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 object.

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.

Best wishes

> Inna and Ron