Last weekend I went on my first trip in India. We went to Haridwar, a very holy city for the Hindi. It is dedicated to the god whose symbol is the swastika. It is very weird walking around a town where you see swastikas everywhere. Haridwar itself is not very beautiful. Actually, it is a typical Indian city – loud, dirty and hectic. I have to admit, I was happy to be back in Chandigarh on Sunday evening. That may also be due to the bus rides. The bus on the way back was extremely old and loud. We tried to put tissues into our ears, but that did not really help a lot. We went like this for 6.5h and 250km.
Beautiful Ganges Festival
The only thing I liked about the city was a colorful ceremony at the Ganges river at night. There, a little girl painted a typical Indian dot on our foreheads. In the end, I felt the city’s only objective was to collect money for the temples that are located on top of the mountain. We got up there with the cable car, which was quite safe and modern. Up the hill, one has to take their shoes off. People ask for money at every corner, but not only from us tourists like the beggars, but from all believers and all of them give money there. That is something I do not like about religions. On our way down the mountain one of us got attacked by some monkeys with sticks. Those monkeys can be scary!
Back from the temple, the rickshaw drivers literally fought over who could drive us. However, the only thing we wanted was not to be driven at all. When the drivers got that, we were already gone. It is annoying to always come somewhere and tons of people are immediately around you and want to sell something to you, drive you or simply beg for money. I meanwhile ignore almost everyone and look so angry that most leave at some point. Unfortunately, a Japanese girl, other than Kazuyo my roommate, was with us and she really laughed all the time at everybody. She just could not ignore anyone. Thus, none of the annoying sellers went away. One thing I know, I will never go anywhere with this Japanese girl again. Apart from that, there was also a Swiss guy and another German guy. The latter is called Philip and I already made good friends with him.
Chased by Street Dogs
At work we are opening up a new department. It currently consists of two people with me being one of them. It is all about search engine optimization (SEO). One-night last week I wanted to walk back home from sector 38. Some other students live there and they invited me over for dinner. At some point on the way back, I was surprised by four street dogs. Unfortunately, I was absolutely alone that night. It was completely dark and there was no rickshaw. Somehow, I had walked in the wrong direction. This is fairly easy, because all sectors look alike. Anyway, I was alone on the street and then suddenly these four German shepherdish, barking dogs came running towards me. They looked very aggressive. I never thought I could run so fast. I was scared as hell. Fortunately, an auto rickshaw came right away and I jumped straight in. Of course, the next day I had to listen to all kinds of clever advice like “If you had thrown a stone, they would have run away” and so on, but well in this moment you think very different.