In Varanasi at the moment, Erica will be proud and shocked to hear that Megz and I were so early for our flight that we got put on the earlier flight...but then still managed to get called over the PA system for a final boarding call.
I can't seem to get my head around Varanasi somehow, it reminds me of Pushkar in that it sells itself heavily on the Holy Ganges...I'm surprised we haven't come across snowglobes made from the Holy River water. But at the same time the reverence for the river here is almost eerie, perhaps it's because I've read so much about it and have visions of it being more laden with dead bodies than it is. McKrill you'll be happy to know (that sounds odd...) that I saw a cremation on the banks yesterday. It was a little unsettling initially...but rituals around death are so transparent and open here. Nothing like getting baggered for a ticket for a 'better view' of the cremation.
Megz and I have been categorising the types of people that seem to come to India. Tourists mainly seem to fit into the categories of,
- Older hippie (the dirtiest kind of traveller...pleeease don't let me turn into this.)
- All American Express Tour Bus (that stupidly block the narrow streets here.)
- Your younger 'perfect French tourist' who is walking around looking perfect while the rest of us sweat, fall over and are covered in what we hope is dirt.
We seem to be an anomally here, not many 'average young people.' I kind of like it though, some of these hippie types present as being quite obnoxious. E.g. a bald headed (and without the head shape to support it) hippie american asked a roughly 9 year old Indian boy who sold us stamps for a pittance on the Ganges "why can't some people just talk to you without wanting to sell something?" real classy.On to Calcutta tomorrow on an overnight train. Couldn't be more nervous!