Thursday, April 20, 2006

rishikesh rut

i'm in rishikesh, home of yoga, the ganges river (the clean part), massive ashrams, tons of israeli tourists (i don't know why, but they dominate here like nowhere i have ever seen), cows and monkeys galore, and hindu pilgrims passing through on the way to the 4 sacred himalayan temples in the far north of the state. there are probably a few beatles prilgrims around as well, i suppose, as the beatles made this place famous to us westerners.

it's all very annoying, really. and made more so by my (perhaps bird?*) flu and my days of delerious fever. tomorrow i hope to go white water rafting on the ganges. this will be the first time i have rafted on God, as a few saddus have explained to me that that the ganges is god and mother. Saddus, for those who don't know, are holy men who smoke loads of ganja (legally--saddus only though) and often prance around naked abusing their genitals. a saddu might, for example, wrap his penis around a stick and then tug on mercilessly the stick. this is sometimes even done in public. i'm pretty sure they also abuse themselves the way a 14 year old boy abuses himself vigorously and frequently. these two activities bring them enlightment and/or closeness to god, and i suspect, much nap time. oh, they also ask for money and food (for the munchies). i bought a saddu some chapatis the other night, because he was so mellow (pot) and had such a friendly smile (pot) and followed quietly beside me (pot), such a welcome contrast to the other 9 people chasing me down the street for their handout. i wish the entire country were stoned.

*[i was speculating that i had bird flu becuase i actually ate a dish (many times) in sikkim that contained not only chicken, but CHICKEN FEATHERS. people kept proudly buying me the chewy green dish at a cultural festival (and i kept eating it), until a local dignitary explained to me that the dish was made from feathers. when he saw my face he told me that the feathers were very clean.]