Published: January 21st 2007January 21st 2007
Hurrah, I have bought the silliest of socks. You know how socks and sandals really dont mix? well they do in India, in fact, they go so well that you can buy socks with one toe specifically so that you can wear flip flops, I'm now so cool.
So, I have a whole load of photos to illustrate past blogs. At some point I will make sure that they all go on at the same time, but Im just too damned eager to put my blog up that the photos are lagging behind.
I'm not sure what else I need to report other than I think (touching much wood) that I am almost entirely recovered.
And today, I have realised that I have a morbid fascination with dead bodies. I have tried to deny this disgusting obsession, but here we are at the holiest of Hindu cremation destinations, and everywhere I am being told that the charred remains of bodies which are taking a bit too long to burn get disposed of in the river - EVERYONE seems to have seen bits of bodies floating by. So we've been here 3 weeks, and I finally admitted to myself that I
Bob on the roof
This is the roof of the hotel we're staying in right now
am actually curious about this. I do feel uncomfortable watching the burning ghats, partly because women arent supposed to be there cos they'll cry, and partly because it's someone else's funeral, it's nothing to do with me.
I have allowed myself to sneak a ghoulish look at the fat dogs nibbling at the waters edge, but today, when our boat when by, I accepted that as grim as it may be, perhaps I did want to believe it by seeing it.
There were many fires as we went past, quite a few bodies wrapped in golden cloth, waiting on the steps, a body being soaked in the water before being put on a fire, several fires being stoked up, and a couple of bodies atop fires, but thankfully nothing too unbearable. Also there were no floating bits. I looked, but nothing, and secretly Im very pleased indeed.
But on the way back, we passed what bob announced was a rock - no, actually it was a dead donkey. Then as we climbed off the boat, we saw an upside down bloated tortoise rocking backwards and forwards in the green slime. That looked so wrong, I wanted to turn it the
Bob and cow
I think the photo Bob is taking here is actually on his blog! (blog.eyesopen.co.uk)
right way up so it could deteriorate in peace, but I also really didnt want to go near that ganga water, or the dead tortoise for that matter. It turns out I dont want to see dead bodies at all. I'm glad I didnt. It's a very grim thought indeed.
What's less grim but slightly worrysome are the locked glass cabinets at the back of all chemist shops which announce in ornate red writing 'poisons'.
And while we're on grim, we were walking through the market yesterday when a man sitting in a shop happily offered me one of his caged chickens. I smiled, shook my head and only then took in the large pool of blood by his feet and the knife in his hand. In all honesty though, the chickens looked far more content than many I've seen elsewhere.
There are more photos below