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August 11, 2005

Indian Helecopter

Having had no other option, I have found that I prefer cleaning my bottom using my hand and some water. It saves trees, it is more gentle and it is more hygenic. The next time I choose a bathroom, I will choose one with a bidet.

I am getting very tired of all the calls of hello and offers of boat and rickshaw rides. It's constant irritation. I have found that it is best to pretend to be deaf or to not understand English. The other night a man was following me and pestering me about a boat ride. I kept saying na he but he kept on following me. So I turned around, looked in his eyes and said very clearly but calmly, na he. He then went away. I have found that another effective technique is to use a flick of the hand like you are shoe'ing a fly or brushing crumbs from the table. Perhaps it is offensive, it works really quickly.

I had an aryuvedic oil massage yesterday. I was covered in a strangely smelling hot brown oil and then rubbed all over. The masseur then washed my body in the shower. It's a great cure for homophobia. He then cut my finger and toe nails using a scalpal and cut off my foot warts using a rusty razor blade.

I got a cycle-rickshaw ride down here to Assi Ghat from an old guy who had no shoes. He was waiting for me outside the ATM (cashpoint). I assume that he thought that I would only be carrying 100 rupee notes. We agreed 10 rupees to Assi Ghat and set off. He pointed out "Indian Police", "Indian Cow", "Indian Chicken", "Indian Movie" and "Indian Dog". He also performed various gymastic maneuvers such as hanging off the side of the bike like a stunt horse rider and saying "Indian Helecopter". Every so often he would look at me and say "Baksheesh 100 rupees" pointing out that he had no shoes and saying that they cost 100 rupees. We got to the destination and I gave him 10 rupees as we agreed.

I tried to walk one kilometre up the Ganges from Meer Ghat where I am staying, to Panchganga Ghat. Panchganga Ghat was where a very fat enlightented guy called Trailinga Swami used to hang out, about 100 years ago. He was renowned in Varanasi for doing things like walking on water and getting out of locked cells. After several hours of being lost in the lanes of the old city, I gave up and went home.

The lessons with the yogi I am visiting are interesting. I have been spending 1 or 2 hours with him each day.

I started to feel quite lonely today. I meet people at the hotel where I am staying but they are all passing through, staying a day or two at a time. They think that I am crazy to be spending two weeks here. "What will you do for two weeks?" they ask. I might stay here for the whole month that I in India, I am going to see how things turn out.

There is a constant stream of western girls walking into this internet room wearing Indian clothes. It's very strange. The one standing in front of me is speaking hindi to one of the people who works here.

BTW: It's my birthday tomorrow, 12 August.


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