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February 29, 2008 - Varanasi, India

Written by GingerBlossom Published in
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Betsy, how I wish you were here -I've found Bead Nirvana. Shanu had mentioned yesterday that he knew of a place that did handmade glass beads. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that they'd have what they had - bins and bins of beads, all sizes, shapes, and colors, opaques, semi-opaques, transparents, metal, stone, ceramic, kashmiri, furnace, wire wrapped, silver foil, gold foil, chevron, fancies, etc. I'm not a bead store, nor do I aspire to be a bead store, so I put together an order of earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, using their beads and their labor. The order is supposed to be ready in about 3 weeks. I'm confident that I can trust them to send it, as Shub's family has known them for over 20 years.

The collective taxis in greater Badohi are jeeps, as these can take the pounding metted out by the rugged roads. I saw 2 jeeps today, with gaily wrapped bundles on top, sparkly cloth and shiny tinsel fringe. The first time that I'd seen these, I asked Shanu if it was something to do with weddings. It's at the other end of the cycle of life, these were bodies going down to the burning ghats for cremation along side the Ganges. Last night's wedding party at the hotel was still going strong at 12 when I went to sleep and at 5 a.m.some band cranked up again, but only for about 15 minutes - 'tis the season.

I'm off to Delhi late this afternoon, Vini and the boys did the impossible and found me a room on very short notice. I owe them, big time, this merits at least a nice box of sweets.