|I know journal entries have been sparse-I apologize completely but the problem is that I am just having far too much fun and too many experiences to find alot of time for updates! Moreover I am starting my two weeks in Ashram tommorow and will not be electronically connected, so don't worry, I have not been eaten by hungry tigers(at least probably not), and I promise to write some nice long updates and post some photos when I get back to Delhi. I had been in asia so long that it had started to make sense to me. I had started tuning out the tuk tuk touts, the insane drivers, and had started getting used to the way life goes in south-east asia. Although certainly there are differences between each country in the region, they are far outweighed by the similarities. India, in the two days I've had to experience it has been an extreme change. Upon arriving in Delhi, the first order of business was to get scammed. This I did faithfully in my travel-induced stupor at about 1 AM. Luckily the scam really didn't cost me any money, it did cost the hotel I had had reservations at money but I stopped by the next day, took out a room for two nights and we all had a good laugh at the ingenius scam. What happened was this. I took an airport taxi and gave him the name and adress of my hotel. We started driving and after about 25 minutes(the airport is very far away from the city), the car seemed to start limping and lurching before coming to a stop. The driver looked back and said "Oh, very sorry trouble with engine. We go up here to tourist office." This was my first clue about 200 metres in front of us was a tourist office. I walked inside, "I am late as it is and I really need to call the hotel to tell them I'm still coming" I am beginning to get concerned. "Yes no problem, give me the number" Says the nice man behind the desk with a humongous mustache, "here I dial the number for you." Now I should have watched his fingers but I was really not in a mental state to be overly scrupulous so I just trusted him, which was a big mistake. "OK you talk" he hands the phone to me,
"Central court hotel?"
"yes, how can I help you sir."
"I have a reservation with you and I'm running late so I just wanted to let you know I'm still coming."
"Oh, very sorry sir but somebody didn't check out and we have no room."
"But I made the reservation at 1:30, after check out."
"It was late checkout sir."
I told the man just to take me to the hotel anyway and I would sleep in the lobby, knowing something was rotten at this point, but for ten minutes the man refused until i finally gave in and let the driver take me to a different hotel(very nice actually) for the same amount of money I was going to pay and a hefty commision for the driver and travel agent. The next day I ask the man at central court if it had been them I was talking to the previous night, "No, sir we hold your room and you never come and you never call." It really was a good scam, especially perpetrated on a weary traveller! India is full on. The pollution in Delhi is unreal, the touts merciless, the traffic absolutely insane and the pace of life generally similar to that of a mosquito on speed. I make a few purchases, a couple pairs of custom made linen slacks and shirts, and some gifts for folks back home, then I take off on a bus for Haridwar and Ashram. That is all I have time for now, more, much more in two weeks. Much love to and god/uf/krishna/darwin/your own sense of connection to something bigger/bozo the clown bless you all,