The other day, I was looking for a Japanese pension card, and digging through boxes of albums. My daughter wanted to see the albums, so we browsed through them. We were looking at a picture of Varanasi , India, and she said this is 30 years ago today. After traveling around the US in Greyhound buses, I took my father to Nepal and India for a month for his sketching trip. We did not make any reservation in advance, and went where we wished. I hated it when I got home, but strangely I wanted to go back very strongly, six months later or so. I have never gone back though. People were very pure and seemed happy, except ones exposed to foreigners. Toward the end of the trip, I was negotiating for a long time over 1 cent. I thought that was a very important thing to do. The value of the money was different, I heard they earned $30 a month, and if you give a dollar for tip, they just became beggars.

Went Kathmandu, Pokara in Nepal, Varanasi , Taj Mahal (Agra), Jaipur in India. They had gorgeous and beautiful landmarks, but the market (Bazaar) and people fascinated me the most.

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At the Varanasi , we went to see the River Ganges early in the morning. Probably we shouldn’t have, due to the Sacredness of it. Anyway, by looking at the people’s activities, bathing, cooking, praying, playing and cremating within a stone throwing distance. Life was just concentrated in one spot. The cremation, I still vividly remember today, how people looked happy around there. I thought that ‘s the way to go. I probably did not see sad part of ceremony.

In Nepal and India, literally mountains of bisques potteries were displayed on the street. We went to a pottery town, they were using a truck tire as a pottery wheel for making cups. They were serving the chai with these cups at the market, or even in the train, and they just smashed it once they finished drinking. No plastic or paper cups. Anyway, I saw a potter making large water storage jars, by coil building. He was making them very quickly and preciously. He was an unknown crafts person. He started to build a top rim of the jar, and built up a cylinder. He widened and rounded the shape by using a wood block. Once dried enough, it was flipped over to the bowl shape mold with sand and a slab of clay, and joined together.

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