Varanasi, a quickie

Trip Start Jan 08, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Monday, January 2, 2006

Gaya is a hole as well. We decided to stay the night there as we had a very early train the next morning and didn't want to face having to find a rickshaw at 4am from Bodhgaya. After dinner we were in a cafe eating Gulab Jamen and having chai when about 5 guys in uniform came up to us. They all stank of booze. The oldest (and stinkiest) guy told us he was the head of police for the area and requested that we return to our hotels for the evening. When questioned further he said it was alcohol day and that there were too many drunk Indians around and it was for our own safety. How funny is that!! Alcohol Day!!! We had wondered why there were so many people (men) on the streets.

The hotel we stayed in was the best of a disgusting bunch of mosquito ridden dumps. The old guys on reception were quite friendly though and we had sporadic satellite tv (when the electricity worked). It was the first night I used my mozzie net. I'm not usually worried about the odd mozzie or two, but I'd never seen so many in one room before. Swarm would be a good descriptive word here.

The train trip was not without incident either. We just knew there'd be someone sleeping in our seats - and there was. They kicked up such a fuss!! As usual we had a truck load of men trying to sort out the seemingly simplest problem. There was a woman lying across the bottom seat. But when she sat up she took up the space of two people so Ryan and Meg were squashed. All she had to do was move her bedding off the seat and everything would have been fine. But the stupid cow couldn't get it. We even had Indian men telling her in Hindi, but she wouldn't budge!!!! At 5am (well by this stage about 5.30) no-one was feeling too sunny but in the end some guy got her to move some of it. Bloody nightmare!

In Varanasi we walked up and down for ages trying to find somewhere decent to stay and finally got somewhere next door to where we stayed last time. We showed Meg and Ryan the main points, especially where to get the best street chai we've had so far - complete with the aroma of freshly bbq'd dead people!

In the morning we took another sunrise river boat trip. It was even more lovely than the last one and we even got the same old guy rower, but cheaper! He even did the same old half an hour more thing and got just as grumpy as last time when we'd refused. A ride up the Ganges is highly recommended. It's beautiful.

We had brekky then David and I had to pack. We were finally leaving the seps and heading off on our own - although we were going to meet up again in Agra.

When we were packing up it finally happened to me. I couldn't find my super dooper Sennheiser headphones. I was getting all hot and flustered. They had been a gift but in the pack as well had been two other small sets of headphones and my memory stick-MP3 player. BASTARD!!!!! I'm always so careful about checking rooms and seats on trains etc to make sure we don't leave things behind. I was so sure I'd packed them when we left Gaya. I couldn't believe I'd misplaced them somewhere! We all searched the room but they were no where to be seen. I was devastated but we didn't have time to cry, David and I had to get to the train station. We were going to see the erotic temples at Khajuraho.

Perhaps this was the omen of the nasty, freaking, door-locking, hotel owner man in Bodhgaya coming to haunt me!!!!

Was I supposed to have reached enlightenment in Buddha's sacred place? Was I being punished for being a non-believer?

Maybe the temples at Khajuraho would provide some inspiration for my sorry soul.
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