Never Break The “Law of Four”

[09/03/2002 19:36 Kathmandu, Nepal]

The Indian people don't lie. It's just that when they don't have the answer, they'll give _an_ answer. It won't be the right one, but they feel they were nice to a stranger.
This is why the "Law of Four" was invented. If you need correct directions to go to a certain place, you always ask 4 people.
The correct way is usually what the majority of the 4 said.

I broke the law of four and regretted it!
I thought that it was enough to ask the train station enquiry clerk for the correct platform when I went from Delhi to Agra.
3 hours after riding the train, I asked the guy next to me when will we reach Agra.
His response?
He laughed and said: "Agra? This train is going to Punjab".
Not only did I take the train in the opposite direction, it was to the state where all the Hindu-Muslim riots happened.
6 Hours after departing from Delhi, I was in the same place, taking a taxi to Agra…

Never Break The "Law of Four"

—-

Hi everybody! Long time no update!

Been having too much fun I guess…
Anyway, I am in Kathmandu now and it is a _whole_ other country.
The people are so pretty, the streets are so clean and it is such a relief from the Indian atmosphere.

I plan to do some trekking here and some white-water rafting.

There were so many rumors in India about the situation in Nepal, including the one that the Israeli Ambassador fled to New-Delhi (did you hear that one?).

Of course everything turned out to be totally incorrect. Everything here is fine – which is not something I can say about our little country.

US$550 for a plane ticket to the East! Think about it…

—-

Some pictures, all from India, to remind you of how I look:

The first picture is from Kodaikanal. It is a hill-station (that is, a town up up in the hills)
where the Brits used to go on their vacation (ruling the country is a difficult job). It is a beautiful place, and since I was with beautiful people, it is (up 'til now) the most memorable I have ever been to on this trip.
In the picture you can see all the beautiful people I was with: Oren, Ziv and Ya'arit. We are playing cards at sunset (a game called "Asshole", I'll teach you when I get back home…).
And the rock we are sitting on is called The Dolphin Nose, a half a day trekking distance from Kodai.
It is so worth it, just for the magnificent view!

—-

The second picture is from Chennai (Madras) in the state of Tamil Nadu (South-East part of the sub-continent). You can see us (the ol' gang), drinking the best Ice-Coffee in the world.
It's called Iced-Eskimo, and it is only served (with or without ice-cream) in Cafe Coffee Day, an Indian coffee shop which is actually a gate to the western world.

Chennai is a city that most Israeli travelers skip (for no good reason). Whoever told me that Delhi is the place for western food and shopping (I know your name and address), whoever that was, obviously never been to Chennai.

—-

The third picture is from the train I took from Chennai to Jaipur.
It's a 40 (forty) hours ride from the South-East to the North-West state of Rajasthan.
Being that long a ride, me and Ziv took the 3rd A/C Class so it was fine.
You even get bed sheets and bad food. :)

—-

One last thing before we depart again:
The Indian post office has very strange working hours. Just from 10:00 to 16:00.
This is just to serve a specific purpose.

I arrived to the post office in Varanasi to send a parcel at 15:30.
Of course you need to pack each parcel with cloth, but no worries, there is a nice guy that will do it for you for just 100 Rupees.
Then, I reached the counter at 16:00.
But no worries, the clerk is still there, only he will not talk to you, just to a guy that "fixes"
everything.
He showed me a piece of paper that the post office
clerk wrote.
It read: 1,460 for sending parcel – 350 for Bakshish.

Yes, this is how the Indian post works. After working hours you need to bribe the clerk. So of course I did my "I am shocked" look, and told the "fixer" I would only pay 100 Rupees bakshish.
The clerk of course did his daily show, where he takes the parcel shoves it back to me and says "Come back tomorrow 10:00".
So now was my part, where I said, "Okay 200".
So get this: this clerk made 600 Rupees (for 3 parcels) in 10 minutes. That's a 4 days pay.

When I kindly thanked the clerk and turned away, the "Macher/fixer" guy told me that his service is 50 Rupees. When I told him that he should get the pay from the clerk he told me that the he can't because the clerk shares the money with all the other postal workers, including the manager.

India! What a country! What a culture!

—-

That's it for now, although you can see some more
pictures at:
[…]

Lots of love from the only land that does not have a rectangular flag,
Shahar.

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