I woke up the next day from a good nights sleep. I spoke with some Danish girls living next door, and as usual, i had to instantly ask them to speak English with me. I simply don’t get Danish.
This was my first good talk with people from the west, and it felt comforting. I talked some about where ive been and what I’ve paid, they looked at me and one of them said “Sorry, but I think you are paying way to much for your services”.
I had overheard them talking to the hotel manager the other day, they paid 600 each for their room, I paid 1200 for mine, and at this moment I realise Im paying for a double bedroom. I should have looked for this when I got the preview of my room!
After this chat, I really started to think alot about all my previous payments, my “deals” and if I had put way to must trust into some people.
When my coffee was finished my guide had appeared, with a motorbike. He would take me around town, a “deal” that only included some minor tip to the guide , as it was arranged by my driver Sanye. He introduced himself as Locash, I figured he must have low amounts of cash.
I asked him to take me to the ATM, and then to buy sunglasses. After the ATM machine he took me to the city temple, and I was asked to leave my shoes and cellphone outside, I didn’t really want to leave my cellphone, but could see that others was doing this. I also had a simcard inside that was indian vodaphone, and no money charged, so i couldn’t really see any way of them getting anything done with it, except stealing the whole thing. That would have been stupid of them.
I was given flowers to keep in my hand (wrapped in some paper) as we entered the temple. It was really nice inside, decorations where beautiful, and people where praying. We rang a bell, and Locash kept touching the stairs with his hand, upon which he touched his forehead, some kind of blessing.
We donated flowers to different gods, for luck and who knows… I mostly went along, with biggest respect. I just don’t mess or make fun of religion, especially not outside of Sweden.
Locash told me to keep some flowers, we where going down to the lake to donate them there. I kept the flowers, we went by bike, and as we arrived I once again put my shoes away. I looked down the lake. The whole city seemed to be surrounding it. The water looked as if someone had put oil into it, big spots of fat and dirt floating around all over. An old Indian woman was washing herself in it.
It reminded me of the Boom festival in portugal, where 50.000 people during five days where using the same small lake, to wash, to take a bath, and of course, some used it to take a piss and a shit. The last day of the festival it truly looked like shit. We saw this after taking a cooling bath (me and my crew). We where all sick for another 5 days. I decided to take no holy swim in the Pushka holy-water, if I would be asked to.
After donating some flowers, I was to meet a priest. For me, even if I don’t consider myself to be bound to any specific religion, I find life holy, and I have much respect for priests of all religions, they have a calm way of talking, and love for everyone.
The priest came down the stairs to me, dressed all in white. He sat down, and the following 15 minutes he guided me trough different prayers, that he had me repeat. Some of them was in Hindu, some in English. I was blessing my family, my luck, wealth, and business. I found the business part quite funny, how do i bless bussiness?
“Bless you, computers and system development, design and photoshop, may you bring me great fortune in google hitrates”
I thought this to myself, but its obviously not what we said. During the whole period, i was holding a coconut, and the man put a mix of yellow and red powder on my forehead. “For good luck he said”. It felt good.
“Now it is also important to know, that the holy people who meet in Pushka have no money, and come here as pilgrims, in need of food and drink” he continued, “The cost for this is covered by donations from people in the villages, and everyone who come here to get blessed”. He told me the cost for all holy people to share a meal for one day was 1000 rupies. The common thing to do is to pay 1000 rupees for all members of my family. Now depending on how I count I would have to pay +4000 rupees for that. I reached for my pocket and gave the priest 1000 rupees. He said “What about the other family?”, I quickly said “This is what I can give”.
“You happy sir?”.
“I’m happy” I said.
He went away and I got picked up by my guide again, we went and bought the stuff I requested: A small book to write in, a pen, and sunglasses. On top of this a small bag to carry it all. Everything was bought at shops with people obviously in connection to the guide.
We arrived soon at the hotel again, I tipped him, and he went off. I was greeted by Sanye, and he told me tonight we drink Rum. “Sure thing!”, I’ve had fun drinking with the Indian people, Sanye included. I told him that the camel-ride I took, had only been one hour (instead of two) and that there was no one there to take the money from me when I got back. “Dont worry sir you pay me and I give them later”. Sanye told me the previous day, that the prize was 600 rupees for the ride, and I figured that it would be less now that I only took one hour.
I went up and spoke to the Danish girls again, telling them about the temple thing. They laughed at me. “They made you pay 1000 rupees!?, we paid 100!”. Turns out a friend of theirs paid ten. I was angry, I was being fucked over again, by a priest! The irony of it also struck me, being blessed “for good luck”, and then getting scamed by the same priest, he must be laughing his way to the bar.
From this point on all my mind was thinking was:
- How to get rid of Sanye
- How to not buy the “indian traditional suit” he insisted on me getting. It would get half price at certain places in India, and it would protect me from getting scammed. I realize today that this suit is probably rather an invite to scammers. “Look at that looser, he bought the suit, he will buy poop if we sell it as chocolate”.
- How to not let him take me to any more places after Jaypur (that I’ve already paid for).
- How to do this without creating a fuzz. The man looked like a fucking pimp, and I had overherad him screaming at people over phone. I really don’t wanted to make any type of problem with this man.
This night, I really wanted to go off myself, I wanted company by NO ONE, and I wanted to eat in town, and meet other people. I was looking forward on Sanyes reaction to this.
Sanye was now talking to his friend in Hindu, which happened alot, nothing strange about it, but I was quite alert at this moment, even after half a bottle of Rum. I noticed Sanye was waving the palm of his hand in my direction under the table, while talking to his friend, who was just listening.
Up in my room I was making all sorts of conspiracies in my head. Would they send someone to rob me? Would they send someone to my room while Im away?
Most likely even half of that price would have been a scam. This means the whole “tourist office” I went to was a scam, and so was Ricky who brought me there.
.Arriving in Jaypur he tells me “Ok sir, i take you to one temple, then we go shopping, you talk to your friends and you think about i take you to Agra (the next city of his marvelous plan)”.
I said “no”.
“No what sir?” he replied.
“No shopping, no temple, no Agra, you leave me in Jaypour, thank you very much”.
People in India will not give you the amount of respect you deserve. They give you the amount of respect you demand.
Sanye you fucking hustler, have a nice life ( I do wish you the best), come to Sweden and ill show you to the gamblers at Drottninggatan. You can win loads of cash from them…