Benno’s out!

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Quite unexpectedly, Benno was discharged from the hospital today. After Benno was finally given the ‘go ahead’, the check out process itself took more than an hour. On the upside, Benno’s insurance company upgraded him to a hotel, only 16 times more expensive than the one we are staying in and the hotel he was supposed to stay in, too.

The slowly-slowly also meant we didn’t get to see anything else today.

In the evening. After having dinner at a south Indian restaurant, close to Benno’s new hotel, and after a drink at the rooftop bar of Benno’s hotel, Data, Betsy and myself had another drink on the rooftop of our hotel. Shyam’s ‘restaurant’ doesn’t appear to have a real connection to the hotel, Vishal, on which’s roof it’s located. As if a large bird flew in and decided to make the place its home.
The hotel, billed, by the owners as ‘for homely feeling & luxarious’ stay’ has a ‘laundery service’ and is quite grotty. The room where Betsy and I are staying isn’t too bad, with a nice big balcony overlooking Main Bazar in Pahar Ganj, the area of Delhi close to the main train station where most budget hotels can be found.

The proprietor of the restaurant, Shyam, is a friendly guy and tonight, he was also quite drunk. On normal evenings, he and his buddies, the boys who work in the hotel, change clothes every fifteen minutes, just because they can. When no-one’s around, the three of them sometimes take a nap on the one bed in the little shack. At the same time. But tonight, they had been drinking.
Shyam started talking and turned out to be married, his wife living 250 Kilometers away. He loves the six or seven cows who sleep in front of the hotel’s entrance every night. He strongly believes in building his karma, giving the cows rice and handing out smell coins to beggars on street corners. ”When karma is good, money is no problem. When karma is bad, money is problem.”

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