Varanasi to Jaipur (October the 4th, 2010)

Me with a Bollywood friend

 Well… So far, since we got into Varanasi, we’ve kind of lazed about. We went on a few adventures, but nothing much. We’ve had some adventures with a few of the animals here, and some with the residents of Varanasi. The first adventure was with a female monkey then a male. There were quite a few of monkeys where we were staying. We noticed them when we went to our rooms for the first time. We looked out into the dark, and saw some creatures moving about. Our ‘porters’ noticed our actions and told us a little bit about the monkeys. Apparently, there’s one big mean male monkey that scares everything except the crazy cows and the goats. He got a nice nick-name:  ‘Boss Man’ because he’s super aggressive. I found that he was quite intimidating, quite a bit after our ‘meeting’. I use that term lightly, I’ll tell you why. Bow and I woke up the next morning, before we met any of the crazy animals, after a while, Bow went downstairs and asked where could we both feed the monkeys. The man at the front desk told her that when she was ready, he would try to call them down so we could feed them. When Bow ran up and told me that, we decided to do it right away (this was around lunch time… I think). So Bow and I went downstairs, went to the front desk, only to find out that he didn’t want to at the time, I think that he was confused about what we were saying though ( No one speaks English that well in India, and none of us speak Hindi, so it makes it sort of hard to communicate sometimes….  Or maybe it’s most of the time, I don’t really pay enough attention to that sort of thing).

Boss-man

 Off Bow and I went to go and feed the monkeys, Right before we left the building though, someone else stopped us… Uh oh! More communication problems, or so I thought it would be. Nope! The next guy to stop us was very helpful. He told us where we should stand if we would like to see the monkeys. Bow and I strolled out to the one spot we were told to be, looked up the tree and waited, and waited, and waited… Then finally a female monkey showed up, she was on another building to our left when we were looking at our front steps. Way way up the monkey kind of sat down on a ledge. I decided to get its attention by doing the following:

  1.  I grabbed a banana from Bow
  2. I looked up at the monkey and started to wave the banana at her
  3. I yelled ‘Hey, monkey! ……. Banana!’
  4. I started to put the banana on a ledge where it could get to

After my fabulous way to get a monkey’s attention, I picked the banana back up and waited for the monkey to come down. As it was descending, I tried to follow its movement with my eyes, but failed, majorly. It was in front of me before my eyes were halfway down the tree! Well almost, I just put the banana back where I originally put it… and unexpectedly, it took the banana and booked it halfway up the tree on the opposite side of the tree! I was a bit disappointed in the monkey for not staying and eating in front of Bow and I. ‘Oh well’ I thought, and went for another banana, next thing I see is a male monkey moving faster than lightening down the tree, arriving from the same direction as the female did.

I held the banana in front of it expecting a nervous but eager monkey, but I was part shocked to find out that this monkey was demanding and vicious! Its hand was on the banana before I could even move my hand towards it! I was about to pull the banana away from it when it pulled the banana towards it. I thought to myself ‘I better just let go, before something else happens’, and so I let go. The male took 3 or 4 huge bites of the banana and put it in its mouth to slowly digest, then ate the rest by little nibbles right in front of me. I thought to myself yet again ‘It’s probably afraid of a bigger monkey that terrorizes every other monkey around here’ as I threw the third and final banana at it. Halfway through the third banana, Bow tried to get a better picture of him, so she decided to move the camera about an inch forwards. This male didn’t like her actions one bit, he bared his teeth, made some sort of noise, and sort of lurched forwards at her! Sheesh, what a mean monkey! I found out soon that he was ‘ Boss Man’, pretty much everyone else calls him that, and for a good reason. He wasn’t afraid of some other monkey, he just wanted all the bananas we had left! So that’s why the female rushed off so quickly, to get away from the big meanie! Gah! Some things get simpler, the more complex they get eh? Confused? I was for quite a long time.

     By the way, I’m writing this about 3 or 4 days after the event, we’ve been out of Varanasi for almost 4 days now. Therefore, my crazy details won’t be so crazy anymore, if anyone knows what I mean.   

    Back to the animals in India… The next couple of animals we saw were the dogs, tons of dogs in Varanasi, and most of them aren’t taken well care of. That’s the really sad part, even sadder is that there are very cute little teeny tiny puppies that are so skinny that you can see pretty much every bone in their bodies!

Me and a watchful Varanasi goat

Varanasi street dogs

My family and I had to stop on our way back in the middle of the road to pet a little grey puppy. No one really cared much, until we pulled out some tasty rice for it. Then a soldier came over to us and told us that the dogs here do not eat the rice, just meat. That was kind of a shocker since our dogs love rice in there dinner (mom’s fault… darn super spoiled dogs). As we headed to our hotel the same day, we saw another dog. It had slept in the same spot for 4 days, as soon as we woke it up, it wagged its tail! I thought it made sense, but then mom told us that the children here in Varanasi abuse the dogs for fun! Holly Shmoly! I’ve seen a couple kids trying to club the dogs, and then smile as soon as the dogs were out of reach as if they were having fun. All of this is very upsetting for me, and probably for multiple others also. In victoria, dogs are well taken care of, not many are that skinny until they hit a very old age. But here it hits them almost right away! We have only seen one fairly big dog in India, and that was in Agra at the Taj Mahal. He was a guard dog on the watch lying down on a bench! Hahaha, he was a very funny dog!

The Taj Mahal "Guard" Dog

    The final animal(s) that were interesting for my family in Varanasi were the cows and bulls. All over the city, tons of them! It’s good karma to give some food to the cows, and bulls (most people are scared of the bulls though, so they leave them alone, Chickens). Bow and I fed multiple cows while we were there, it was quite interesting. Although they feed the cows a lot, some of the cows are unlucky because they find themselves in a very small ally where no one looks down/ goes through. After a while of doing this, these cows become quite skinny, while others on the main street become McDonalds size cows… huge bowling balls with 4 legs and a small head.

Cow on the street in Varanasi

 The Taj was fabulous as some of you might have guessed. My family snagged some fab pictures here.  This is also the place where we saw the dog on the bench. We took a hike in the Taj gardens before we left for Jaipur in a nice little Toyota van with air-conditioning. The trip was about 5ish hours, but to me, it was about 2… you see, I have this problem when I’m in a car I get a little sleepy, like a baby. When it’s a long drive, and we’re not going to Tofino, I usually fall asleep. This is exactly what I did on this trip, for about 3 hours I believe.  Our driver was a nice guy, he didn’t really talk much though, and I think he was just leaving us in peace.

  For my birthday in Jaipur India, we went to an observatory, outdoors. With fascinating, pretty much everything was made of stone, if not it was a metal. And everything was as accurate as you can get, down to the exact 2 seconds. At first I thought that that was kind of crazy, but the more time we spent there the more I began to like it. All of us thought that the guy who built all of this, including his co-workers, as some sort of genius. We went out for dinner at an Italian, for pizza and pasta! Then book-shopping two floors down from where we were eating, and that was it.

One of the amazing instruments in the observatory

We are in a very nice hotel in Jaipur now.  There are even animals that are treated very well. 2 cats and 2 dogs, the cats aren’t the cuddliest, and the older dog I have named Snarls. For a good reason too, I was only a couple feet from it, going nice and slow towards it… keeping it casual, you know, nice and easy. Then it snarled at me, and stumped off. The other dog is a big lab puppy, very playful during the late evening and night. I play with it a lot, with my hands, or make it chase me around the pool! Bow got sick the day after my birthday… so she’s been taking it easy in our room.

Thank you all for supporting us and following our adventures!

                                                                        Hesquiat (with pictures by Bow)

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