Jyotir Lingum Yatra
Friday, December 13, 2002
Roads, Buildings, and a Cyber Mission
Our travel by bus to Pune seemed to take a rather long time, about 7 hours to travel 227 km. Granted, we stopped for lunch, but otherwise I have to assume that the ride was that much slower because the bus was loaded down with all the baggage.
The roadways here are nothing like the U.S. or Europe. There are no highways with exits. Even driving from one major city to another requires going through every little village in between. Even in the major urban areas there are not many traffic lights and every town and hamlet has these wicked speed bumps. Imagine being in the back of the bus when it goes over one of those!
One major aspects of the roadways that I still have trouble with is driving on the opposite side of the road. Coupled with that is the extensive use of horns by the drivers, Tata truck and rickshaw drivers alike, to signal passing. Let's just not discuss the issue of how narrow the roads are and how must practical passing distance there really is! When I cross the street on foot I have to pay extra special attention because my mind has not flipped over to driving on the left side of the road, and I am prone to walk into traffic!
While on the bus today, I was making a mental note of buildings and housing structures. Other than temples, I would estimate that 85% of all structures seem very imperminant. Ranging from corrogated metal shacks and grass huts in the middle of a field to industrial buildings and apartment complexes, the lion's share of buildings look like they would collapse in a moderate storm. It's just a way of living that I will never completely comprehend...
All that said, we got into the Taj Blue Diamond in Pune about 5:00 pm this evening. As per usual, on of the first things I ask is where is the hotel's business center and how much is Internet access. After being told that access was 300 rupees ($6) per hour, I was insulted and resolved to hit the streets and find a Cyber Cafe. What I ended up finding was an Internet Cafe associated with an Osho ashram here. Do you all remember Rajneesh? They refer to him as Osho now. This place is like the United Nations, refreshingly filled with people of all races. Osho's Internet Cafe gets a big thumbs up from me, not only because it's only 40 rupee per hour, but access is excellent!
P.S. I got all my tayloring in last night with reasonably good results!