Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Omkareshwar

After a hell bus, came a hell of a hotel. The second we stepped out of the bus and took our bags, it started pouring like crazy. We hid in a police station where they kindly provided us with some broken chairs, and we sat in the spot from where it didn't drip too much from the roof. There was no way of going to Omkareshwar that day, even though it was only 6km away. The policemen showed us to the nearest guesthouse. O.M.G!! I don't think I've stayed in the dirtier place than that. All the walls were black with dried up things that spilled on them, the floor was concrete, and there were 2 used condoms in the washroom with a bucket of something black and slimy inside it. I had to take a shower after the journey, but Andy skipped it. I slept fully clothed, cause the feeling of touching the bed with sheets that weren't probably washed in a month just grossed me out.
In the morning we got a short bus ride to Omkareshwar. At the bus station which was huge for such a small town, we were approached by a 15 year old kid who works in the guest house where we were going. He said it's 2 kms away, and I didn't feel like walking that much, so we took a taxi. 500 meters later and we're there. Initially we agreed for 50 rps, which is already too much for that distance, but once we got there, we took our luggage out, and said that it wasn't 2 kms, so we're not paying 50 rps, they argued and we argued, at the end we turned around and walked away without paying anything. The kid run to his father who's the owner of the hotel and was crying to him. I respectfully told him what happened. He took out a 20 rp note, and gave it to his son so he'll pay the taxi and told us that 20 will do. 20 did do :)
We got out of the guesthouse to walk around. What a change! Everybody's super friendly, but mostly people don't know English, nobody's trying to sell us anything or drag us into their shops. Andy said that might as well use the opportunity to actually see what they're selling :) They weren't selling anything exciting, and of course everybody sells exactly the same things as the store nearby, or should I say the same things on the street, or same things in the whole town? … country????
Now is a crop planting season, and it seems that the landscape is filled with dry cow dung patties for fertilization. In the town too, some shops were completely full with a huge pile of dung patties. Andy took a picture of one of them. The woman adjusted her hair, and her sari, and stood very proudly near her big pile of shit ... it was too funny :)
We took a rest day. We were so exhausted from travelling around. We move every second day, and every second day it takes the whole day to get somewhere. We sat at the shaded restaurant in the guest house where they turned a fan above our table and read the whole day. We just got for a dinner.
Next day, same thing. Rest day! The water bottle that we were drinking had just a little bit of water in it, and because of the fan it was moving around the table, it looked like it was dancing. We were singling and clapping to it :) Aaaahh ... the simple joys of life :) We are miserable in the heat, but we're also happy in it. There is no escaping it, so might as well enjoy it in any way we can. I think we started to appreciate small things much much more.
In the hotel, it seems that everybody, including the dog has a full time job of chasing the monkeys away who eat flowers, open sugar, throw everything on the floor, tearing posters, and trying to get into the kitchen. I don't know who does more damage, the monkeys or the staff who throw chairs at them, not hitting the monkeys but breaking the chairs. The dog would be funny. He was so scared of the monkey that while there was nobody around, he would lye lazily and watch monkeys misbehave, but as soon as he'll see someone running with a stick, right away he'd be on all his fours, barking and growling like crazy running the length of the fence back and forth :)
We were eating mangos, when a monkey jumped on the table walked towards us, took a seed and happily ate it. When he came back for another seed, Andy shooed it away with his hand. The monkey got on his 2 feet, growled and showed his teeth. Thank god somebody came running with a stick!
While travelling in the central (and very traditional) part of India, and especially after the Hyderabad incident, we figured out that to say that we're married would be the best choice. They don't understand how a guy and a girl can be together and only be friends, so just to avoid confusion and too many questions, and of course much more for my personal safety, we decided that it's the way to go. Sometimes when I was by myself and some guy would start talking to me, I'd say, sorry got to go to meet my frie ... um ... husband. I'm so not used to being married! :))
At our guesthouse we had a funny conversation. Andy said that we should go and buy some fruits.
Y: Since when did "I" become a "we" ... you know, we're not really married :) And besides you never do anything nice to me, so you go and get some fruits.
A: What do you mean? I'm always nice to you!
Y: You're being delusional!
A: Is that the "best of the best" in Russian?
Y: As a wife I should be supportive of everything you do, and I'm very supportive of you buying the fruits and making the fruit salad :)
A: Fine! ... he gets up ...
Y: *cough" delusional :))

We went to the same restaurant for dinner. It was the best restaurant in town, and it stood out a lot from the other hole in the wall joints. On the sign it said, "Good food for a good cause". We got in, and there were about 10 kids sitting at the table having 1 chapati on their plate. They were given ketchup, and 1 kid started laughing and pouring a lot on his chapati. He was approached by a yelling owner who put a little drop in the middle of the chapati, yelled some more, and the kids just ate it quietly while looking down at their plates. (Chapati is a flat bread like a pita, but a little bit thinner) … hopefully the cause was better than the food!
 The boss took a liking at us, and ordered his staff to serve us like we were kings. He was shouting at everybody, FASTER, FASTER!!!! He demanded that service just for us, while ignoring everybody else in the restaurant. When the food came, he was standing and watching me eat it to make sure that I like it, when I said that I did, and it was one of the best foods I had in a while, he showed up with a team of his waiters and a chef.
"Yana, this is our chef!" he said proudly. One of the waiters patted the chef on the back when they stood there all grinning. The chef came forward and shook my hand. I told him that he did an excellent job with all the meals we've had. The owner translated that to him and he gave me an even bigger grin and bowed down to me. What an honour to serve foreign people! You guys would never understand it :) When we were closer to finish our meal, the owner suddenly reappeared and was humming to his staff. Hm he head pointed to an empty cup. The cup was taken away. Hhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, he head pointed to an empty chapati plate. The plate was taken away. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ... he pointed to something else that was barely visible near the wall and didn't bother us at all. When I got up to wash my hands I heard a yell, I turned around and almost jumped back in surprise. There was already a napkin shoved in my hands, so that I could dry my hands with it. When I got out, the door was held open for me accompanied by a smile, happy head wobble and a bow.
I don't really enjoy that kind of service. I know that in India servers/cooks/maids are not considered to be people, but for me there is only class and status distinction. I'm a human, he's a human. We're all the same and deserve the same treatment!
We didn't come back to this restaurant...
Next day we decided to see the big Shiva statue on the island and walk around it. Apparently the path is shaped like an "Om" symbol. First we thought that the island is shaped like Om, but nope. We walk up the stairs, it's before 9am, and I already have sweat dripping down my back. At the top Andy doesn't have a face on him, he got another heat attack. He went back to the hotel, while I wanted to see some of the island. I started walking, but after walking for a little bit, seeing more steps which I wasn't ready for, and bumping upon guys who couldn't take their eyes off of me (not in a good sense), I remembered my walk in Goa and decided that I walked enough and my daily exercise quota is reached!

Random stuff:
- 100 kgs of sugarcane cost $10, and that's with transportation!!!
- We start talking in weird English, using phrases like "You like?". I was thinking about it ... is this grammatically correct? I look at Andy, and he looks at me. Would you say that in London? "you like?" ??? I think we started abbreviating sentences so it would be easier for locals to understand :)
pix are here: https://picasaweb.google.com/100036016632387453128/Omkareshwar#

1 comment:

  1. damn, now i sound like a retarded cripple...right on the money!

    ReplyDelete