December 25, 2010 – Xmas Once again in Rishikesh

December 25, 2010

December 25, 2010 – Xmas Once again in Rishikesh

Ganga View at Ram Jhula

Lovely couple of days but nothing much to write – phone still not working (typical Indian story just so that I cannot forget I am actually here!), but I did get my gas balloon today so tomorrow can begin cooking for myself, which is always a pleasure. Had a pleasant day out and about, and have been having daily back massages, IN MY ROOM, to try and straighten out the muscle problems I’ve been experiencing since lifting my much too heavy granddaughter a few months back. If nothing else, it is true pampering!.
Weather is getting just a drop colder from day to day, but so far, still pleasant enough to be comfortable if dressed properly, which I am.
So will end here and just make this a picture post to keep you interested in coming back here.

lunch at ayurpak

Nice View from Here

Yes...definitely a nice view

getting ready to fly

on your mark


home from shopping

freshly sheathed straw


Road Rules on Indian Roads – A Guide.

December 23, 2010

Road Rules on Indian Roads – A Guide.

Traveling in India is an almost hallucinatory potion of sound, spectacle and experience. It is frequently heart-rending, sometimes hilarious, mostly exhilarating, always unforgettable –
Most Indian road users observe a version of the Highway Code based on an ancient text. These 12 rules of the Indian road are published for the first time in English.

The assumption of immortality is required of all road users.

The following precedence must be accorded at all times. In descending order, give way to: cows, elephants, heavy trucks, buses, official cars, camels, light trucks, buffalo, Jeeps, ox-carts, private cars, motorcycles,scooters, auto-rickshaws, pigs, pedal rickshaws, goats, bicycles (goods- carrying), handcarts, bicycles (passenger-carrying), dogs, pedestrians.

All wheeled vehicles shall be driven in accordance with the maxim:to slow is to falter, to brake is to fail, to stop is defeat.
This is the Indian drivers’ mantra.

Use of horn (also known as the sonic fender or aural amulet):
Cars (IV,1,a-c): Short blasts (urgent) indicate supremacy, ie in clearing dogs, rickshaws and pedestrians from path. Long blasts (desperate) denote supplication, ie to oncoming truck, “I am going too fast to stop, so unless you slow down we shall both die”.

In extreme cases this may be accompanied by flashing of headlights (frantic). Single blast (casual) means “I have seen someone out of India’s 870 million whom I recognize”, “There is a bird in the road (which at this speed could go through my windscreen)” or “I have not blown my horn for several minutes.”

Trucks and buses (IV,2,a): All horn signals have the same meaning,
viz, “I have an all-up weight of approximately 12.5 tons and have no intention of stopping, even if I could.”

This signal may be emphasized by the use of headlamps (insouciant).
Article IV remains subject to the provision of Order of Precedence
in Article II above

All manoeuvres, use of horn and evasive action shall be left until
the last possible moment.

In the absence of seat belts (which there is), car occupants shall wear garlands of marigolds. These should be kept fastened at all times.

Rights of way: Traffic entering a road from the left has priority.
So has traffic from the right, and also traffic in the middle. Lane discipline (VII,1): All Indian traffic at all times and irrespective of direction of travel shall occupy the centre of the road.

Roundabouts: India has no roundabouts. Apparent traffic islands in the middle of crossroads have no traffic management function. Any other impression should be ignored.

Overtaking is mandatory. Every moving vehicle is required to overtake every other moving vehicle, irrespective of whether it has just overtaken you.Overtaking should only be undertaken in suitable conditions, such as in the face of oncoming traffic, on blind bends, at junctions and in the middle of villages/city centres. No more than two inches should be allowed between your vehicle and the one you are passing – and one inch in the case of bicycles or pedestrians.

Nirvana may be obtained through the head-on crash.

Reversing: no longer applicable since no vehicle in India has reverse gear.

The 10th incarnation of God was as an articulated tanker

Local Photos from Tapovan, Rishikesh Just for Fun!

December 22, 2010

Local Photos from Tapovan, Rishikesh Just for Fun!

Gorgeous Ma Ganga


Washing the Breakfast Dishes

Sunbathing on the Roof

Just in case you get bored, something new to do in Rishikesh

December 21, 2010 – EAT DESSERT FIRST or…the New Journey Begins and Guaranteed Cure for Allergy

December 22, 2010

December 21, 2010 – EAT DESSERT FIRST or…the New Journey Begins and Guaranteed Cure for Allergy

… The feeling of peace and tranquility is slowly coming back and filling me through and through – it feels as though a thick, warm honey-like viscous liquid is working its way through my being – lovely feeling.

I am now sitting at the German Bakery down by the bridge

german bakery on bridge

where I have my first “chance” encounter resulting in a client for a Tarot reading this evening. This all came about when I finished my book yesterday and although I was still tired this morning, knew I had to go down to he book shop. It is a pleasant walk down but the “up” part is still waiting for me!
Got the rest of my herbal remedies on the way, picked up a couple of books and then came to sit at the German Bakery on the bridge to relax. I always enjoy this place but it has one drawback…it has no bathroom which means I very often pass it up to go to another restaurant in the area. To my great surprise, (as well as other not so pleasant surprises since I arrived-several of my favorite places have closed up – Tulsi, Flying Tiger among them), they have expanded the seating area and added a bathroom!

sign in toilet at German Bakery Rishikesh, Laxman Jhula

Lovely. They have the best cakes and desserts in town here!
When I arrived there was a free seat at a table where a young woman looking Indian was sitting, and asked to sit there. No problem she said and at first we sat quietly and then she began talking to me. She is actual third generation Canadian but her family is originally Punjabi. Turns out she is staying at the same guesthouse I am and will be coming up for a Tarot reading this evening…lovely way to begin my stay and a sign of good things to come.

And just now, I have done what I planned to do next time I am in the states- EAT DESSERT FIRST! I am always too full at the end of a meal for dessert, but the cakes here are so inviting, I ordered my chai and apple pie before my meal. It was absolutely delicious, and before going back home, had room for lunch anyway. Perfect meal and I may just do this more often! At least until I begin panchakarma anyway.

While sitting here I saw this guy who looked familiar and then remembered he is the one who posted a video on YouTube about Rishikesh with himself in the star role and singing a song he wrote about Rishikesh… Here is a picture of him…can’t find the link right now:

YouTube Guy

And just to end this post, a couple of quick updates:
the allergy I recently developed to animals and has been making me miserable for 3 weeks, even after trying every type of over the counter med available to fight it, as well as a prescription spray my doctor gave me guaranteed to clear it up – nothing had helped.
Yesterday, among other things, went to visit my friend and local Indian doctor – he gave me something which he said is guaranteed to help in 4 days….after the first dose last night, my nose ran for ½ hour straight, and then I slept well for the first time in weeks and woke up dry this morning! It is a combination of tumeric and other herbs…will take it for a few more days but it amazingly did the trick!!


Do We Ever Really Appreciate the Small Pleasures of Life?

December 22, 2010

Do We Ever Really Appreciate the Small Pleasures of Life?
How often have you actually thought about how lucky you are to get into your shower, turn on the hot water, and enjoy a leisurely, pleasant and cleansing experience? Probably not very often. Well, yesterday evening I went in to try out the brand new boiler and shower head I finally received after 3 years of having problems with the shower in this room. I am so used to it not working and having to resort to a bucket that I had no expectations whatsoever.. I remember standing in my shower at home on Friday morning and thinking :”This is the last “real” shower for 4 months!!!”… Well, to my great surprise and gratitude, the shower was just as good as mine at home and I luxuriated in it for at least 15 full minutes. I promise from now on to really think about how blessed I am, even in this!
Happy Showering to all!!

December 20, 2010 – The Shower Saga Continues – Black Market Gas Ballons and Good Friends

December 20, 2010

December 20, 2010 – The Shower Saga Continues – Black Market Gas Ballons and Good Friends

Those of you who have been following my blog for the past couple of years know the continuing story of the shower in my room which never works properly due to many problems but mainly the fact that the room has needed a new boiler for the past couple of years but instead of spending the money to buy one, the management here continually decided to try and fix it, over and over and over and over and over. They probably could have bought 2 new boilers for the price of all this fixing.
At any rate, when I arrived a couple of days ago, it was in owrse condition than ever, and this time, after much debate and my complaining, a new boiler (I actually think it was a NEWER one taken from another room) was put in, the water is flowing beautifully and finally decided to take a shower last night, only to find the shower HEAD was no good! So, it is now 10:30 in the morning, and a plumber (pronounced plum – Ber) is now in my room banging away to install a whole new shower head and piping! What a mess!!

hmmm...let's see

oh my!....a pipe in the wall!!

messy messy

let's covaer that back up!

Hopefully today I will somehow ge a shower andget my hair washed – even if I have to use a bucket! Welcome to wonderful India!!
All in all I am settling in OK…thought to get an early start today, but that obviously won’t be happening, and getting my household supplies purchased at the local shop. But I am happily sitting on my rooftop, in the glorious sunshine, writing this instead – which is fine.
The weather is much more comfortable than I expected it to be. Beautifully sunny and warm during the day, and although chilly in the evening, still possible to sit outside until 8 or so. The nights are not bad and only early morning do I feel the need for the heater for about 10 minutes to take the night chill out of the room. I am very pleased.
It will take me another couple of days to settle in, I haven’t gotten my gas cylinder yet…seems there is a new law that it is not permitted to sell the small balloons anymore, so they can be gotten only on the black market – which is where mine will now come from. So depending on supply and demand, it will come today, or not today! That’s the best answer I can get right now!
And then the best surprise of all, is unexpectedly finding an old friend.
You may remember the nice Israeli guy who I met here two years ago who took me for my first motorcycle adventures…well, he arrived here the same day I did but much later in the day (also taking 8 hours by taxi to arrive), and we met up finally yesterday. He even sent me a flower arrangement for my room…(turns out later it was from HIS room and was left for him by the owner…his good friend who even visited him in Israel this year!)

We had a lovely lovely talk yesterday and hewill be here for a little over two weeks so seems I will get at least one or two more motorcycle trips !
And that’s about it for now….

Actually got out, did my shopping which will be delivered to my room, saw my dear friend Dr. Arora, his wife manju and my massage ladies, Devi and Laxshmi…all is well, and although still tired, very happy.
Been given something which is meant to cure my new allergy to animals withing 4-5 days, guaranteed!.. Tumeric powder with other herbs! Will let you know

Bye for today

Welcome to India December 18th, 2010 8 PM

December 19, 2010

Welcome to India

December 18th, 8 PM

The new terminal which was still a mess last year, is wonderful…can compete with any other international airport terminal….everything went smoothly from the time I left home, including the taxi ride-the driver had no change, only a 100 NIS bill, and I only had a 200 NIS bill, so instead of paying 120 plus a tip I would have given him, the whole thing cost me 100 NIS. Then in the airport, waiting on line to check-in, I met an American man and we began talking…long story short-we went to the same junior high school in bellerose- PS 172, Hillside Junior High, and we even remembered the name of the principal – Mary M. Mullins (can’t remember things I did this morning, but THAT I remember!)

The flights were lovely, window seat with only one person next to me. He was a lovely young Indian guy going home to visit his family in Bihar. He recently finished his studies and works for L’Oreal in Paris!. He is one of those stories of the new generation, whose poor families work themselves very hard to send one of their sons to University and hopefully abroad for further studies so that they can improve their own lives. Then this son, can then send money home for the other kids to go to University as well, which is exactly what he does, and still lives a good life in Paris.

Everything went well until I got out of the terminal and didn’t find my taxi. Waited awhile thinking he might just be a little late, but finally, a 6 AM called the guy who ordered it for me, and he said he should be there, but I definitely didn’t see him.

Only after did I realize that there were more drivers with signs waiting further outside of the terminal building, and there I found him. The new terminal is wonderful. Everything is underground including the long walk to the parking area, which used to be a very long, and cold walk outdoors. When we got to the car, there was a flat tire! So he fixed that…then there was a terrible noise when the car drove and for the first ½ of the journey he had to drive very slowly, never exceeding 50 (first time I ever complained of an Indian driver going too SLOW). We finally got near the rest stop which is about half way to rishikesh, but it had already taken us much longer than usual, and really had to pee. He decided to stop and fix what was wrong with the car (only then did he tell me he had some problem with the steering (!) and that’s why he was going so slowly!!. I said NO, PLEASE, I need a toilet. So he first dropped me at the rest stop and then went back to fix the car. I had a nice breakfast, took some pictures, and he was back for me, with the car all fixed, and the rest of the way he was the usual Indian madman on the road, although basically a good driver.

I slept on and off the whole way, still not feeling quite well from a recent allergy attack, as well as being tired from the journey. In the end, it took 8 hours instead of 5-6 hours that it usually takes!.

But I got to my room, everything was clean and ready (but, not surprisingly, the shower doesn’t work and will hopefully be repaired in a day or so). There are some redone rooms here but I am not interested in them for various reasons, and will just be patient and wait for this room to be perfect. I did pretty well in getting my stuff set up, although not my clothes yet and am now in bed, with a hot water bottle at my feet, feeling all cozy and warm (the room is actually warmer than my room home in Israel)…I am exhausted, not completely well, but very content and grateful.

Saw my good friend Seema for a chat, the guys here at the guesthouse and in short, feel as if I never left.

Going to sleep early and hopefully will continue with my organizing in the morning when I imagine I will feel much better.



December 19, 2010 11 am

Hi Again

Slept well during the night, despite headcold (allergy) and cough….awoke to sunshine streaming in through my window, and, of course, NO WATER! But I had filled a ocuple of buckets before going to sleep so until the water came (5 minutes after reporting that there wasn’t any), I had what I needed to begin the day.

But, as usual, the shower does not work and this morning the “big boss” was here. Let’s see if this year they will actually change the old boiler instead of trying continually to fix it.

So not hot shower but the sunshine up on the roof certainly made up for it.

Had my breakfast and now am deciding if I have enough energy to continue fixing up the room (which is pretty much in order already but need my stuff from my friend’s house- mostly clothing, and then need to do a big shopping for things I need for cooking, as well as other minor things which need to be replaced this year)

I am feeling good, but still tired…but that is to be expected. Really feel like going out to visit friends etc., but think I will give it another day or so. Also need to get to the internet, but have no great urge to do that either.

Will end now just to get this poasted…



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