|Modes of Transport
• Bus 19
• Train 16
• Plane 5
• Boat 2
• Taxi 21
• Motorbike 4
• Jeep 6
• Horse 1
• Horse and Cart 1
• Rickshaw’s Numerous
• Auto-Rickshaws Numerous
• Frowning – no one seems to frown here. They either smile or have a peaceful face
• Friendly – this is the second country, along with Argentina where I find the people are genuinely friendly. The majority don’t have a pot to piss in but they’re resilient and always seem to be smiling
• India is squalid and in places and most places its filthy, smelling like urine which makes me appreciate Canada even more.
• Poverty and corruption is everywhere. A policeman has to buy his way in – hence kickbacks. Government Ministers have no sense of honour and have little or no respect from the populace
• Superstition, socio conditioning and the Placebo effect. What is the need for people to believe in a God or God’s?
• History has been re-written as the uneducated youth believe that Gandhi allowed partition
• The television has four basic tenets: soaps, Bollywood, bad news reporting, cricket and third-rate American movies. Soaps are basically the same, ‘boy meet girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl’ – and they love them as there must be at least ten playing at any one time. Bollywood is the same as the soaps just longer and consequently more boring.
• The new media does not report the facts – they incite decent. India is made up of Hindu’s, Muslims and Christians. They live together in relative peace, harmony and tolerance, indeed this is what each religion preaches. A TV station had a news article entitled, ‘India, Terrorist and Islam’. In Canada, thank God, this would be subject to a class action and racist law suit.
• Sex – it’s everywhere. Hinduism like all other religions is a male construct. Hinduism takes it to the extreme in that the sculptures of women are in sensual poses, when it’s a sexual position it sometimes involves a three-way. The TV commercials take it to the extreme.
• Making babies – what I’ve been told is that the youth are pressured to make babies by their parents. They appear to have no idea about making love but just jump on, bang away for three minutes in the hope they make a baby. Even though sex is advertised everywhere, i.e. TV, Temples, and movies they don’t talk about it – it’s taboo. They complain that their wives just lie still and don’t move, well, like yer! Lastly many believe that a) if a woman doesn’t get pregnant it’s her fault and b) the woman decides the gender.
• Rape – as it used to be in Canada, rape is considered the woman’s fault. They still won’t accept that rape is an act of violence. Rape is not considered rape if a woman is married and her husband rapes her
• Dowries, although illegal are still practiced. Promises made by the bride’s father for monies not paid in a specific period can lead to the bride’s death, usually by burning. This of course goes unpunished
• Urine abounds – most people who urinate in public are males but some women do also. The problem is that they all seem to urinate in the same place, consequently when you walk pass the spot it wreaks
• Horns – as they say in America, you are what you drive. Not here! The bigger the vehicle and the louder the horn – you win! So you have auto-rickshaws with super loud horns
• Crowds everywhere – its push and shove especially at a train station
• Most people on the planet are basically good
• I approach others
• I am approachable
• I am even more laid back than I after my South American trip
• I can do things for myself – I guess I always could
• People on the planet seen to need a God to worship and pray to. Even Buddhists, regardless whether they are from Tibet, Bhutan, India, or Vietnam etc get down and prostrate. I guess all religions including Islam and Catholicism seem to have this social conditioning. Why is it that I don’t need this?
• Neither India, Bhutan or Nepal are mystical. Each is riddled with superstitious nonsense, e.g. walking around a Dzong, Stupa or temple clockwise spinning pray wheels or kneeling or touching ones ears or touching the ground
• I came back more enlightened. The superstitious mumbo-jumbo is not for me. There are no differences between any of us and meditation is not reserved exclusively for the chosen few
• Monasteries are institutions. Children become monks because they are orphans or their parents cannot afford to feed them so they take them to a monastery on the pretence that they are children of relatives
• I will not become a monk this time around
What would I do differently?
• Better planning. This resulted in increased costs such as: pills, travel insurance and air travel. I didn’t calculate travel durations correctly, especially overnight trains
• Take less clothes and more money. I didn’t need three pairs of trousers or a casual dress shirt
• A better laptop with CD writer, CDW CD’s and good anti-virus software and copy pictures to CD on a regular basis
• Rather than buying new pen-drive, I screwed up two camera cards by trying to use as a memory stick, hence I got a virus and more money wasted
• Better exercise before I left as I got quite tired and a sore back when walking long distances whilst carrying my backpack
Lastly, I have come back with more question than before I left