Friday, 12 November 2010

3. Varanasi - Sleeping on it.

It seems that it takes me till the third day to get my head around a new country. Today I woke up without the fear of walking out of the hotel. We had told Sunil the afternoon before that we felt we were ok without a guide for a while. But in true Indian style he was waiting for us as we left the hotel. We politely told him we were ok today and that we would find our own way.

When we had talked price with him the day before he answered with "as you like". This is a hard situation to be in, trying to find a price between what we feel his help was worth in Australian dollars and what he expects to be paid We decided to give him 3000rp for the 10 hours he had wandered around with us both feeling comfortable that he was happy.

We semi sorted out our plane and train tickets for our next leg. And then down to the ghats. We had decided that this was the morning we would bathe in the Ganges. Trying to be as respectful as possible we sat on some steps near a bunch of women bathing and slowly lowered ourselves in. Trish went in up to her neck but I felt more comfortable sitting on one of the lower steps up to my waist. If you asked me if I felt spiritually clean I would say no. But I feel blessed to be here and to be able to bathe in arguably the most holy river in the world. The other woman paid us no attention. To busy with their own daily washing. And afterwards we wandered back to our room. At the least both feeling as if we had ticked a lifes 'to do' box.

After breakfast we walked down to the main burning ghat. And then wandered around the market both looking and buying a few little bits. It's so cheap here its amazing. I bought a few t-shirts and two pairs of pants and it cost me less than $10. For a main meal it's between $1-$2 and for a boat it's about $1 an hour. We aren't really bartering about the price because both we feel it is too cheap to feel comfortable doing so and also that they seem to have so little in the first place that it seems rude to quibble over what to us is a few dollars. On the upside it feels like both India and Nepal are places that we could comfortably consider coming again (and possibly again and again).


- Tonight I lit a candle resting in a leaf bowl and surrounded by flowers. I sat an made my prayer to Ganga that those who have gone before me have safe trip. I prayed that mum knows I am happy and safe. I prayed for my family and for Andrew to find happiness, for Jack to be brave and find peole who are careful with his heart. And for Hamish to find patience and people who love him for himself. For me I prayed for peace in life and in myself.

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