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Travel Blog-Day 8

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 8: Bodhgaya-Varanasi

Woke up at 5am, packed my stuff, and went to the Mahabodhi Temple to take some pictures.  I got some great shots.  Had a good omelet with toast for breakfast.  It calmed my stomach down.  I go back to the “guest house” to get my backpack and hear my name being called.  Its Kumar, he says he had 2 missed calls on his phone from me and asked what I wanted.  He had given me his number, but I had simply thrown it away and never called him.  I told him, he was mistaken and walked away.

I got my bag, went to the auto rickshaw stand and got a ride to Gaya.  The ride was interesting.  The military had closed the direct rode from Bodhgaya to Gaya, so we went around the long way.  It took 1-½ hours instead of ½ hour.  Got to Gaya and got a cheap room.  My train was at 4:30am and I didn’t want to chance getting an auto rickshaw at that time of night, so I decided to stay in Gaya.  That is another thing about this Kumar.  He offered the first day to take me to Gaya on his motorbike for free when I left.  The second day he said it would cost 400 rupees.  When I said no thank you, he told me then he wasn’t responsible for whatever would happen to me when I tried to go to Gaya.  That guy and his memory give me the creeps.  If anyone reading this ever goes to Bodhgaya, please be on the lookout for a guy in his late 20’s, early 30’s named Kumar Ashok.  I really think he’s potentially dangerous.

The day/night I spent in Gaya was incredibly horrible.  No mosquito netting or screens on the windows, I was bitten worse than I have ever been.  I counted 20 bites on my right bicep alone.  I didn’t sleep at all.  Incredibly hot, so many mosquitoes, loud fan, just horrible!

One funny story, I was walking around Gaya looking for food. I found this Hotel called Hotel Buddha International.  It had 4 stars.  I figured I needed some clean food and wanted to pamper myself.  I walked in.  It’s empty.  I go to the front desk, the man at the desk says it is open, goes into the restaurant and gets some waiters.  I’m told they only have breakfast snacks and Chinese food.  I order vegetable chowmein.  It shows up and is pretty good, but what is interesting is that there are 5 waiters standing around watching me eat.  I’m the only one there.  I’ve noticed that here.  No matter how big or small a restaurant is they have a lot of waiters standing around doing nothing.  Well, this old guy dressed in black, who I think was the headwaiter, because everyone else was dressed in white, comes with the chowmein.  He stands there and plates it for me.  Some noodles are dangling off of the serving plate; mind you this guy does not look very clean, needs a shave, and smells quite bad.  Well, he takes the noodles in his left hand, which in India is considered unclean and puts them on my plate.  I remove them with my fork and put them on the tablecloth.  This isn’t as bad as it sounds since the tablecloth was very, very filthy.  He just smiled at me.  He stood there and every time I drank any water he would fill my glass.  Whenever I stopped eating for a moment, he refilled my plate.  Then he brought the bill.  With VAT and taxes and what they called “rounding up”, the bill nearly doubled.  Now this is really only $2, but when I gave him the money he gave me incorrect change and ripped paper bills.  In India, no one will accept these; I would’ve been stuck with them. I complain, he says he’s sorry, gets me the correct change and clean, new bills.  Remember, this is all in a 4 star hotel/restaurant.

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Categories: Travel
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