If you have a map handy, and you are inspired to chart the furthest place from Kansas on the map, that is about where Ryan Brandle and I (MrRyan) are right now. We have left Israel, the birthplace fo the three main Western Religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and arrived in India, the motherland to the Eastern Relgions (Where Hindu developed, and from that grew buddhism, Taoism, Confusionism, etc.).
Cradled between the Holy Ganges River (Hindu's holiest river) and the Himilayas, we have made Rishikesh our temporary 10 day home. It's a funny little place where you can walk down the street and see a Californai hippy awkling and talking with a holy Sadhu monk, dressed all in Orange robes. The people continue to be extremly hospitible (similar to the Middle East) and refeshingly honest. Yesterday I talked to a shop owner about a bad I bought from him, that began to fray and rip open at the seems. In a simple, matter of fact tone he replied, "Oh yeah, that's a very cheap bag, it will do that" as if to say, "You bought that for less than 2 bucks, what did you expect?" Touche, shop-keeper, well played.
Havnig come to India expecting the very worst of hasseling, noise, and general shannigans, I am very srpised to have very little of that here in Rishikesh. In fact, most of the shops are fixed-price so I have been doing very little barganing. Though what it is like here may be 180 degrees differnet in other places in India, like Delhi. India is easily the most diverse country I have visited yet, and nearly every state in India could be its own country.
Ryan and I have been taking advantage of this new, unique environment to learn everything from Yoga to Massage to Palmistry. But our "Guru" Siwa has taught us far more than how to read palms and give a good rub down, through him we are given a window to see into Indian lifestyle. As we teach him the finer points of Western culture (like what it means if a woman walks in and strips totally naked) while he reciprocates by taking us to Hindu temples and teaching us mantras.
So far India has done more for me than just teach me how to sort out my Chakras, it has shown me yet another lifestyle compltly different from my own and I continue to realize just how big this world really is.
And by the way I posted a new video, so check it out! Let me know what you think.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5z0DtShhdrg