Sunday, November 23, 2008

Last Day

11/13

Thought I had one more day to participate in the big festival today. Woke up at 2 AM with a foreboding feeling that I was to leave today and did not prepare for it. Jumped out of bed, washed my clothes and hung them out to dry. Packed as much as I could then tried to sleep. After 1 hour of sleep, arose at 5:30AM, went through the morning routine and a last walk to the ghat and the Ganga. Skies are not blue here, just a warm grey/yellow color. Went to the internet and to exchange money. Returned to the academy and asked one of the workers to call the tabla teacher to cancel my lesson today. Called Sony to let her know that I erred on the date of departure and that I need to be at the train station at 12:30 PM. She said-not to worry, Akkash will pick me up, take me to Mata Ji's house where I will have lunch and then take a taxi to the train station. Before I left the academy I gave all of my clothes to Grace who said she would take them to an orphanage. I gave Grace all of my toiletries, laundry soaps and food supplies, tearful good byes and then off to Mata Ji's home. After lunch I paid Mata Ji for my stay and talked about a hopeful return. Mata Ji gave me some beautiful silk sari cloth. A tuk tuk was waiting for me outside.

The train station

Hundreds of people sitting/lying on the concrete floor waiting for the train. I joined them. I was quite comfortable in my spot when police spotted me and made me get up. They led me to a clean room with benches and said "This is where the tourists wait" - segregation alive and well! Boarded the train, and planted myself in a roomy, air conditioned sleeper car. Each sleeping section has seating for 6 people with 3 tiers of bunks on each side. I shared the section with 2 polite Indian gentlemen. Arrived in Delhi the next morning 3 hours late, 9:30 AM. Found a tuk tuk to take me to the airport. At the airport, while going through security the power went out, all conveyor belts stopped. An Indian gentleman winked at me, smiled and said, "Ahh, organized chaos, that's India."

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