Nov. 20, 2008 – Just some more stuff – and the story of Hari’s Girlfriend as Promised
Just before the full post, I am including pictures of henna that was done to my hand yesterday when I went to visit Devi. The visit to her house requires an entire post, which I hope I will get to today. But enjoy the pics. She did it with lots of patience, at least on her part (she also wanted to do the top part of my hand, but I couldn’t sit any longer), and then I had to wait 4 hours until it dried properly. So I couldn’t even pee as you cannot take your pants up and down with only one hand. It was all very funny. She had to put my shoes on for me when I left, wrap my shawl around me, take 5 rupees out of my wallet for me to hold for the rickshaw, and still part of the henna wiped off before the time was up. The second picture is still with the wet henna, and the last one is after I washed it and it was completed. It should last for a week now. Fun I guess.
As I was posting the last two posts at the internet café, a new downpour began. But I don’t have far to go and got up to my room without getting too wet. Wonder what tomorrow will bring? (Woke up to another beautiful sunny, warm day and am back in short sleeve summer shalwar kameez!!)
At any rate, I continued my celebration of food with a lovely plate of pasta with tomato sauce and cheese. After a full month of no pasta , perhaps a record for me, it was like a full gourmet meal to me! The waiters, who have been waiting for me to finish panchakarma, began celebrating with me this evening with my masala chai and apple crumble, and were all smiles when I ordered the pasta. I am actually feeling a little stuffed right now, but ever so happy!
It is again cold, but have pulled out more warm clothing from the original parcel I mailed to Delhi before I came to India, and am “snug as a bug in a rug”. I have on two pair of pants, one a training pants and over them
wide jeans. And on top of the two layers of shirts and sweatshirt, I am wearing my winter jacket with a shawl on top. I am now sitting in my room and feeling very comfy. If the weather continues like this, I will soon need a heater, but if there are more days of warm sunshine soon, the room will warm up again and I’ll be fine. Being warm is important to my comfort, and right now I am quite comfortable.
I think I wrote the prescription for improving eye sight, and I began it yesterday. Half teaspoon sesame seeds followed by ½ tsp of amla powder with water and mustard oil massage on the soles of the feet. Daily for 3 months. I’ll let you know when I get home and check my eyes if there has been any improvement. Dr. Arora said he did it at the age of 43 when he began having trouble reading and several months later, and ever since then, has had no problem with his eyes.
OK…Hari’s girlfriend. Hari is a waiter here and a lovely Nepalese fellow. Well-spoken, good English, refined…has been working in India for many years, mainly in goa, but now in Rishikesh. His girlfriend is from Sweden and several days ago she was on her way back to Delhi to fly home after a visit with him. He took her to Haridwar to get the train to Delhi. He said that for the whole day and night before, he has a bad feeling about her bag, and told her several times to be careful and keep and eye on it at all times. She said she would sleep with it in her arms and not to worry.
He put her on the train, settling her into her berth, before heading back to the taxi which was waiting to bring him back to Rishikesh. He reminded her again to watch her bag, which had all her important things in it and a lot of money and she again told him not to worry. He left her sitting on her bed which he had fixed up for her with the sheet and blanket, and because there was still awhile to wait on the train before it left the station, she opened her window a little to let some cool air in.
She turned around to get something, and before she realized what had happened, her bag was gone! Someone had reached in through the window and taken it!! She quickly got off the train, found a policeman, who came and searched her berth and the carriage but they found nothing, of course. So he took her off the train and to the police station where she was given an affidavit. Hari by this time was back in Rishikesh and when he arrived, she was waiting for him on the phone, quite hysterical. She had no money, no phone, nothing…he arranged for her to get back here by taxi and the next day they began the whole process (which I also went through on my second trip to India when my room was broken into) of cancelling credit cards, trying to postpone the air ticket (which they forfeited in the end and had to get another one from a different airline), canceling her cellphone number etc. Calling the embassy, the Indian visa office…just so much to do. She had to wait for an appointment at the Swedish embassy in Delhi so the got a few extra days together which was nice. Yesterday they finally got to Delhi and getting the Swedish passport was no problem as they had faxed everything to them previously. The embassy had also prepared a letter for them to take to the Indian Visa office, but to their surprise, charged them 1500 rupees for this letter (which didn’t help in the end anyway). They both went back to Delhi to do all of this (she was lucky to have someone who speaks Hindi with her through all of this), and after much hassle at the Visa office, finally had all the paperwork done. She was able to get flight out and all is now well. She arrived home this evening.
So, if you are traveling anywhere in the world, by bus, train, whatever…never never leave your bag unattended…even for a second. This goes for airports, train stations whatever. We all hear this all the time, but this should be a good lesson. Not a pleasant story but it worked out fairly easily so, aside from the initial hassle, and loss of quite a lot of money, all is well.