It is so surreal.
This is the place Hindus must come to cremate their dead, so that they may have their sins washed and enter into the next life well (or something like that). It is also an auspicious place to die. If you die here in Varanasi, you get to skip the death/life process. Intense, huh?
We arrived this evening via train and were at once overwhelmed by the craziness of the city. It is the most intense place we will go, according to our handy guidebooks. And the books proved right from the start. After much haggling and frustration and yelling at people in chin.ese just to make them go away, (I'm so good at that), we ended up in a rickshaw. That came inches away from smashing into a cow. And then a motorcycle. And then a family. I closed my eyes.
We were dropped off on a street and proceeded to ask many police where our hotel was. A dude latched onto us and led us through the crowded alleys to our hotel.
We have an incredible view of the Ganges. We put our stuff down, took a deep breath, and went to the terrace for an incredible dinner of curry, naan, and sweet rice.
After an intense first hour, it is really good to be here. It is going to be wonderful. Adrenaline is addicting.
I was thinking today that we are not visiting India, but rather feeling India. I can feel myself being sucked into the magic of this place. It is at once surreal, enlightening, challenging, and beautiful. I care for India. I want to know more, see more, experience more.
And tomorrow, we will.
On the Ganges river.
Next to the burning dead.
And I keep singing to myself..."what caaan wash awaaay my sins?...." you know the rest.
walk slow. xoxo.