Steel Notes Magazine October "Halloween" Issue 2016 - Page 122

Steel Notes Magazine October 2016 It was Robert who told me how to use the lota and my left hand to clean my bottom. Quite to my surprise it wasn’t disgusting at all. It was a great pleasure, much more comfortable than toilet paper, and much more effective, too. If you think about it toilet paper only provides the thinnest layer of porous paper, and although the paper is somewhat absorbent, what you are mostly doing is wiping or smearing the shit away, which has to leave residue. Using the lota with water you really clean your bottom. It’s great, and I still use a lota today. It was from Robert I also learned about Channa Bhatura, a chickpea curry poured over puffy fried bread. Channa Bhatura cost about five cents, and it was a meal. He also told me about sulfur powder. In Rishikesh I was getting little sores, mostly on my legs, that wouldn’t heal because the flies kept eating at the scabs. I’d put sulfur powder on the sores, which would keep the flies at bay and help the sores heal. Rishikesh was the only place I got those sores or had that problem with the flies all the time I was in India. Robert and I left Rishikesh together, heading for Delhi. I remember the 22-hour bus ride. The bus was an old school bus, and three of us were crammed into the seat. The only way to sleep was to take my shoulder rag, wad it up, and place it between my forehead and the bar on the back of the seat in front of me. I’d bounce and rock and somehow get some sleep. When we stopped to get something to eat at some weird country bus stop restaurant, which was a large covered area, the toilets were simply slabs of concrete, enclosed by a curtain. You could shit on the concrete, clean your ass with a lota you had filled at a tap outside, and then leave. An Untouchable would come and clean the slab for the next customer. When we arrived in Delhi Robert led me to Pahar Ganj in Old Delhi and the Venus hotel. I got a small room on the roof for about one dollar. And it actually had a bathroom, without hot water, of course. It was from fellow travelers, like Robert, that I continued to learn how to travel and live in India. Robert and I parted ways in Delhi. I don’t remember too much about that time in Delhi, except getting some great Bhang and going to the Tourist Camp to look for Lorna, at least that’s what I think her name was. I had met Lorna in Dharamsala. I forget what country she came from. She was with another guy at the time, and we didn’t have much time together, but she had told me she was going to Delhi and would be in the tourist camp. So, when I was in Delhi I went looking for her. I took a rickshaw to the camp and walked through the grounds but couldn’t find her. Maybe I was too stoned. Bhang is marijuana processed in a way that it can be eaten, without having to cook it, and it’s most commonly taken in a lassi, which is a sort of yogurt milkshake. I drank many non-intoxicating lassis in India, some just yogurt flavor, some with mango or banana. I remember getting in a rickshaw and telling the driver I wanted Bhang. He took me somewhere in the