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Published: March 14th 2008
After 2 weeks of sedentarity, it is time for a new adventure! Tomorrow, I leave Rishikesh and by the end of the next day, I should be in Lumbini, Nepal, on my way to Kathmandu. I will be joining a group of trekkers as an assistant-guide for a canadian company. I really look forward to seeing this country again, after 12 years... I am sure a lot of things changed. It will be great to see the Himalayas again. Around Manaslu is the trek.
Leaving India.... It sounds very strange, as everything feels so familiar now, like I always lived here. As I was eating a thali on a roof top overlooking the Ganges yesterday, I was thinking this is probably the last thali I eat for a while! 2.5 months went by very fast but I saw/heard/experienced so much that it also seems longer!
I said India feels like home but it is not entirely true. Everyday somehow, India has another surprise for me. Earlier this week, there was a sadhu sitting next to the road who had... a weight scale in front of him. He asked me to step on! Yeah, that wasn't one I expected! I laughed for a while afterwards. Another day, I was crossing one of the bridges, an Indian couple stopped me and asked if they could take a picture of me with them... I didn't know these people. And little things like that happen almost every day. It's entertaining, to say the least. There is many things I don't understand about India !!! But somehow it puts a smile on one's face.
Yesterday, another new experience: it rained. real rain. It was so strange: all of a sudden there was nobody around. No beggars, no sadhus, no street vendors, not even cows! And it was very dark with no power. Quite a different India then.
So Rishikesh was fun, very busy, and now my hotel turned into a place for big parties... I can sleep no problem until it starts around 1 am... then I can hear the techno-psychedelic music until 4 am or so... So much for shanti... The weather is also changing, hotter and hotter...
Mumbai, Goa, Rajasthan, Rishikesh... So few places when you think of the size of INdia. But a start, and I have to say, India was a very pleasant surprise. I had heard some bad stories about India, but my experience has been wonderful. Amazing diversity, very open and generous people, and a country that is extremely busy and alive but surprisingly organized and peaceful, in its own way. I love it.
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