I finally got a newsletter sent. It still has some problems, but wanted to get it out before I went crazy. Will send the next in about 2 days.
Here is the link:
I could get a grip on the idea that natural is better. I could actually believe that not putting things in your body or doing things that are manufactured or process is a good idea.
What is making me think about this is the loudspeaker or stereo system that is blaring outside the window at 6:30 am in the morning. I am pretty sure I am a long way away from this speaker, but I can hear this quite clearly. I wonder if the God here is deaf.
I was thinking and sure my mother would like to read this page I made a couple of years ago. So I will copy and paste here.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble, it's a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
"Desiderata" was written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann (1872-1945). In 1956, the rector of St. Paul's Church in Baltimore, Maryland, used the poem in a collection of mimeographed inspirational material for his congregation. Someone who subsequently printed it asserted that it was found in Old St. Paul's Church, dated 1692. The year 1692 was the founding date of the church and has nothing to do with the poem.
DEFINITION OF - desideratum
: something desired as essential
I make a link for this page a couple of years ago and you can send it to your crazy friends.
WHERE WAS GOD?
I have been thinking or dwelling in my mind on where I have been that felt holy or was the closest to God. I definitely would not come to India to search for God. I would go to place where there were not people searching for God, but people that were relaxed with God and did spend their whole time searching.
I traveled about 10 hours by boat south from Iquitos Peru to a small village called Capitan Claviers or something like that. It was a village of 40 plus grass huts on a part of the Amazon River. I stayed in the home of this old man. I was and am still amazed at the whole village because they had no desire to annoy or ask silly questions. The children were delightful and this man I stayed with was completely involved in the process of drying fish and would once in awhile try to feed me.
As a rule of thumb the more people or tourist the less I would feel there is a presence of any good Gods. I think there probably is a few bad Gods… hehehe This means to stay out of the cities.
If you have not notice I have avoided all the cities of India so far. A city is a city, and in the end not a good place for me. There is a fascination by people to go to places of complete chaos. I am spending my time hiding here in Varansi from the Indian people because every time I wall out the door I spend my whole time saying,
“No thank you, no thank you, no thank you.”
Try to get them to leave me alone, and most I am just ignoring.
I am not alone though. Everyone in the Hotel has some ailment or is a little sick and seems to have a reason to sit around in the Hotel all day. The ones that are out all day are leaving today or tomorrow. I suppose this is one of the first place I have encountered where there was camaraderie among travelers in India that was not alcohol or marijuana based. But this Hotel has made it clean that you are not to drink or smoke. I am sure there are a few chimney type places in this city as they are selling Marijuana or Hash on every corner. So someone is smoking. I have found that a lot of people mix the hash with the normal tobacco.
A SERIES OF CONTRADICTIONS
I am now in the “Real” Yogi Lodge and I am laughing at the levels absurdity. There is almost no reason to leave the Hotel except for a journey into dirty, dusty, too much craziness. It is world of mass bangle sales; the bangle is plastic bracelet that is worn by the India people. All this is mixed with various types of clothe, clothing, and small statues for sale and mixed with cow manure. I hate to even take pictures because I am not sure how to explain them, or where to start. It is chaos and the place is very uncomfortable to me. I suppose it feels like death, but that would make sense because people come here to burn bodies on the edge of the Ganga River, and to swim in the dirty polluted holy water.
It is obvious that I am in the wrong place, and the wrong country. I am ready for sure to leave, and will book a ticket to Nepal, but mainly because this is the quick escape and not because I so much want to got to Nepal. I am just ready to change the channel on this lack of clarity. I have to admit that even the British Colony of Palolem was a paradise compared to the world of Varanasi.
They are smoking cigarettes and trying to sneak beer down stairs, with a conversation about going and living in a cave. People go into Ashrams so they can learn to live with themselves, and go on 10-day experiments where they do not talk. Everyone is searching for a spiritual experience, and I am thinking they are no long reading the lonely planet, but are reading the lost planet.
There is a real eerie feeling about Varanasi. I am not sure what to say good, other than you could look all day at the people and you would have a hard time believing there is a world like this in the world.
I took a photo of a dead calf lying in the path. It was completely rigid from lying there for so long, and it was in a very busy place. Like you die and no one cares here and if they did they would only look the other way.
My Hotel now cost 120 Rupees and I have downgraded on quality of the room, and upgrade on social life. But they are talking about going and living in cave for solitude. I think planning to find solitude when living in a city that is so noisy outside you almost have to scream to talk seem logical, but you would think you would come in out of the storm before you made any drastic decisions.
There is fashion to becoming a Guru. I am sad that no one cares about Gandhi. He is important, but there is no one interested, but if you want to go find a Guru or Swami they are all ears. Like there is some guy on the other side of the wall that has all the answers. Like maybe you could find God if you made enough chants, or did the right thing, or went the right place, or maybe held the right Yoga poise for long enough.
I have never had more people ask me if I wish to buy marijuana than in Varanasi. Every 50 meters a boy will come up and ask me if I want to buy some pot, or various other drugs. No matter how much you ignore them they just follow along. I do not like to be rude to people, but I am slowly adjusting. It is not a good adjustment. I have dealt with lots of crazy people in 7 years of travel and I have always treated even the rudest persons with respect and walk away, and I can tell if I stayed here long enough I would lose. I need to hide or leave soon to avoid the temptation to be rude with the people.
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.
5 STAR HOTEL
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.
HOW TO FIND CORRECT 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.
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.
MOVING TO THE CORRECT YOGI LODGE
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.
APOCALYPSE NOW VARANASI, INDIA
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.
62 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT 0R 14 DEGREES CELSIUS
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.
I AM GETTING TIRED OF RELIGIONS
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.
ARRIVED IN KATNI INDIA
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.
HOBO HAS COMMERCIALS
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.
LEARNING TO BE RUDE
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.
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.”
“Everybody in India wants to go to America.”
“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.”
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.”
“Talk softly and carry a big stick.”
“If you get into a fight, you have lost.”
I say then,
“I have not got into a fight in 7 years.”
MORE ROLLER COASTERS
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.
STAYING 2 NIGHTS IN SEONI, INDIA
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.
Here in Varanasi India it is Chaos.
I receive a really nice email from a person saying they posted about HoboTraveler.com on their webpage.
Nice people in the world!
Life is good
Andy HoboTraveler.com in Varanasi, India
I see there is new virus out there. Glad I have not had a connection with my computer now.
I have arrived to Varnasi.
It is so far probably the filthiest city I know in the world.
I have only been here for 12 hours, I think it gets worst.
Hehehe... Going stone age!
My room is freezing. The internet keyboard is dirty, but cheap.
Life is crazy, but what is new. The water situation has taken a dip in quality.
This is a Holy City. I am not sure which side of the coin?
About 200 Kilometers Northeast of Nagpur.
I am just below Jabulpur a few hours.
Place is great, and full of people and activity. I have a room with cable TV and a couple English Movie channels. I may have to stay a couple of days.
I go to the Internet now.
The bus trip was uneventful, except I opted for the expensive bus system in Nagpur and it probably cost me an hour in time. I should have just kept switching inside the bus station and not go with the private ones. They are slimier. The government ones seems more honest.
MAILED LETTER TO ANDREW IN GOA
Friday 23, January from Savagram.
GETTING A CLEAN LECTURE FROM INDIA LADY
I have an older Indian couple that has been living next to me for the last 3 days. They are very nice, and they are trying to be my parents in India. Here I am writing and complaining about India being very dirty and the lady give me a lecture on not changing my clothes or wearing the same pants twice, and she may be correct that I wore them 3 times. I had to leave for the Internet café and when I came back I washed all my clothes and hung them out to dry. She is not very happy. I am also very happy.
What is really humorous is that she probably found the only traveler in India that carries a special bucket for cleaning his clothes, and on a somewhat regular basis heat water to boil out the germs and bacteria in my clothes.
I will do a straw survey soon also to see how many clothes other people carry. But I have with me.
6 Pairs of underwear
6 Pairs of socks.
2 pairs of long pants
3 pairs of shorts
2 pairs of swim shorts
And lots of miscellaneous other items of clothes. I would bet that I have double the normal traveler. Then to carry the bucket is just unheard of, and way beyond normal.
Unfortunately she was correct and she caught me. I have been lounging around in this hotel and not doing much, but working on my computer and was not paying attention to my clothes. One this that is very good about India is you can pay people very easy to clean your clothes. What is bad is in the Ashram here they do not advertise or try to do any services for the travelers so it is a little isolated. I have been so happy in India because the cost of cleaning clothes is very cheap and I have been having exceptionally clean clothes here. If you want they will even press them in the normal cities, and not the tourist places.
I LEAVE SEWAGRAM TOMORROW
I will leave by slow local bus tomorrow and go towards Varanasi at a pretty good pace so I arrive before the 2nd of February to meet my friend Jeff. I will leave around 7:00 am in the morning and probably stop around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. The distance between cities will determine where I stop and how well I make connections.
DEBATING AND DEBATING
It will soon be the first of February and by the time I leave the country it may well be the first of March. I keep saying to myself that I will visit Europe in the spring, and I have no idea on how to get around the world fast enough for that.
My friend Jeff is going to do the Siberian Railway I guess and return to Europe. I am going to discuss this with him and see if maybe that would be a good idea for me to return to Europe.
I could blame this on weather and such, but I know in the back of my head that I am very tired of these segregated countries. All of Southeast Asia and India, and probably China and most of Asia are full of Religions that are completely racist in my opinion. They consider anyone that is not their religion unacceptable people. I know you think the Thai people intermingle with the rest of the world, but I believe that 99 percent of the women that go with western people are prostitutes so do not believe or consider that this culture accepts western culture.
I would like to spend some time living where there is less prejudice. I am going to have to really think this over and plan my adventure carefully. It was just too easy for me to enjoy Central and South America. Europe is expensive, but more enjoyable than always being a visitor. I am thinking hard about Greece, Italy, and Eastern Europe. I could float around the Mediterranean and stay on the beach and do Eastern Europe for 6 months, plus it is actually easier to travel to the USA from Europe than from Asia.
I will check out the Religions of Eastern Europe and see if they are Christian or what? I do not care what religion countries are, but for sure the countries I enter care which religion I am, so they make me feel unwelcome.
Thailand makes you feel welcome in a pay-as-you-go sense.
Greece: Greek Orthodox
Macedonia: ¾ Orthodox Christians and ¼ Muslim.
Romania: Romanian Orthodox Church
That is enough. I am pretty sure I could meander around in Eastern Europe and have a better welcoming wagon.
The Men of India are very welcoming and so are the children, I think for the women it is dangerous to be friendly. But even the men are sort of always in a weird sort of way friendly that makes me not want to keep my window closed tight for fear of peeping Toms or Voyeurism by the India Men. There was the same problem in Thailand. You would look out the door or window and catch some guy looking at you.
So they are friendly in India, but I can never get the feeling of good friends or friendship. I see almost zero foreigners hanging around with India people, although you will constantly see India people talking to Foreigners. I think they will talk your ear off, but to be a friend is difficult social jump. Not for the Foreigners, but for the locals. I can become friend pretty easily with the rich, or more likely we can act rich together, which just is a pain to me.
DANIEL THE YOGA TEACHER AND MASSAGE THERAPIST
I met a 25-year-old man from Maine in the USA here in Savegram yesterday. He came to see the Gandhi memorial. This guy gave me an explanation about Yoga that was perfect, but also went on to explain that he has not found anything but superficial or made for tourist Yoga in India. So my gut feeling was correct, that more or less in my opinion and his opinion the Yoga of India is weak.
But he is a vegan or a vegetarian that does not eat any type of eggs or milk either. So he then went on about the terrible food in India. I like a lot of the food in India, but I do like to eat greasy food and this is a problem. So I like the food often, but when I look how they cook it I cringe. Most everything is coated with oil and there is nothing free and simple in food. The spices level here I would say is hazardous to your health. I love spicy food, but have stopped eating so much, because I find myself needing to cough up mucous and spit. I feel a lot better if I stay with the processed foods of the Chapatti.
LOTS OF STUFF
I am missing something, and I am not sure what about this country. I was walking back from the Internet Café and I see 2 Tractors and a lot of Motorcycles and I was thinking to myself.
“Central and South America is poor and India is Rich.”
But I cannot put my finger on what is the big problem here; I think it may be the racism. The have subtle but agreed upon separation of people… I think. It is hard to see, and hard to notice, because there is not obvious separations of the people. But when I talk with a richer person in India, they refer, or never refer to what you may call street level people. It is a problem they will acknowledge very quickly, but a problem that I have not seen anybody want to touch or change. The do not like the living conditions here either, but more likely they just spend all their time staying away from the more brute style of life.
I feel positive that people of South America are more civilized, but the people of India are richer. But it would be so easy to confuse the absolutely pigsty level of living of the India people with them being poor. Some of this way of life has to do with the Hindu reverence for the cow, and not just the cow, but the cow dung or manure. They see the cow manure as being some sort of holy cleaning solution, and also the piss.
But walking to the Internet Café I will always see about 10 pigs in the path rooting around and as best I understand the Hindu people do not eat pigs. But someone is, and it is not obvious who is eating these pigs.
TRIED TO CONNECT MY COMPUTER TO NETWORK
I took my computer to the Internet café last night and tried to connect it directly to their system. It was a complete failure, but I have learned that the people working inside the Internet café will generally help me, but in this instance he did know how to create a connection.
CRAZY ITALIAN DOING A MANTRA OUTSIDE MY ROOM
I am amazed at the number of crazy people in Asia. They may think they are sane, and the other travelers may think they are sane, but I really wish they would all find God soon, so they could relax and stop working so hard to be holy. This zealot like desire of the Travelers to find God is annoying because it is just that being a Zealot. They treat anyone that is not being the holy-than-thou attitude as being an outcaste or not with-it. I am learning to avoid the crazies as a means of good mental health for me. They have a glassy look in their eyes and sort of like they just got kissed for the first time. Sort of like they just got off the turnip truck for cult converts.
Note that this is NOT normally the Indian people. It is the other travelers that are making life annoying here.
Note that he is Italian and he has changed his name to Ganesh. This means elephant in the Hindi language or could be Sanskrit. I ask him if it was Sanskrit of the local and he gave me that look like I am stupid, so I let it pass. I am in a non-violent place… hehehe
But there is a God or sacred statues and such by the name of Ganesh and seems a little crass to me to name yourself after a God or Sacred Statue. He is a mentally deranged person, and scared of his shadow. But looking for God should help him.
VERY COLD MORNINGS Wednesday Morning
It is very cold in my room. The nights are very cold here in Sawegram in January.
TOO MANY PHOTOS
I am having a photo problem. I am able to take too many photos because of ways of taking photos, and I am just overwhelmed with work. Every time I take a photo I need to create a caption for the photo. This takes time, and I am starting to avoid doing my weekly newsletter just because of he quantities of photos. I am going to have to stop carrying my camera with me.
MY THOUGHTS SO FAR ON THE ASHRAM
After walking around today, I am hard pressed to say that this is a retreat or in my dictionary as defined an Ashram. I would say I am at a place that is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi and is trying to maintain his former residence for people to see, then if you wish you could have a veggie meal.
Now I came here to do this, I came to see how Gandhi lived, but I was sort of expecting to see how an Ashram functions and am a little disappointed. I may have to go to a real Hindu one to see this, but nonetheless I am still working on learning about Ashrams and Gandhi.
I did expand my knowledge of Gandhi and am onto some further clues to helping me to understand the man. A lot of the quotes on the walls today were about truth and being a good person, while the autobiography was more about him being a lawyer, and some of his doubts about his actions. I did not see the experiment of truth in the book, although I did see some of this experiment in truth in the quotes inside the Ashram. I took photos of all of them, and will check soon to see if they came out OK.
I am still checking, but I am pretty sure his Leprosy and Yoga centers are closed. There seems to be very little of the former activities that he wished to promote still functioning. I am in some ways worried about the ability of this memorial to continue to function. I do no think it needs money, but there does seem to be a need for human energy.
I think they need a Guru, Swami or some Sadhu that is really got nobility about the person to run this place or be a charismatic manager. I am lost to see who is really running this place, and not that that matter, but if this is to be vital there needs to be energy.
There is Gandhi foundation, but I am not sure of the goals.
I walked into my room a few minutes ago, it is about 10:00 PM and outside is very black and very eerie here at the Sevagram Gandhi Ashram as I just returned from the internet café at the small village or square and on the floor walking around is a huge cockroach. My instant reaction was to find my shoe and smash the little bugger.
Now I am at the former home of one of the man that championed the values of non-violence and the idea of Ahimsa or to “do no harm,” so this act of violence on my part was thought over a couple of times before the shoe hit the cockroach. I supposed the last thought in my head before I had a good first shot at this cockroach was,
“Do I need to kill the cockroach?”
So Gandhi did make an impression on me, but I just read a quote on the wall earlier today about a book has no value if you cannot put the words into action. I keep dwelling on this Ahimsa idea and trying to figure out what it means. I suppose it appears that killing cockroach does harm, but that is definitely an oversimplified version of values. Sometimes to not do something causes more problems, and does more harm than to act.
Civil disobedience is to me also passive aggressive behavior and in a pre-meditated sense, this becomes to me violence. A much better sense or use of violence than killing people, but a still in my mind a lower form of violence. Starting to slice and dice the uses of violence and I am sure I can come up with some really juicy situations that would cause anyone to talk about violence. Gandhi himself sort of alluded to his support, or how he drove or helped in Ambulance in a couple of British wars and in some ways was a tacit support of war.
But nonetheless I do not see any great value for cockroaches and will continue to be a meat eater. I suppose we do what is normal for an animal I life, and I am not in denial of something else second and me being an animal first.
2 SOUTH KOREAN GIRLS
There are 2 South Korean girls in the Ashram or walking around. I have talked with them on a couple of occasions, and they are very nice. Their English is very bad, and talking is slow and full of misunderstandings, but they are nice girls. I have discovered that they do not like walking on the street alone, and the men here must really stare and make comments of sorts. I am not sure how the men act with the women but for sure the girls do not like how they act. I am going the same direction as they are, and am trying to learn, or figure out if they wish to travel with me, so they feel safe. They are extremely well mannered women, and it would be easy to travel to Varanasi with them, other than it is slow talking and can be confusing.
I have met a few India boys wandering around just outside the Hotel or the Ashram and this is fun for me, but I have noticed that they all know too well about who are the women inside the Hotel. It is obvious and I think natural that India boys would want to meet the Western women, and think if I was them I would be doing the same, but I agree or think this is difficult for the Western women.
I do not think it is a real problem, more of an annoyance.
I am typing this into the computer to let regular readers know.
"The Internet in India is some of the worst in the world."
There is not maintenance of anything, and the Electricity make Iraq look like the best in the world. The machines or hardware all are broken, and they so much time surfing the Sex sites that they have been invade will pop ups and such. The machines are crap.
So please do not expect regular newsletters or blogs.