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Journal 2008-08-20

The night passed restlessly with many dreams, from which I kept awaking in confusion. This is often the case when there is a fever. It's not a high fever, 37.4, but was enough to disturb my sleep. Today my cold came on stronger, just as I expected it to do. I think the runny nose will give up tomorrow or the next day and I will be left with an annoying cough. I hope the cold does not slip too deeply onto my chest.

So, dealing with the cold, I have spent the day reading, after doing email for an hour in mid morning. That was mostly reading through and responding to Dorit's long letter about the changes in the village, her developing connection with Making the Impossible Possible and other things. I still have to write to my parents.

Occasionally my thoughts stray to the meaning of my stay here in Rishikesh and whether to depart from here, when I am better, to some other town. Or maybe I will just move to another hotel in Rishikesh itself. Here, I have been meeting mostly Israelis, which don't really interest me, and I don't really interest them - especially since most of them are young. What's for sure is that after J departs from here I will be pretty much by myself. Anyway, for now, I think I am right in taking it easy and letting my cold settle.

I am feeling a vague antagonism to the Indian street scene: the filth in the road, the boisterous taxi drivers, the untrustworthy food, and all the raucous sounds and friendly-rudeness of Indians. Perhaps the only way to accept all this is through the rose-tinted eyes of foreign tourists and pilgrims, or the callous familiarity of those who are native to this country. Despite my long interest in all things Indian, and respect for the country's spiritual culture, I don't fit into either category. I cannot help but look critically on what I see. On the other hand I appreciate the people too.

I suppose the aim of a stranger should be to treat people with respect, and awaken empathy, where that is possible. I have to work on my Hindi.