Stopped in Siliguri

Trip Start Sep 28, 2008
Trip End Oct 12, 2008

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Flag of India  , West Bengal,
Friday, October 3, 2008

Finally! 3 long attempts to get the computer to cooperate with me!! EVERYTHING takes patience in India..... we're here bc after a 14 hour bus ride, we didn't have time or energy to get on the train..... lets say that pot holes have new meaning to me after that trip....and I hope it will be my first and last experience with squat toilets.

\i am the object of much speculation which caused Gabe to have quite an outburst as he tells these men in no kind words that i'm his mom!! The men do stare and when \i smile, most smile back unlike the women who just give me a look.
on the way here, saw palm trees, bananna trees, fields of rice/tea - not sure which but people were out by 4 a.m. working....and walking... no matter what time it is, people are out. Small children walk the road, alone.... along with the cows, pigs, goats, and horses. Saw people bathing in the river and in the cows trough..... The homes are maybe 8 x 8 ft with tin/tarp/bamboo roofs, with fences made right next to it out of bamboo. But at least here there's some greenery around unlike what i saw in calcutta. their lives are so hard...i simply can not imagine living this way day after day but wonder if they no much difference... however, you can see western influence a lot more than you might think...
more rickshaws here, not so many taxis but the noise is unbelievable...even as i sit here in this internet cafe which is a long stretch of the word 'cafe,' i can hear all kinds of sounds.... it slows down but never completely stops. The festival of Durga Puja is to begin soon and decorations are going up-- lights, flowers, statues... she's one of the hindu goddesses... the fierce one. There is so little here that i can see to celebrate that it comes as no surprise that there are so many religious festivals.
i've had some really neat conversations with people and like that most of all.... a smile does cross the language barrier.... and i see billboards for call center training so remember that the next time you call and speak to an indian... its the one job i've seen advertised for women.
Staying at a nice hotel with 2 platforms bed and most important of all, air conditioning.....costing about $25. Had 2 entrees, 2 juices, 1 soda, 1 bowl of rice for about $5 some places they charge foreigners more...can you imagine the uproar if we did that in the u.s.
one young man told me he would like to go abroad 'if god wills it.'...... so, on that note, namaste...judy
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