Today was Eric's birthday. He is from Luxembourg and since one month he lives in the Ashram and helps the students. We celebrated his birthday and surprised him with a cake and gifts. He seemed to be very happy about it which made me happy.
My friends Roger and Mady went for a walk in the town today. When they were taking pictures from a barber's shop the barber waved them in and wanted to have money because they took pictures. Roger insisted that if he wants money he should do something for it and shave him. So Roger sat down and enjoyed for the first in his life how someone shaved him. Of course not with an electric shaver but with a blade. After this and a nice head massage Roger asked for the price. And the barber wanted to have 100 Rupees for something that normally costs five Rupees. Good, Roger gave it because he did not know that it is expensive and because it is only two Euros. He laughed a lot when we told him that he paid 95 Rupees more. He said: "Maybe it makes him a rich man for one day and it does not make me a poor man." It is a nice attitude that I appreciate but on the other hand this shows how funny the prices are in India. When a foreigner comes, who is easily recognized because of the white skin, the prices are immediately more than doubled. However compared with the prices in Europe it is still cheap. And this is how it works here. You have to negotiate and bargain and still then as a foreigner you will not get the same price that Indians get.