoping you show, and not holding the room because he knows for sure that 80 percent of travelers are No Shows.

These are directions as best I understand and the city is chaos so you will have problems no matter how well the directions.

Here is information you need to know:

1. The Auto Rickshaw drivers will take you anywhere but where you wish to go, and there appears to be LOTS of Yogi Lodges.

2. Lots of Auto Rickshaw drivers do not speak or read English. The only Rickshaw driver I have found that spoke English was in the Train Station. They will approach you as you leave the train. The cost to the center of the city is 20-50 Rupees. I paid 30 Rupees, but then he did take me to the wrong lodge, but it was 10:00 pm at night, and I really did not have a desire to walk around in Marlon Brando’s version of Apocalypse Now at night.

3. Checkout time is normally 12:00 Noon or Midday in Varanasi so the best time to arrive to find a space or room is about 10:00 am in the morning or BEFORE and you should be able to get a room as the shift changes of people checking out.

WHERE YOU ARE TRYING TO GO? Note that if you do everything wrong there is still a lot of Lodges in this area other than the Yogi Lodge.

1. Ganga River: If you get to the river where they burn bodies then you are close to the Yogi Lodge.

2. GODOLIA Neighborhood or Region of the city.

3. “The Old City”

4. The Yogi Lodge is in an area where there are no Rickshaws or restricted use of motorcycles so I believe you must walk about 3 city blocks. Do not think in distance, but I would say you have to walk about 15 minutes.

5. TOUTS OR VENDORS - Men will walk up to you and try to delay you, I recommend you do not stop walking for any reason and talk with them while moving, they wish to delay you and tempt you for anything from Hash, Marijuana, Hotel, or whatever, there is no need to talk with all your valuables on your body. Keep walking! They will walk with you as you walk.

6. ASKING DIRECTIONS: I believe at the end of your trip to the Yogi Lodge you will NEED to ask for directions. It is really down a small lane between the building or a path and not on a road. It is about the width of 2 backpackers with full gear on their backs. IT IS NOT A ROAD WHERE THE YOGI LODGE IS LOCATED.

I found that the “NON-INTERESTED” people gave me a good direction to go. They did NOT give me good directions but the pointed to the correct directions. I would go maybe 50 Meters and ask again, and they would keep pointing. This is a well-known lodge so they will all try to help in the hope that you will be nice in the days to come and buy from them.

7. STREET SIGNS - I have never seen a good street sign in India. You need to read the advertisements on top of stores. Some are written in English and will maybe have the correct address or street name.

8. Find a kid and maybe pay them 10 or 20 Rupees to show you how to walk to the Yogi Lodge. Do NOT be Jerk and just expect people to be nice. Everyone has their hand out, if they say they do not want money, then do NOT give them money. But it is best to find a Kid to give money to, and only AFTER you are SURE you are in the correct place. The only way to be sure you are in the “Real” Yogi Lodge is if another traveler tells you are in the correct lodge. I think the owners of the wrong ones will lie. The India people seem to like to like or good at lying.

All of this will be easy if you arrive early in the morning, the later in the day the more problems.


I have spent two nights in the “Old” Yogi Lodge now and will hopefully spend a few nights in the “Real” Yogi Lodge. My room is going to be worst than my present room, but the area around the Hotel will be better in terms of being to easily see the sites. I also believe there is a lot more people to talk with so my social life will double.

Social life is my worst problem in India. The India people are difficult to approach in just a friendly fashion, and the ones that are easy to talk with are not the ones I wish to talk with, so in the end the other travelers are the ones I must talk with. I find very few single travelers as they are all traveling as couples.


This place looks like they need to call in an air strike. It has so far got to be the highest percentage level of A#$H)(*# in the world. This place has got to be great for people on drugs. This place is surreal; it is hard to believe there is so much stupidity in one location.

Everyone says they love this place, I personally think it is one of the most disgusting examples of human civilizations I have ever encountered. I wonder when the air strike is coming?

There is supposed to be bodies burning on stacks of wood here. I think there is a really morbid infatuation with death for travelers.

I am in probably one of many Hotels that have copied or have the same name as “Yogi.” The Hotel owner gets really nervous and defensive when you talk about it, I think this is just too funny. I think the owner of this one has a bad spirit. How is that for Holy talk? I would say my bulls#@$ meter is going off the red line when talking to the owner and manager. I am going to walk around and find a new hotel later I hope. It is a real hassle to move in this city.

My room is safe, but only because I have that super duper hasp and lock of India. I know there is a need, when a lock is that big… hehehe


I have a hot water heater above my bathroom. It must be about a 5 gallon one, and I must tell the owner of the Hotel to turn on the electricity. Of course it will take about 2 hours to heat this water, so I would have to understand the physics of the world very well to operate, or utilize properly and I do, but the rest of the world is going to have a problem.

I have decide to tell him to turn it on daily and I will heat the water in my bucket with the immersion heater I carry, and do a dip and pour shower. That way I know how much water I have, and do not have to worry about lathering up, and freezing on rinsing.


Varanasi City

State of Uttar Pradesh, India

Left by train from Katni, India for what I was expecting to be an 8-hour trip to Varanasi. The owner of the Hotel Sudvidha told me I would leave at about 9:30 AM by the express train and arrive in Varanasi 8 hours later. It left around 10 and arrived at about 9:45 PM. I think I could have taken the bus a lot faster. It is about 400 Kilometer or about 250 Miles; even in a slow bus they average about 50 Kilometer and hour in India. I would have had to change a couple of times, but I could have also caught the 8:00 am bus and not the 10 am train. I am almost positive I could have faired better in the bus. I do not like to arrive to a city at 10:00 pm at night.


It is about 7:30 am in the morning. I am sitting here typing on my computer and this loud music has started outside. They have these gas-powered generators pulled on wheels and loudspeaker or stereos that would make a gang banger ecstatic that is pulled behind the generator.

I am amazed at the other traveler’s tolerance of desire to find God. Everyone is like a zombie on the idea of any opinions or idea that they deserve rights. I am wondering always if all self-respect for cleanliness or pride is just absent in people. I do become less and less respectful of humans civility as I grow older. I have found that travelers can completely revert to the life of a pig in less than one week. They adapt downward so fast it make my head spin, while I am spending time trying to learn how to be clean, they are becoming pigs.

A girl on the bus said they was on a “Holy Lake” in the north. I said,

“All place in India are Holy, So?”

I am tired of Religion because they have not respect for other people. I am not just talking Hindu, but the Christians also, I am accustomed to being harassed by Christians so I have learned to avoid or overlook, but they do the same whether it the Church bells ringing, or the other Harassments in the street.

But the lower the civilization the better they use the modern methods of noise to create annoyances. The world has been completely globalized by music. Aaagh.

I am glad I wake early. I am sure the stoned and drunken bunch are learning to have resentments. I find the rage of unexpressed anger is rampant. I am here admitting to my frustrations with this society and other just keep it inside.


Hotel Suvidha is great for 125 Rupees you get a nice room with a color TV, HBO, and BBC World. The place is one of the first in India where I think they mopped the floor.

Only thing bad is they do not have the bolt-action locks on the door, but the bathroom had this type of lock so I locked my computer and passport in there when left the room.

I am now only about 10 hours away from Varnasi or less. This is pretty good because I am getting tired of not having anyone to talk with, and am having multiple problems with the electricity and Internet. I have not really used the Internet in about 3 days, and I am sure the spam is eating my mailbox.

But the good part is I am getting to see lot of parts of movies, and sometimes I am seeing a whole movie. The rooms north of Sawagram have been having Televisions in the room, but they are also a little more expensive. The price is about 1 dollars more, but this is very reasonable with I have HBO or AXN, or these other movie channels.


I was surprised in the Hotel here in Katni that HBO has commercials. This is the first time I have seen commercials in the whole world on HBO.

The last two cities are strange for food. I have not been able to buy fried rice from anywhere but maybe a street vender and I have sort of sworn off eating at the street venders. I am not sure if they are safe for the oil, and the cleanliness of India is starting to make me more cautious. I have not been concerned this much in years. The last time I thought this much about the street venders cleanliness was in Mexico. I have to admit that I think Mexico and India are extremely similar. They are almost the same country except the people of India are 10 times more honest than the people of Mexico. But the cops in India have the same greasy smell of Mexico.


I am a gentle person at heart, and can be very patient. Most people think they are gentle because they do nice things, I am positive I am gentle because I resist the temptation to be rude. Most people hide in the cities or tourist areas to stay away from the people. I love to talk to the people in the non-tourist areas, but they can be extremely annoying.

3 boys came to my room. They knock on the door, I holler,

“What do you want?”

I do not know who it is, and am learning that I need to not open my door so easily. I went to the window and saw it was a boy from yesterday. I holler out the window.

“Go away.”

Of course as always they do not understand English.

The TV went off again so now I do not have electricity again.

But the boys thought I was closing the window to go to the door to let them in. I finally thought. Damn it, I do not want the only thing they know of an American is that we are rude.

I open the door and shake their hands and tell them and push them toward the entrance.

The boy says,

“I want to go to America.”

I say,

“Everybody in India wants to go to America.”

I say,

“Study English, Learn Manners, go to Embassy.” The stop he looks at me on maybe comprehending the English part.

I then say,

“Study Computers or Engineering.”

I am holding off on the Doctor bit until I see the people wash there hands better… hehehe A Doctor without good Hygiene is painful to think about. Back to reading my book. I have already walked around in this city for 3 hours this morning, they probably think I am trying to spy on them. Too much curiosity is not good and can be dangerous. I got stopped by a policeman today, he started to speak in Hindi or something, I suddenly, smiled real big, and forgot English, and forgot to look him in the eyes, and suddenly shook his hand, saying Thank you, Thank you, with a big smile and turned my head away before he had a chance to try to talk an disengaged my hand and walked away. He was a soulless bastard and was not looking to help me or be curious. But a good onslaught of overly kind and smiling person and then walk away and he would have be a real jerk to continue. I also played real stupid.

But I am becoming more and more stern with the people, they have no manners for the most part and do not think nothing of trying to get me to spend time talking with them. If they even spoke 20 words of English it would be nice. I have stopped going over to people from the side that wave me over to talk all together. I am still shaking their hands, but I am shaking and walking. There are some real smart Asses in the bunch also, and they get my best. “I am going to beat you silly look.”

I was talking to a young couple from America and the boy did not have any idea on how to be Macho. I am going to write a tip on “How to be Macho.” I cannot believe it, but it is necessary that a person understand how Macho works, and is able to compete in a Macho world. They people from the USA come out a lot of times defenseless.

I am going to write about how to be dangerous macho. I told the boy to carry a stick. He said,

“That would be good, I could hit them with it.”

I said,


What is wrong with people?

I then said,

“The goal is not to be able to HIT THEM, the goal is to feel strong, confident, and to be able to be tough enough looking that they do not want to attack you, or make fun.”

I pause,

“Talk softly and carry a big stick.”

Pause again,

“If you get into a fight, you have lost.”

I say then,

“I have not got into a fight in 7 years.”


I woke this morning quite excited to have a great day in Seoni. Then about 8:30 AM the lights go out. This is normal and I thought well they will be off for a few minutes and come back on, but they did not return until 1:30 PM and I missed out on watching movies all morning. I went to the Internet Café at about 12:30 that was to open according to the manager at 12:00 today. The boys in front say it is closed for the day because of Holiday. They mean it is Sunday, but I will check later. I was going to finish up a lot of my work and send my newsletter; this is the 3rd day I have been delayed in sending my newsletter. I am trying to remind myself to work on the next and not think about completion of the last, otherwise all are just delayed.

I am going to make a 2-day jump to Varanasi in the hope of having good facilities because of tourist. I did receive a hot bucket of water to shower today at my room and for sure the Hotel outside the tourist areas are better willing to bring hot water for shower. So the shower strangely outside the tourist areas are so far better than the one around the tourist areas.

Just another day of emotional roller coaster.


I am just 2-3 days slow bus trip below Varanasi where I will meet my friend Jeff if all goes well. I am looking forward to comparing notes on world travel and how his life is going.

The lights just went our here in India again. I feel like I am on an emotional Roller Coaster here in India, while one moment I love this place in the very next moment I hate this place. I am never sure what to feel or think, and am accepting my fate as being a “maybe.” There is no way to make a decision or to hold a course. This place is about accepting that life is uncontrollable, and if you wish to control your life it is impossible and people are totally out of control here.

I think about animals and try to think of how an animal moves or treats the world. Does and animal care where they shit? Do they care where the sit? Do they care if they bump into or hurt another animal?

My obsession with this topic in my mind is perplexing and makes me frustrated. I do not wish to compare the India people to animals and would like to think I could see only the good. But it is also helping to see the bad in myself. I can be extremely commanding or am very capable of exerting extreme force to defend my position and status in the world. I am very easily the top level or top dog in this world. This means that I can always have the best seat and the first position in line and I can take most anything I wish.

What stops me is manners, justice and a line of being a good example. I see that I have let down my standards of living because it is difficult and tiring to maintain. I have made a vow to myself to live closer to the USA level of cleanliness and this will take an extra 2 hours of work per day on my part.