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03/05/2018

Week-end at Mount Abu

The weekend had started well...

The 11-hour day train journey with BabySamourai had proved less tiring than expected, and we had even arrived half an hour early! (Since this is rare with Indian trains, we were not prepared, and since in most trains, there is no announcement, we almost miss the stop!) Finding a taxi to climb from Abu Road to Mount Abu had been very smooth, even at 9 pm. And after a 40-minute ride, we were at the hotel!

This is where the disenchantment began... The beautiful pictures of a large garden and mountain view on the website did not let imagine a small garden “under maintenance” right next to a busy road. The price of the room did not suggest the lack of a functional shower or clean sheets (the guy had to come back three times to bring us a decent duvet cover). Given the place I fully agreed when my favorite Indian decided to lock the door for the night. Although this did not prevent a guy from barging into our room at two in the morning! It was a drunk neighbor who had been fighting outside with his wife very loudly for more than an hour... When you have spent more than 100 euros per night, you have imagined a peaceful haven. Landing in a shabby hotel is quite a shock! Especially when you learn that breakfast is not included, even though you remember very clearly having selected the option with breakfast.

I did not want to let myself surrender to despair so, as soon as I got up, I looked for things to do in the area – it might be useful to add that I had booked this weekend on a whim, finding the word “Mount Abu” romantic. I turned to the Lonely Planet and Oh My God!

“The town is certainly unlike anywhere else in Rajasthan, a green, serene and welcome retreat during summer from the scorching temperatures and arid beige terrains elsewhere.” So far so good. “Gujarat and Rajasthan’s favourite holiday gateway, Mt Abu is a particular hit with honeymooners and middle-class Gujarati families; unlike the hill stations of northern India, you won’t find many Western travellers here.” Here it is either very good news (I have found a lost paradise) or very bad news (there is a reason why foreign tourists avoid this city). And then this story with Gujaratis... One must know that, according to the cliché, they have money to throw by the windows, nowhere to spend it (so they don’t have high standards in terms of accommodation), and as soon as they leave their native Gujarat, a “dry” state (where the sale of alcohol is forbidden, in tribute to Gandhi), they aspire to get drunk and make noise. The locals accept it, the cash inflow compensating the inconvenience ... And then, according to our local guide, as they do not see many tourists at home, as soon as they spot some at Mt Abu, they are more interested in the Caucasian passer-by than by the monuments. Which would explain all the requests of selfie I got...

“Sunset point is a popular and lovely place from which to watch the brilliant setting sun, though distinctly unromantic unless you find that being thrust red roses, bags of peanuts, or Polaroid cameras gets you into a loving mood.” Not the sexiest description of a place… In one day, we visited the beautiful temples of Dilwara –  where we were not alone! – all in marble, a specialty of the region; climbed to the temple of Guru Shikkar, the highest peak (1,722 meters) of Rajasthan (in the Aravalli range); wandered in an abandoned haveli in Alchagarh; and played Holi with a Gujarati family that was passing by. After this beautiful day just a tad suffocating because of the crowds, back in our sordid hotel, we decided that the two remaining train tickets available for the next day (instead of our tickets booked but not yet confirmed for the next to next day) were a sign of fate, and we shortened our stay ! But we still had a whole day to occupy ...

“Trekking. Unused by most local holidayers who remain firmly enchanted with the pedalo-and-pony attractions of the town, Mt Abu’s hiking trails are many and various, leading you in just a few minutes into untouched wilderness. Here, you will find tranquillity, solitude, wild flowers and birdlife in abundance – as well as the odd snake, leopard or bear.” Everything is there: nature, no Indian tourists. We booked immediately! And so, it is wearing ballerinas and ignoring the age of my son (3), I went on a 4 hour trek. And it was fantastic! A complete reconciliation with the region…

If I was to do it again (and who knows?), I would choose my stay better (perhaps the Connaught House or the Krishna Niwas, or a heritage property: Mount Abu was apparently the holiday gateway of all the kings of the region (Rajasthan and Gujarat) and each king had his own property, leaving behind a total of some 50 heritage places. I did not quite understand if they were coming all at the same time, like full summer party, or if in turns.) I would avoid a long festival weekend, Diwali and the summer (too packed), and the winter (too cold). And I would only go trekking!

Inde,Rajasthan,Mont Abu.Abu,Mount Abu,train,hotel,trekking

Inde,Rajasthan,Mont Abu.Abu,Mount Abu,train,hotel,trekking

Inde,Rajasthan,Mont Abu.Abu,Mount Abu,train,hotel,trekking

Inde,Rajasthan,Mont Abu.Abu,Mount Abu,train,hotel,trekking

Inde,Rajasthan,Mont Abu.Abu,Mount Abu,train,hotel,trekking

Inde,Rajasthan,Mont Abu.Abu,Mount Abu,train,hotel,trekking

01/01/2018

This might explain that...

Or maybe not, who knows...

India, by her average IQ, is ranked 122 on a global scale of 183 countries. Now what to do with this piece of information...

Country ranking IQ.jpg

inde,intelligence,classement,qi

Source: https://iq-research.info/fr/page/average-iq-by-country

08:00 Posted in Non-senses | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: india, ranking, iq, intelligence |  Facebook | |

12/25/2017

Helen's pearls - Reincarnation

Helen, my son’s nanny, displayed her hunting skills the other day: she killed a huge fly, two or three times the size of a bumblebee, probably harmless but, when in doubt... PAF!

  • My mother-in-law got a little upset: “But Helen, why did you kill this poor thing, it may have been a human being in a previous life.”
  • Helen almost did another strike: “But what BULLSHIT (she is not scared of words this one)! What all do I have to hear? Humans reincarnated into flies? And what about ants then? You don’t crush them when they invade your kitchen? Besides, it is not possible that those billions of ants get all reincarnated into humans, otherwise we would be many more. In my religion (Catholic), we don’t get reincarnated, but if we were – who knows – we would reincarnate only into a human not in beetle... »
  • My mother-in-law yet didn’t give up: “But there are more people who die that people who are born, so where do their souls go?”
  • Helen ended the conversation with her legendary tact: “Nowhere.”

india,reincarnation,helenI had to check the argument of my mother-in-law’s argument, as it sounded weird to me. And indeed: 55 million deaths per year for 131 million births worldwide. If all the humans get reincarnated (the number of saints remaining still really really small), and into humans (let's leave aside the theory of karma which increases the probability of return on Earth as a frog if you behave badly), it leaves 76 million babies of unknown origin. So when you kill a mosquito, you have less chances of taking the life of a reincarnated human than of a future reincarnation as a human. And there again, the chances are very small - no one seems to have counted the mosquitoes (I tried anyway, in case where) but there are thousands of billions it's course. Their chances to get reincarnated beings humans are so infinitesimal. On the other hand, they do at least 750 000 victims a year.

08:00 Posted in Non-senses | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: india, reincarnation, helem |  Facebook | |

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