Last Day in Varanasi - Very Chill

Saturday, October 24, 2015
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
I am going to back up a bit and give you some more information on the accomodations in India. Our hotels have actual keys (no key cards here!) This particular hotel in Varanasi actually had one of those super old looking keys. (see photo) Also, people for the most part do not use toilet paper. Luckily the hotels give you toilet paper, but it is less than a quarter of a regular roll back in the US. The staff at this hotel must think Americans are gross, because we have asked for like 6 rolls of extra toilet paper. But its not that we need that much! The rolls are just small! Also, the public restrooms are usually squatter toilets, and 9 times out of 10 do not have toilet paper. We carry some with us everywhere we go just in case. We didn't choose this trip to be fancy and this is all part of an India vacation experience. It just really makes you think about the things you take for granted at home.Today our only mandatory activity was meeting on time to get to the train. And we did not have to meet for that until 3:30pm. We had done pretty much all there was to do here, so Jaime and I were very excited to sleep in. Well, that didn't happen. 6:30am and we were both wide awake. We tried to get back to sleep, but no luck. We finally went downstairs and had breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Our tour guide warned us that it would take quite some time to get to the train station from our hotel, so we were going to leave at about 12pm to go to a hotel closer to the train station. We were a bit spoiled because this place had a pool and a spa. After lunch, we pretty much just hung out by the pool, drank beer, and then went to the spa to get some henna. Hard day, I know. So before I know I said that going to American restaurants in foreign countries is lame, but I take that back. We needed something quick and cheap for lunch, so we went to a McDonalds. Now, before you judge, I have to say that I absolutely despise McDonalds. But not here in India. They have a whole vegetarian menu, they even have separate shelves to keep the veg and non veg food on. And their sandwiches are delicious! Jaime had the Maharaja Mac, and I had 2 sandwiches since they are so small - a McVeggie, and a Masala burger. If we had these options in the US I wouldn't hate on McDonalds so much. So in our defense, yes we ate at an American restaurant, but it was the local menu. We get points for that, right?We took advantage of being at the nice hotel spa and got some henna done there. It was a tiny bit more expensive than if we had gotten it done at a market, but totally worth it, because the ladies did an amazing and extremely detailed job. And it was still only a few dollars each. Well worth it for the quality. It did make for an interesting time trying to haul our luggage around the train station though. We had to keep one arm free as to not mess up the henna, but we made it as did our henna. Tomorrow we see the Taj Mahal! Can't wait to update you on that experience!
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Hope you had a great birthday, Becky!