Varanasi is filled with so many friendly people! It is so cool to walk around what once was a completely foreign city to me to now having people come up and remember my name each day we go out and about. For example last night four of us decided to go get coffee and some free wifi and then walk around the ghat on which our hotel is located (Assi Ghat). During our walk these little boys (around 10 and 12) came up to us trying to sell us the same stuff people try and sell us 24/7. Using my usual tactics I started asking the questions to divert there attention from selling me stuff I really didn't want or need; I always ask what's your name, how old are you, what's your favorite subject in school, etc. Like always he started asking me if I had any American souvenirs and by that they mean American dollars. I didn't have any so I gave him a quarter, dime, nickel, and a penny and told him how much they were worth in America. He was so thrilled at what i had given him as well as told him, he had a smile from ear to ear! Then he asked name, him and his friends loved saying my name and being able to pronounce it so well. So later today we were walking to dinner and I hear someone yell "Haley! Haley!" and I turn around and it was the little boy. He ran up to me with that big smile again, so excited to see me and talk to me and introduce me to more of his friends. Needless to say it melted my heart!
Another person we met in Varanasi is one of our taxi drivers and he also works at the internet cafe we all go to, today I went in there to exchange some money and began to talk to him. We all invited him to come eat dinner with us. During dinner we all talked to him about his life. He told us how he was attacked by a monkey when he was about 10 years old and showed us the scars. Then he also told us how his marriage was arranged because he wanted to do what his parents said because his mother was very ill. He said how wonderful his marriage turned out even if it wasn't what he had wanted to begin with. It was really neat talking to him and hearing all about the way he lives and different things about Varanasi. I have definitely realized you learn the most about a place when you really start to interact with the people who live there, it gives you another view on the town and makes it seem way more personable.
Until next time!
P.S. I am writing this outside in very hot weather with a distinct smell of cow poop with about five rats staring at me and I am totally okay with it. Oh, India! Haha