Here’s a tip for anyone coming to India. Do not expect efficiency…anywhere. This tip is especially crucial when taking public transportation. Yesterday we were set to leave Katni station to go to Agra departing at 7:30pm, so like the good travelers we thought we were, we decided to get there 2 hours early. After 2 hours of locals coming up to us intrigued by everything about our lives and asking questions balancing on inappropriate (we are now pretending we are married for the rest of India), we realized our train was late and was now leaving at 9:30pm. At 10:30pm we got on the train, and we got to Agra at 4:30pm rather than 8:15am. When traveling long term there isn’t usually too much of a problem if you loose a day in transit, but the problem was that we had no food and the last time we had eaten was noon the day before, so we survived off chips and biscuits. We did not feel good.
A city without shame or remorse, perched on the ghats which enter the great Ganges river lies Varanasi. Mecca or Jerusalem for the Hindu universe, it is here all Hindus wish to die before being cremated at one of the two burning ghats. Once ones ashes are thrown into the Ganga, (or Ganges) their spirit becomes free from the cycle of rebirth. Pregnant women, children, holy men or cows need not not apply, as they are already pure and enter the river without cremation.