Meeting Strangers

and visiting new strange places

20/3/08, Hampi, India

One of the most interesting things in my journey is meeting strangers.
I must admit that since young it fascinated me – meeting with strangers.
It means that you are all by yourself in that confrontation. There is not an introduction or a meeting at some kind of social or family event.

My first visit in Rishikesh, 9 April 2008

One have to make it’s own steps to create the occasion of the meeting to occur. We people are quick in making the decision if it’s in our interest & if we want to talk to a stranger. Since young, we recall faces, view them and store them in a special part of our brain.Young children will remember very clearly an unpleasant meeting with a person, and the baby will start crying immediately in meeting that face again.

Even after many years I can recall a face I met in the past, not remembering his name. It’s probably build-in in human nature to make quick connection with our kind. Young kids will show that kind of natural skill to integrate with oters. On meeting other kids, even if they do not speak the same language, they will ‘measure’ the other quickly and after a short time they will start playing together.

All along my stay in Rishikesh in April 2008, I came every day for a shoo polish and a chat with this nice man – the shoo-polish-man. 9 April 2008

Later, in our youth we get a lot of information how dangerous it’s meeting strangers, and rightly so. Eventually, as adults we feel safe in making our new relationships mainly in familiar social circles. We get ‘cold feet’ and discomfort in meeting new people out of our circles, and definitely with complete strangers.

Most probably in a journey to India we are freer in our mind to make new connections. No doubt it’s the need too, especially when traveling alone. It’s a quick way to get quick information, some times it’s taking precautions and some times it’s the simple need if social contact.

Welcome to Hampi! 18 March 2008

In my journey I meet a lot of young people. For myself I do not have any problem talking to young and even socialising with them, but strangely I will not approach just anybody. I do not have foundation of a research, just my simple reservation and feeling – that the young people I meet that tend to make quick contact with me (an older person), I think they have good & friendly relationship with their parents. They will be the one that the age gap between us will not make the deference, on the contrary they will be open and curious to meet an older person that’s travels alone. The barrier is there, and I can see it, when I resemble their parents, than it can be even a treat. If I do want to succeed in connection with them, I have to take a long time to gain their confidence, and to start with a very low profile. Not to resemble bu amy means their parents!

I do not waisting my time making the world friendlier, but am observing it.

There is a big connection between meeting a new place and meeting new people.
In New Zealand as I was not a backpacker the transformation of a new place was different & I had the time for the instant observation to see & feel the beauty of a new place. There was no disturbance of beggars and offerings of goods & services all ever.

On arriving to a new place it’s similar to meeting a new person, it’s exciting and immediately my blood pressure go’s up a bit.
One can fall in love with a place just like with a human being, or even feel a quick dislike.

For me a new place is always exciting. I am trying to move with the rheum of the place.
I am full of pride & curiosity looking at the new passel, the new views and it’s people.

Michael Spector, Auroville – A lovely man. A lovely meeting. 5 March 2008

Hampi – The dead town, with glorious Temples & remarkable stone carvings

Itzik’s Israeli Gust House, Hampi, India, 17/3/08

After a quiet night at the train, sleeping in the same compartment with 5 other Indians on sleeping benches, I arrived at 08.00 to Hospet.

Hospet, officially, Hosapete is a largest city and district headquarters of Vijayanagara district in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is located on the banks of Tungabhadra River, 12 km from Hampi. The present day Hampi is a World Heritage site containing the ruins of the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Wikipedia

The most difficult part on arriving to a new place is meeting lots of Indians that ‘jump’ on me immediately, offering any thing from Riksha Cars to Guest Houses, Post Cards etc.

In addition there will be buggers, looking at me with big strong eyes, like I am their only saver.
I am learning to be tough & refuse. There will be always the one stubborn that will go behind me every where, wan’t let go of me – “The Rich Lady with $$$$$” – that’s probably what the beggar sees. Even at the time when I do reservation at the train office, he does not leave the sight of me – The $$$ Lady. So I said to him: “Sorry, I will take the bus and not your Ricksha Car, but he did not let me go. In the end… his stubbornness won! and I took him to Hampi at the rate that I wanted to pay.

The view changed from a flat land to extremely huge brown stones, that were scattered all over.

Beautiful Temples stood up on top of the hills by the rocks and at the far distant background.


I got to the river, where I had to cross with a tiny boat. It takes just a few moment to cross and you are at the other side. The young master of the boat tells me: “There ain’t any boats after 18.00 O’clock.”

“It does not sounds pleasant,” I thought, “As maybe I would like to go back, leave the island, but I think…. there will be no chance to do it.”

Again, a huge laud discussion starts with some kids that offer me to curry my bags, asking extremely high price. These young kids are so professional in bargaining, that me, with all my experience I am melting easily to their forces and demand.

It’s early morning, the water of the river is dark green. Huge stones laid every where. There are some 15-20 people bathing in the river, than they put on their Jeans and go to work, some stayed to do their washing.

Happily I arrived to Itzik’s Home. There is an open restaurant in the middle, there I met a few Israelis that got up early to drink homely Ness-Cafe. It is so relaxing to be there after a long journey of 2 difficult days – it feels so much like home – Itzik’s Home!! In the menu: Israeli salad, Chumus, Shnitzel etc.

18 March Hampi, India

Every one spoke of the Monkey’s Temple. When I heard that I have to claim 450 steps, I said: “Thanks, but not today!”
In the afternoon I met in the restaurant a nice young Israeli, and she said that 3 women are going to see the sun set on one of the Temples. “You can join,” she offered. I went to walk around the village, to know my neighborhood. Then the Ricksha Car with the 3 women stooped and I got in. I did not ask where we are going. The rice fields were green and flat land all around. The road was snaky with tiny small houses on the side, little children were running up and down the road. The huge stones appear again, smooth, dark, looking at us with their secret story.
Where did they arrived from?
Did they appear from out of space?
Did they came from the center of the earth?
….They do not belong here… even that they are scattered all over the land.

Some say that Hampi is one of the most interesting historical place in the south of India, with the magical view of ancient dark rocks.
Vujayanagar (next to Hampi) was the main town of one of the most powerful empires in India. The town was build on 1336 and got bigger and bigger and more beautiful, until reaching the pick at the 16th century. At that time more than Half a million people lived there, trading in herbs, silk etc. That was the rout of the ‘silk way’ most probably.
On 1565, the town was robbed suddenly by the Sultans of Dekaan & destroyed.

Going up – 450 steps – to the Monkey’s Temple

The Ricksha Car stopped next to a narrow sandy road. From above giant, huge, enormous! rocks were watching us!
‘We arrived at the Monkey’s Temple! said Vered.
“Get ready girls! 450 steps are waiting!”
I wasn’t prepare for that, but ‘La Ger com la Ger’ so I started claiming. The sun, pretty hot, was watching me and us from above.

Even that the stairs were not even, they were comfortable to clime. It was build for the purpose of thousands of believers to come up to to the Holy Temple.
Every 50 steps or so after a zip of water I look around to see the View – and the land was expanding wonderfully beneath us. Near we saw the rice fields and in the distance other Temples looked astonishing.

We could see from above, the ruins of Hampi. that vast town. that was once a beautiful lively city.
It is such a sham that Wars destroy such wonderful cities, monuments.
and…. Where all the people go?

I stopped again to drink water. Thank You Vered! I said.
“The visit in the Monkey’s Temple – it’s the high light of my visit in India,” she said. I was here yesterday, but had to come again before leaving.

At the top of the mountain, there was a humble Temple. Monkeys were running everywhere.
The view & power of the vast rocks expanded.
“The God of the Monkeys is looking at us each day and at the Sunrise & the Sunset,” said the priest to us.

The view was open all round – 360 degree!

We sat on the rocks watching the Sunset. The peaceful view all around us was extremely beautiful & powerful. (*)

(*) The view was extremely beautiful & powerful, but not in the same way probably, when there were HALF a million people living in that town, below the Monkey’s Temple.


Adventure & Stability

Only on my travels I realised how much I wanted this trip to happened!
To happened…?
The main problem is the starting point and than the decision.
The road leads me now.
I have to listen to the wind and to my body.

In Aurovelle, every one have a scooter, motorbike or at lists a bike.
The distances are so vast between places, that’s it’s a must, other wise one is imprisoned within one’s room.
So, Marco Pola decided to rent a scooter!!!! Out side Auroville it’s real India
I was given in half an hour a driving lessons on the scooter, and there you go to the road! My stomach was shaky. I must say it’s very tempting.
It fills young and adventures, the wind blows in my face & heart… one fills free!

I said to the nice Indian guy in the shop; “I will take the scooter, just take me back to Auroville where I am familiar with the country roads, and the traffic is diluted. First I will go to the Internet shop, for a short time.” The guy noted with his head = the Indian way, that’s all clear & agreed. I went to the Internet shop, where I am always loosing myself between the words.

Two hours later as agreed, I called the Indian guy to come with MY scooter.
5 minutes he said. In Indian time = it means easily 1-1 1/2 hours. so I waited.
Two guys arrived. “Are you taking me on MY scooter back to Auroville?” I asked.
“No, we gave it to someone else by mistake.” one said uncomfortable. I could not believe it! We agreed that I will take that scooter! (it’s the busy season so scooters have a big demand.)

I suddenly realized that maybe they saw that I was not convinced that I am capable of riding the scooter on the road…. That’s some-thing of the Indian nature – understanding without words.
So, I went back to the shop looking for a bike.
The first thing one have to learn in India is to float, to go with the stream.

I hired an old Indian bike. The guys in the shop said it’s only 15 minuets ride to ‘Creation’ where my Guest Hours is. I went lost for a wile. It took me an hour and a half, riding on strange roads, to reach ‘Creativity’

I want to stay longer in Auroville. To stay a wile longer to see that interesting place.
Is it the security I am missing?
Am I missing home and finding it a save shelter? that gives me confidence in that vast strange continent.
Is it fear?
The fear of the unknown, luck of security, facing loneliness.

I just had lunch in the Solar Kitchen. It caters for over 1000 people every lunch time, with in one hour. That kitchen does not use electricity, only solar power, and the food is mostly organic! There is no frying, just cooked food or steamed, also fresh salad & fruit. The price one pays is just to cover costs.
Can one ask for more?

The adventure got strong horse powers, the fear too.

The Indian guy that gave me my quick lesson on the scooter said to me:
“If you do not afraid, you will be a good driver!”
He is so bloody right!


Security & Trust

Rising sun. Every day a new arisen, a new day, a new luck.

One of the basic things that we have, and we don’t consider it as a daily miracle – it’s the daily raising of the sun.

Day by day, since we are born, we go to sleep at dark and we get up when the sun is up firm, new, strong, powerful and alive.
We give a glance at the window and the light is all over the room, and we are ready to start our busy lives.

Once in a while we are taken by surprise from the beauty of the rising sun or the sunset. If it happends and we have the time to share with nature, to consume the beauty that we see, not just as an obvious matter. (the only time some of us see the sun rises is on a rash day taking a flight somewhere.)

Day by day we are up in the morning and the sun is up waiting to cheer us up! The sun embraces us daily with warmth and a smile. Undoubtedly, we see & feel it as it gives each one of us the security to go on with our daily routine. No hesitation or concern about the basic existence of our world.
We cannot even imagine the world without the sun, it’s so obvious it will appear tomorrow again!

Our basic security in life is the knowledge that tomorrow what ever happens, the sun will rise again with a smile. (the ‘smile’ is :-)seen individually, some see the sun with a grim face.)
Our basic security in life is based on that knowledge. Can we imagine our lives without the sun up there?
Is it possible to think of our existence without knowing that the sun will rise tomorrow morning again?

On sleepless nights (like I had tonight), one is turning in bed for hours, getting up to drink some water, going to the toilet once or twice, and than the questions arises, or more so the prayer: I wish the sun will get up there!
Our nightmare will be over, we’ll start our daily routine, and we’ll forget our little prayer. But can we start our day to day life without the sun watching us from above?

I was lucky to choose to go to a 4 day course: Polarity therapy and wellness, presented by Mikael Spector.
In that workshop the point of trust was raised up.

We are dealing with the subject of TRUST unconsciously and it’s one basis to reach a peace of mind. It’s about trusting yourself and trusting others. On a different level, it’s the trust & knowledge & the security that we have – that the sun will rise again tomorrow.

Mikael Spector is a man that projects his knowledge, healing abilities also his energy in an impact way to his students. I trust my feelings to feel & see it in such a short time. Meeting Mikael had a different level as well for me, as he resembled by personality & even by looks my dear friend Jonathan. (Walters.) I joined the group and immediately it striked me – his resemblance, gesturs, body languish, and even his reach vocabulary.

It’s a very strange feeling to meet a person that brings up someone so vividly from ‘the other world.’
Most people that know me know hat Johnathan was a very special man and dear to me and to my family.
So, meeting Mikael, the Israeli guy that left Israel at the age of 20 to study in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in India, and since 1987 he settled in Auroville, brings me in a direct way, really like a deja vu to the voices of Johnathan.

As for Jonathan Walters, blessed his soul, the Indian culture was so much his path, his way of life. I think that all his live he longed for India.

Meeting Johnathan Trough Mikael gave me an extra force to trust myself.


Inside me

I am in Auroville, India
It’s amazing that I came to this remote place for 2 days the most, and I am already 10 days here. and to tell you… it will be difficult to depart.

This place was created 40 years ago and the ideas that led to create the place are unique.
No doubt to my opinion, there were some influences of the Kibbutz ideas, living in a community, building the town with ideas of equalities in mind etc. What is interesting that there is no religious or political ideas involved at all, (political ideas unit the Kibbutz) it’s a community that aims to integrate people from all over the world (40% are Indians). The people choose to do meditation, yoga, etc. as a way of life, and to live in a GREEN invairment, also Money is not the main motive in life.

Going so far way from home it does not mean that I am new, or changed. Leaving home means a big change for every one and especially for me. (Cancer) But I see that it gives more time to be oneself. It gives time to see others, to look at the world in a precise way, but mainly to look inside.

I am like a beginner. I am not used to think only about myself.
We always are used to put bounderies between our self by/with ‘thing we have to do’, giving attention to some one else, obligations of all kinds of things. We do neglect ourselves!

I am obliged to myself – to look inside me.