On our way to Darjeeling
Trip Start Sep 28, 2008
11Trip End Oct 12, 2008
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Where I stayed
Spoke with some men.. the men tend to smile after they've stared, the women who are more middle class are friendlier. The men were students, one a mechanical engineeringing student. One came up and asked me to take him to America.. the men sitting with me said he was 'psycho' and laughed. This was a nice place to sit and talk with people: on the steps of the planetarium with greenery and a fountain. Clearly these were more well to do Indians. It cost us 30 rupees to go inside which is less than 1 American dollar.
And if I didn't mention it, i met a woman from Switizerland who was with her guru.... skinny man in loin cloth, long hair, friendly. She said she's been here for 5 months and was now looking with new eyes... asked me if i was spiritual. Had a very good conversation with her. She had the whole Indian garb on and the red painted hairline showing she had been to temple.
I met a woman who introduced herself as Christian and told me how we were all one in Christ no matter where we lived..... all these conversations have been the best thing.... getting to know people. Gabes little bit of Hindi has helped a lot and people light up when he speaks to them. The children.... beautiful, so happy to see us.
I did manage to go into a shop where the owner was just beside himself with pride to have us there and show us his goods. I think had we not got out when we did, we'd still be there looking at things. He sold shawls, scarfs, really beautiful. It would be nice to purchase things but just like in Turkey, they hassle you so much that its not even fun to look!
And then there's goats in the streets, the motorcyclist with animal skins hanging across the back, the upside down chickens on the handlebars, the dogs, the people walking with baskets and who knows what on their heads.... most are happy to get their pic taken and it breaks down any barriers when i show them the picture. That's when they really smile.
It is such a gift to be here. However, it is not a place where you want to stay for long.... just far too exhausting. Darjeeling will be a nice change as it should be much cooler and that will be welcomed even if its raining. Does not matter. I have my poncho. Until the next time... namaste.