Rishikesh, India

Having breakfast the fruit salad I ordered is taking ages to arrive. I’ve already had my coffee and cinnamon roll – would have preferred it if they’d come later, but you never get things in the order that you want them in India. I tell the waiter that if they haven’t done the fruit salad yet then I’ll forget it because I have to go, but then he shows up with it. Mangoes always taste like vomit. The rest of the fruits are good though: pineapple, banana, apple and one or two other things.

Rishikesh, India

Sitting in the cafe overlooking the pedestrian suspension bridge across the Ganges. An Indian guy in a turban comes in and goes over the the corner table and whistles towards the bridge. He then takes out a mobile phone and looks at it but doesn’t make a call. He sits down at the table where a tourist is sitting on his own smoking a cigarette. A short while later the friend he must have been whistling to on the bridge comes in and sits down at the table next to the tourist. There are other empty tables but they choose…

Rishikesh, India

More lecture notes coming up. Print them out and memorize them if you want to become enlightened. Hatha yoga – prana energy Raja yoga – mental energy Kundalini/Tantra yoga – primal energy Hatha yoga, in the west, is mainly for health, to make the body more active, but its higher purpose is to make the body steady, inactive.

Rishikesh, India

The Japanese woman sitting in front of me in the lotus position wears a Tintin in Tibet t-shirt. I arrived early to the lecture this morning so got myself a cushion to sit on. But as soon as I’d made myself comfortable we had to stand as Swami’s wife came in. Today is her birthday. She comes in with a younger woman – their daughter? I wasn’t sure she was his wife at first, since he was calling her by her name, Mutterjee I think, but seeing her she looks the same as the woman in the photo, though a…

Rishikesh, India

Got up late, but just in time to get to the yoga lecture with the Swami. This time I took my notebook and wrote notes: Soak mangos overnight to get rid of the chemicals that are often used to ripen them.

Rishikesh, India

The other morning when my alarm clock went off I kept turning it offf but it wouldn’t stop bleeping. For a while I couldn’t work out why, but then I realized I was turning it off in my dream but it was ringing in my reality.

Rishikesh, India

Sometimes ceiling fans look like they’re in danger of falling of the ceiling. The yoga didn’t happen. I was the only one who showed up and the woman who offered to teach it has been ill so she’s rescheduled for 7am Sunday morning.

Rishikesh, India

Sitting in a cafe this morning with one of the two American women I met on the flight from Bangkok I got chatting to an Australian woman here with her mother, who was from Darlington and still has an English accent though I guess she’s been in Australia for some time. The daughter is a yoga teacher and she offered to give us a yoga lesson this afternoon, but the American women have gone now and I’m wondering whether to go along on me own. I told her I’d never done yoga before and so was worried about the embarrassment,…

Rishikesh, India

I went to an ashram down the road from where I’m staying to see if they had any rooms. The room I’m in has no window and is a bit expensive. 200 Rupees a night. 300 for a room with a window. They said come back in the evening. Walking out of the place I passed a couple of women. One of them said I know you. It was Maya, one of the two American women I met on the flight from Bangkok to Calcutta. She was going to a lecture so I tagged along. We went to a room…

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