Rishikesh


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October 22nd 2016
Published: October 22nd 2016
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Judging myself as a yogi on retreat, I'm having a hard time accepting that I'm not really enjoying India. There's a ton of factors involved of course- a big one being that my travel partner and I aren't even on speaking terms anymore. But I'm having trouble seeing and feeling India for the vibrant place it could be.

I've witnessed so much pollution (trash and noise) and places that must have adapted to tourism in the ugliest ways. While I've met some genuinely nice Indians, I've also been scammed and harassed by a great number more.

On another note, while the circumstances of why I'm alone aren't ideal, I'm really enjoying the freedom and independence. I can go where I want with no agenda and can change my mind at any second without explanation. I can eat what I want. It's basically the independent travel I have always wanted.

Some random stuff:

- Raju, the very nice man that found me near Laxman Jhula and escorted me all the way to Geeta Ashram near Ram Jhula, which I had spent over an hour searching for. He GAVE me a necklace and told me I'm his friend and that he would not ask not accept anything in return. He fended off the crazy man who had harassed me earlier asking for $10 for sitting with me.
- the "crazy man", a religious guy of sorts. He came up to me while I was sitting on the beach of the Ganga writing and started singing and then wrote me the mantra in Sanskrit. I tried to translate it, but not sure it'll ever be sung. He then pressured me to give him $10, wouldn't even accept the 100 rupees I tried to offer.
- the young man this morning who blocked my path by pulling out his dick and waving it at me asking if I want to fuck. Laura, I screamed at him.
- buying a very colorful outfit that I hope will actually attract less attention than my American clothes I've been wearing for 4 days.
- monkeys everywhere, especially the baby ones on the bridge eating popcorn.
- meeting Swati and visiting the Children of the Ganga school, where I'll teach an English lesson on Monday and maybe celebrate Diwali next Friday.
- amazing food at the Hare Krishna temple
- the guesthouse I'm in, owned by an alcoholic and occupied by long term guests that all hate each other and claim to be yogis. I'll spare my opinions of the rest. $3/night each is nice.
- cows and cow dung for dayssss
- hot ginger lemon honey drinks!
- the color of the Ganga, which is much cleaner and bluer than I thought it'd be. And then the color of the marigolds floating in it. Perfect.
- also, when did Americans decide we would rename the Ganga River to the Ganges?
- I've kept up with my waxing at a fraction of the cost at home. I know, you were concerned.
- the super stoned servers/cooks at the restaurant I'm at. It's really comical, but I'm not too hopeful of my food being correct.
-dosas
- I haven't been to any yoga classes or ashrams in Rishikesh
- $120/8040 rupees we paid to the corrupt tourist agent at the government office for a taxi from Delhi to Rishikesh. The driver was only given 2000 and that includes what he had to pay for the toll.
- police charging the driver 500 rupees instead of the stated 100 on his traffic ticket. He had to pay off all 5 of them or they'd take his license for 3 months.
- my phone getting dropped while charging and the camera and flashlight breaking :/
- firecrackers at nightfall each night
- ornate paintings and statues of Siva, Parvati, Laxman, Ganesha, Hanuman, and the whole crew!





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