Robert's Second Epistle from Varanasi

Hi All

We are loving India but search for adequate words to describe what we see. Chaos is a good one. You can look at the dictionary definition, “complete disorder and confusion,” but a visit to Varanasi will provide you with a live example. 

This video shot from a rickshaw taking us along the main street to the Ganges shows how a street intersection should be negotiated.

 We were on our way to the ghats. These are steps that lead down to the Ganges. Most ghats are bathing sites where the faithful got to bathe and pray each morning. Some are cremation ghats. The most famous is the location of the spectacular “Worship of Fire” performed each evening by twelve priests. That was our destination.

 While there Zoe tried her hand at kite flying …


 Alex sat with the girls while I photographed ..


 And then the main event ...


Earlier that day we saw typical street scenes …


Then today, just when i was getting comfortable with India, just when I thought i had seen it all - a yellow cow …


But the food is delicious. In fact, I’m off to dinner right now at the dining courtyard of the Royal Orchid Metropole, Mysore, in perfect weather, this said, smugly, as I read that Adelaide is the hottest city on the planet. 

Which reminds me, when we arrived here this afternoon, R and I went off to find a pizza place that was rumoured to be “down the street 100 metres to the lights, turn left and its on your left”. We set out and somehow picked up a couple of locals. We told them that we wanted the pizza place and an ATM.

As we walked we chatted about cricket (they had poor English, I have poor listening skills) and one said “Brahman?”  Since we had been talking about Australian cricket I couldn’t think of any Indian players we had, then it dawned on me - Bradman.

At this point I looked over my shoulder, and saw an ATM. I pointed it out to our friendly guide and he seemed pleased to think that he had done a good job in guiding us to it. Had I not looked we would have missed it. We continued on for another 3 or 4 hundred metres looking for the Pizza place then suddenly he stopped and pointed - at a cinema. A picture place! (Of course Picture = Pizza). He helpfully told us it was all in Indian language and anyway, did not open till 4:40 pm.

We backtracked and found a MacDonald’s! No beef. Only fish, chicken or vegetarian either plan or spicy  :-)  But they had the full meal option.

Just for the record, this was the only time we have eaten western. As I said, the Indian food is great.