Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag India at last
16 november 2016
India at last
When I arrived in Rishikesh, I was offered a TukTuk to a guest house. I told him I wanted to go to a guest house costing less than 400 rupees, and if he could take me there, I’d pay his 200-rupee fee. He said he could, but when we got there, the hotel cost 500 – 7 euro. INR has a higher value than NPR. I paid the driver 120 “I told you I couldn’t afford both” and he unexpectedly left without an argument.
The next day, I went out to find an Ashram. I’d gotten a tip from a Czech girl in Lumbini about Ved Niketan, where you’d pay 150 a night. Loving the idea of only spending 2.10 euro per night, I decided to go and find it. I got a single room for myself, with built in bookshelf and clothing shelves, meaning I can actually put my stuff somewhere. It’s minimal and awesome. I don’t know why I love it so much, but I do. Included in the price are yoga and meditation lessons, food, a beautiful inner garden, and a beautiful view of the Ganges river. Yup, my total daily expenses are currently 2.10 euro. Maybe I should stay a while…
2 hours after arriving, there was a yoga class. I went and was stretched out completely, and by this I mean that the teacher actually pushed me into my stretches more than I thought I could handle. Which was… interesting. Afterwards, I felt great though. I had food at the kitchen, wonderful Gujarati food which was made by the cult that had rented most of the Ashram. It was a great eggplant curry with chapatti.
The second day started with me having some weird feeling in my gut. Maybe the food wasn’t that good. I decided to go to meditation at 6 but to skip yoga at 7.30. I went out and walked around Rishikesh for a while and then saw “Laughter yoga”, so I thought I’d be able to do that – my stomach was feeling better anyway. It was great! I left there very happy, even if I did have to pay for this class.
Afterwards I had lunch with the cult, took a cooking class, and learned to make the eggplant curry that I had eaten the day before, plus how to make chapatti, so now I can make vegetarian Indian food that’s even better than the vinegar marinated lamb…
I went back to the Ashram and asked to help make food. They misunderstood me and kept telling me the food would be ready in 2 hours. Finally I found someone who spoke English and she explained what I wanted. They welcomed me and I rolled 50 chapattis. Afterwards, I had my sixth meal that day, an incredible green pea curry. Obviously I asked for the recipe and got it, but she wanted to teach me while cooking too.
So the next day was spent cooking food with the cult. They told me they cook food for 250 random needy people back home every day. I asked if I could maybe help them, and they loved that idea. So it looks like I will be making my way to Gujarat, to actually do some volunteer work with skills I already have. Plus I’ll be getting some experience cooking Indian food in India, for Indian people… I mean, how awesome is that?
After this, there was a Puja ritual for which I was invited, where the entire sect was chanting and some of them “got the spirit of God”, started making weird noises and shaking uncontrollably. The most intense moment was when a girl threw herself backward on the floor, I heard her skull bang against it with a loud thwack, and just lay there for a while. She got up after that though. The chanting intensified and I understood why people were moving back and forth, it felt right. I really enjoyed the experience. Afterwards we had dinner, again everything was wonderful.
The next day (we’re at the 7th of November now) I bought an Indian sim card with internet, so that I can finally use the internet for other things than chatting for the next two months – there’s no WiFi in the Ashram. Nor hot water actually. I then went to an internet café to figure out what I’m doing the next two months (especially if I want to go to Gujarat) and made a decision… I’m going to do Vipasana meditation. It’s 10 days of meditating for 10 hours a day, starting at 4 AM, leaving just enough time to eat 3 times and sleep. I’ve heard quite a few people rave about it, saying they cried every day and they still loved the experience. I’m very interested to see what happens when I go, but I already signed up, so I guess there’s no way back… It does mean I will have to leave the Ashram earlier, so there will be a total of 2 weeks of staying there – probably enough time to get into a rhythm of doing yoga?
Oh yeah, and there was something about the money becoming worthless, making me actually experience hunger in these two weeks. Nothing really exciting, and it was good for my budget. It was interesting though. Other than that, a lot of yoga, meditation, reading and playing games on my phone. I enjoyed myself. I enjoyed Rishikesh. I didn’t enjoy not eating. And tomorrow I leave for Dharamshala.
Foto's bij verslag (3)
16 november 2016 18:43 | Door: Danielle
Haha ik herkende je serieus ff niet op de foto's! Ik dacht van welke man plaats jij nu foto's op het internet :) Maar het was jezelf! Staat je goed hoor!!
Heel veel plezier met je meditatie-bootcamp! :)
21 december 2016 19:31 | Door: nellie van rijn
Dag Alex, kreeg van je vader een verslag van je werk en studies de afgelopen jaren en dat je nu op reis bent. Heb een stuk ervan gelezen. Een heel avontuur hoor. Erg leuk en interessant. Ik zou je nooit herkennen als ik je op straat tegenkwam. Ik ga het een beetje volgen en wens je nog heel veel mooie ervaringen.
groetjes van Nellie van Rijn (een ouwe juf)