Dec. 1st: The Road to Varanasi

Dec. 1st

Holy cow! It’s already December and it neither feels like it or looks like it!

The Road to Varanasi

It was long and very bumpy.

The road went from highways as we know them quickly on down to rural country roads that passes through neighborhoods that has houses into which you can peer into their kitchens and living rooms as you drive by. I went from buying a coffee at a very regular looking gas station near Lucknow to getting a refill directly from someone’s kitchen as we got stuck in traffic in a random village. Cows…sheep…lots of them.

Once finally in town, the traffic was crazy and the route we needed to take was closed off by police barricades. The driver parked his car in an jam-packed underground parking. There were so many cars and motorbikes in there, I’m not sure how the oxygen we breath had room to circulate!

“Yada, yada, yada…Bas!” Those were the sounds I heard from the staff attempting to guide our driver into his spot.

Having found the hotel, I freshened up and unpack my backpack and packed it again so it’s city-walking ready. In retrospect, bad idea.

For a short walk, it may be better to just take a stroll without a bag, backpack or anything you fear could be pick-pocketed. The crowds were so think that every time my backpack rubbed against something or someone, I hoped that I wasn’t voluntary donating to the community…

Back to the hotel, a quick nap and dinner then off to the ghats to see the ceremonies.

I liked the enthusiasm of several Western tourists during the clapping and singing along. I’d participate but I’d much rather like to know what’s being said first; what does all this mean? Pesky little questions the mind asks…

I did, however, see Jesus.

Truly, I saw him so many times. Always with tattoos and the man-bun; clearly I didn’t get the memo that male tourists have to don their best Jesus Halloween-costume. What’s with not showering either?

Anyways, I did my best to pay attention during the ceremonies but my attention kept being diverted by a million things; all of which deduct from any sense of holiness. After growing fed up with swatting mosquitos and simultaneously firmly shutting down street vendor, I thought I’d go back to my room see if and how dinner had destroyed my insides.

All good, I’m writing down these thoughts here and others and prepping the plan for tomorrow. Then, a stroll thru alley ways at night in search of trouble will be the best way to end the night.

…I’ve researched and have given up on finding a bar near the hotel. Hence, ice cream will do. Don’t you dare deny me this, Benares!

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