About Me (2)
General Stuff (9)
New York (3)
People I've Met (6)
Preparations and Inspiration (3)
Lurking Around on Travel Sites
In My Own Bed
Pray For It
Seattle and Interesting Uses of Pyrex
Heading to Seattle
Weekend Out of Hippyville
The $330 Trip to the Oregon Country Fair
July 4th, 2004
More Books I've Read
Why Are These People Talking to Me?
There And Back Again
I Wanted To End It All
Summing Up the Gobi
October 07, 2003
Serendipity in Rishikesh
Meeting people has been the focus of the last few days.
I've been meeting people all over the place now that I am on my own. I took the train from Delhi to Haridwar and met an Indian American from LA who stood out more than I did. He was a sweet guy and we chatted about movies and travel for 5 hours. I left the train station on a good note.
I then proceeded to get into a heated, and I mean HEATED argument with a rickshaw driver. I of course knew he was ripping me off and then he had the nerve to have other passengers in the rickshaw. So I refused to pay him until he drove me around to find a hotel. I finally couldn't be bothered with him and decided to hoof it a bit. So he couldn't chase me down for more money, I slipped into some small alleys and got myself lost. As I tried to get my bearings, I stopped by a tiny shop and asked for a cold drink, which turned out to be more than a Coke.
The shopkeeper offered me a chair and after a few minutes, offered me his spare room. I was brought into the house to meet the fam. Niranjan Shah introduced me to his beautiful wife Geeta, his son Ram, and his daughter Rama. I forget the other two girls names. He then insisted I wash my filthy hair. I can only imagine how gross I must have looked. :) Then the eldest daughter oiled my hair up with some weird product and put it in ridiculous pigtails. We chatted about my "husband" and I pulled out photos to show everyone off. (Steph, when they saw the wedding pic you gave me, they asked if you were an actress.) To the picture of Vanessa they said "SAME SAME!!!" and "achaa" which means good. I guess it's good I have a similar looking sister??? I don't know.
Geeta promptly put the red dot on my forehead which I think (but I'm not sure) means I am married. It seemed to work because later when I was in a very non-touristy area, not one person said boo to me, not even "hello."
Staying in an average Indian home was really insightful. It's a very laid back lifestyle. Everyone sits around basically doing not much at all and the living space in the house is all very communal. The presence of privacy was not something I found. Only one of the children went to school (the middle girl Rama who is very bright and very artistically talented) while the eldest girl, Ram, and youngest daughter sat around at home. This perplexed me, but our communication was too basic for me to figure out the reason. It was a great experience, but I couldn't take advantage and left today. I hope I meet more such giving and friendly people in other areas because it really makes my travel experience so much more incredible.
Posted by Claudia on October 7, 2003 10:29 AM
Category: People I've Met