Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2005 03:29:03 +0000
Subject: # 2----y World Tour-India
Hello my dear family and friends
It's almost 2 weeks since I left NYC. On the way to Dusseldorf, I
had a few hours in Amsterdam, walked in this beautiful and pleasant
city of canals, visited Anna Frank's Home-Museum where 3 families were
hidden from the Nazis. There I felt the horror of that time.
Then I spent a few days with my wonderful family-my 85 year old Aunt
Raya, sharp, smart anf full of life and with my 5 cousins and
their families-19 altogether. We toured the area for 2 days,
Dusseldorf, Bonn, Cologne and nearby Belgium.
Then I flew to Mumbai (Bombay) India. Met Ron after 10 hour flight delay.
I am in total shock of what I see on the streets. We came here on our
own and on a budget, not as part of a tour group where everything is
organized for you, prepaid and very comfortable. We deal with Indians
all the time for our arrangements, walk the streets of 4 cities-Mumbai,
Delhi, Agra and Varanasi. It is between 35 to 40 deg C?95 to 104 F) and
humidity of up to 95%. Thousands of people and children literally live
on the streets, begging for money, running after you, touching you.
I've seen many deformed people, some crawlinng on their 4 extremities
like animals. Those children do not go to school, do not read or write
because their parents cannot afford to pay for their schooling and are
condemned to their miserable life forever.Everyone is hustling (touting
in local lingo) you to buy something or other.
The level of street noise (every car, rikshah, bicycle blowing their
horn non-stop), the number of people, the dust, pollution, garbage
on the side of streets, the horrible smell makes New York look like a
small , quiet village by comparison. Streets are full of animals-Holy
cows, goats, stray dogs, cats, donkeys, horses share the road with
cars,taxis. bicycles, tri-cycles, motorcycles and motor-rikshas.
We had city tours everywhere, visited magnificent architectural
structures-temples, palaces, forts, the Taj Mahal-they were all built
by kings, shahs, maharajas for whom money and human labor were no
For Yom Kippur we went to a beautiful Iraqi Jews synagogue in Mumbai
and to Chabad for break-the fast. We took 2 overnight train rides with
locals. This morning at 5 am we went to the Ganges river in
Varanasi to watch the ritual bathing in the heavily polluted
waters, where, to our horror, we saw dead bodies floating in the river.
We also saw the ritual cremation of a few hindus.
I feel sick and nauseated all the time, not from food and water but
from the prevailing misery all around us, especially observing the
hopelessness of children's lives. Imagine.......
Tomorrow we are flying ro Katmandu> take a week-long land tour to Lhasa, capital of Tibet.
Please email us.
> Inna and Ron