April 18, 2003
I spent today seeing the remaining sites of Aurangabad, in the company
of Ashok. He seems to be somewhat of an institution in the city, taking
tourists around in his rickshaw for a reasonable fixed price. The sites
were okay, but I most enjoyed the weekly market; not a tourists spot,
the market is full of various livestock and sellers of spices, household
items and everything in between. I tried to buy a goat from a village
woman, but I don't think she understood my Hindi. Or possibly she was
insisting that I purchase not one goat, but the pair. I decided I didn't
have room in my backpack.
Having been chucked out of my hotel to makeway for several dozen Indian
tourists, I caught the long but oddly untiring 5hr bus to Poona, ex
home of the British and near to Deolali, or Doolally, which was where
the colonials got sent when the heat or the garam masala drove them
crazy. Hence the expression.
Poona (or Pune) turns out to be kind of an okay place to wind up my
trip. Regardless of what the Rough Guide says, and I've decided this
book is written by very lazy people, it's perfectly possible to walk
around this town by foot. I just did it. Okay, I got a bit dehydrated
and I think my right ear might have become filled up with pollution,
but otherwise I've survived a trip across town to the Tribal Museum.
I'd planned to visit the Osho Commune, which is the habitat of rich
Zennis-playing Westerners looking for spirituality at Rs1,500 a day.
I heard it was nice inside, but considering that it's 40 degrees outside
I decided to cut my trip short, and make do with looking at some photos
of oddly attractive women wearing very big bangles at the museum. There
are worse ways to spend an afternoon. There are no photos of Poona,
because there was nothing to photograph.
Tomorrow is my last proper day in the country, as the day after will
consist primarily of getting to the airport then staying there until
they let me sit on the plane.