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Travel Blog-Day 6

This is a blog about my 36-day trip through Nepal, India, and a little bit of China.  I’ll make one post daily until it’s all finished.

Day 6: Patna-Bodhgaya

Left Patna at 6am.  It was a very interesting and good day.  The tourist office wasn’t open, so I had to buy the ticket in the Indian way.  Standing in interminable lines, hoping I got the right forms and was asking the right questions.  Well, it was easy enough.  I got a lot of help from people.  They were very kind.  I got the ticket, got on the train, and got to Gaya.  Arriving at Gaya, I was met by the usual touts, the rickshaw wallahs wanting to take me to Bohdgaya.  Of course they knew I was going to Bodhgaya, there’s no reason on earth anyone would come to Gaya except to go through it in order to get to Bodhgaya.

I shared an auto rickshaw with a Tibetan monk who was also on his way to Bodhgaya.  When we got to Bodhgaya, the auto rickshaw driver took me to a hotel where he would get a commission.  A man stopped on his motorbike and asked where I wanted to go.  I told him Mohamed’s Guest House, which was the recommendation in Rough Guide.  The description said, “You will have the opportunity to live in an actual Indian village.”  I had forgotten and Indian village is a cesspool.  Also, it turned out the guy on the motorbike was another tout named Kumar Ashok.  He wouldn’t leave me alone.  I really got the impression he was stalking me.  He went with me to the Mahabodhi Temple, the place of Enlightenment of the Buddha.  He wouldn’t leave.  A young Indian Buddhist monk, or at least a guy dressed as a monk, started talking to me.  A fat, old Thai nun dressed all in white started yelling at him and he took off.  The nun told me to beware of people like him; they simply dress like monks and then try to get money from tourists.  I told her not to worry.  She also told me, with him sitting right there, that this Kumar guy was a bad man.  He didn’t say a word.  Well, I finally ditched Kumar and walked around a bit.  I had lunch at the Hotel Sugat.  It was the first good meal I had since I’d been here.  The problem was, I had eaten so little since I left home and felt so queasy I could barely eat.  I took 2 spoonfuls of dopiaza and rice and one chapatti.  I couldn’t eat anymore.  I left more than ¾’s of the food there.  The wait staff must’ve thought I was crazy.  I went back to the “guest house” and slept until the next day.

 

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Categories: Travel
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  40. Reuven Lewis
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    Nice image Ken. Organic yet symmetrical. I’ve found Buddhist thought from India to be very organic in its own right, as well as balanced though at times uncompromising. Most Buddhist in India but especially the Theravada (from which I had learned) from Ceylon are very strict in many ways however its principles remain comforting. I try not to eat meat at home but have hypoglycemia like affects if I don’t for long stretches, so then occasionally I’ll break down and devour some lamb flesh at the local curry house. I addition, I can no longer clean up a plate of green chilies like I did when I was 20 years the younger. I like this trip and I like the element of spirituality that’s attached to it. Its ironic that I’ve returned to my partly finished copy of Roger Zelazny’s ‘Lord of Light’ Can’t wait to hear about what’s coming up next.

  1. November 28, 2011 at 11:24 AM
  2. November 25, 2011 at 7:25 PM
  3. November 11, 2011 at 5:17 PM

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