Yup, still in Varanassi. I decided to take the train so went to the station today. ‘No tickets til Monday,’ the man said. So I’m here another few days and actually am quite enjoying the waiting.
This town is crazy. Proper nuts. Everyone’s shouting and hustling and bustling, and god knows when they go to bed. For us folk in the west we finish work at five, put our Tesco dinner in the over at 6 and start watching the telly all the way to bedtime.
Even at 10pm people are still out shouting and screaming, bartering and badgering you to buy this and that and to sit down for a tea. Energy; they all just have so much of it, even in this 44 degree heat. Incredible.
What intrigues me more is that there seems to be hardly any interference from the state. Sometimes that’s bad, in the instance of the open sewers and general public waste. But at the same time it allows the people to live as they wish, with no instruction on how best to survive. That’s the people’s job, to do it their way, and that they do incredibly well. A people without rule coping quite well without it.
Compare that to Thailand or out countries where instructions from the state on how to live our lives are everywhere and you can’t fart in fear of upsetting the political correctness police. We live in more fear than these guys do. And with more crime, more social exclusion and sadness.
Crazy that amongst what we see as a slum, these people manage to smile so much.
There’s something wrong somewhere. Maybe it’s with us.