Archive for the 'India' Category

Yay Deathmarches! The bog that Goa can be, and a parting gift.

The Wandering Nerd January 9th, 2008


So I’m now in Singapore - as you may have noticed from the side bit map thingy there. My camera is giving fits, but I was able to capture one image before it curled up in on itself again. Maybe the last picture from that camera and the first from Singapore. I find this image somehow fitting.

I really liked Goa, but I really think I dislike India itself. If I were cornered and forced to give two words to describe India they would have to be “Ruthlessly Inefficient.” The relentless onslaught of silly process marches on, firmly entrenched in Indian society. Quick tips, sometime in your life make it to Goa, lay on the beach for a month. But when you do, and this is very important, try like hell to make sure the method by which you get there has as few Indian portions as possible, it will save you some frustration. I suppose that is a somewhat jaded view - which it is - and it would be somewhat different if I had someone else to commiserate with along the way - which I didn’t. I was quite literally the object of attention for the entire train for most of the ride. I didn’t bother getting an Air Conditioned train cause I figured it wouldn’t be that had since it was night. More the fool I. You don’t get an air conditioned train because it’s too hot, you get one because it’s too bloody damned cold! I almost froze my yarbles off.

So 14 hours on the sleeper refrigerator of doom, lands me in Bangalore. I don’t really have much to say about Bangalore other than it smells like human waste and feet. 6 hour layover in poo-shoe-galore and then another 6 hour train to Chennai. One highlight you remember in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when they go through the area of all the giant boulders? Our train passed through there. It was pretty surreal, but my camera was in one of it’s many moods so I couldn’t get any shots. (This will be remedied in the near future).

[Note: Portions of this were taken verbatim from my written log, which I filled out along the way. Be warned I was sleep deprived, unfortunately sober and not my usual congenial self. Also note that there is much more embellishment filler and in point of fact I did not strike anyone target or no.]

Chennai is much like any other town in India, madness, chaos, screeching humanity in all it’s Third World with billboards manner. The taxi driver that took me to the airport wanted me to fill up the tank in his taxi after we’d agreed on a price. Cheeky bugger.

India has a closed currency, by which I mean technically you aren’t ‘allowed’ to take Indian Rupees out of the country. Luckily, for your happy convenience, they have a money changer right before the checkin. Then you go queue to get your boarding pass - by queue in reference to Indian queue I would like to conjure images of a moshpit probably of the nu-metal variety. I kinda’ felt bad elbowing that woman in the forehead, but you put a target on it and… After wrestling my boarding pass from the “happy to be serving you”-sneer of the desk monkey I got to queue for ‘Immigration.’ This was a proper queue, it had ropes and everything! It was also about 300 people long. No wonder you need to show up early…3 hours early! HAHAH! It’s like Disneyland in HELL! Next! Oh next! Security check!

I’m not sure about these guys. I walked through their metal detector with a stainless steel ring on and sunglasses on top of my head, and it doesn’t go off. Comforting, but I’m not arguing, I’m through and I just want a drink, not even alcohol, just a bottle of water, just something cause I don’t give a damn what the signs say, I’m not trusting that “drinkable water” crap, I’ve seen guys washing their hair in there, uh uh pal, no dandruff lemonade for this farmboy, I want something in a bottle with a hermetic seal on it barking at me. [yeah, I actually wrote that]

Salvation! A stall, a shop, a seller of delectable goods and potables! And, is that!? Is that a Beck’s I see before me?!?! May choruses of Hindu angels sing you to sleep young lady who would sell me beer at this, my darkest hour! I would love one of your potent potables if you please, how much is it? … … … 80 what? 80 Rupees? It may as well be Zelda Rupees! How the hell am I supposed to buy something when they’ve taken the currency you accept away on the other side of the barrier? Ah ha! The Indian shrug, a likely defence! I know you know what I’m saying! Why did you take my rupees away and then taunt me?

[They even ask you if you are carrying any more rupees when you go through immigration.]

Hrm…I must break into my secret stash of hidden rupees I see. For I will have the Beck’s, oh yes precious it will be mine. Here’s my 100 rupees, I’d like a Becks please…I found the hundred rupees in the bottom of my bag, I don’t know how it got there. Strange fluke, cosmic disturbance, quantum flip, just give me the damn beer!

It wasn’t even cold. Not even a little chilled. But it was one of the best beers I think I’ve ever had. It was a testament to man’s ability. A brief moment of respite for one who’d grown up with exceptional convenience at almost every turn. Let me tell you, that testament tasted good. Full of hope, acceptance and maybe even a little bit of forgiveness and understanding with regards to India. Sure they are a backwards and strange people - much like the Canadians - but maybe, just maybe with this beer they were offering a hand, a bridge between our worlds. Maybe this was what was meant to be. I thought all this, sitting in the smoking section of the Chennai airport on a hot January night around one in the morning. As these thoughts rolled around in my head I turned the can counter clockwise in my fingers, enthralled by the strange characters that allowed the millions of Indians to communicate with each other. Turning that can - counter clockwise - I noticed English characters… C I L O H O C L A - N O N…. India can rot.

I need some more Relaxion.

In any event, I salvaged, cajoled and forced my camera to take a few more photos of the evenings in Goa, not many but that’s all you get for the moment.

so blow out the candles
mornings moving in
flowers bloom on alcatraz now
let the caged bird sing yeh
-alabama 3

Trees are punny, here we go again and grand new friends

The Wandering Nerd January 6th, 2008

I’ve been taking my IV of Relaxion. I’m averaging about 100mg over the course of a whole day in the sun. It’s a trying course of treatment, towel, book, sun, beach. I’m holding up well though. I’m being very careful. I’ve heard horror stories of people overdosing on Relaxion. Becoming so relaxed that their very bones lose molecular cohesion and the slowly collapse in on themselves as some giant blob of relaxtion with sunglasses. Terrible thing.

I’m on the move again finally. Internet access here is spotty at best and uncomfortable at best. I’ve hobbled together a minor fix for my camera which should hold me into the next destination proper.

I’m going to be en-route for the next few days so I’m not sure when I’ll get back with the posting but I assure you I have survived my time in Goa. I’ve met some great great people, truly lovely. Now I have more excuse to go back to Great Britain and check out Wales. And if things go well I’ll be meeting up with some other people I’ve met here farther on along the road.

I gotta’ go get cleaned up for our ‘going away dinner’, we found a British Pub that does a very passable bangers and mash, and also does a Sunday Roast. I like indian food, but I’m kinda’ fed up with it. I’ve been eschewing chicken or beef here as their power is intermittent enough that I don’t trust the refridgeration. So I’ve been just eating veggies and fish, I went all episcopalian.

I’m off!

{No photos due to technical difficulties}

the captain is a one-armed dwarf,
hes throwing dice along the wharf
in the land of the blind
the one-eyed man is king, so take this ring
-tom waits

Relaxation nation, New Year’s Chew toy and sand…everywhere…

The Wandering Nerd January 1st, 2008

Happy New Year to all!

Not much to report from the last week or so, I’ve been having a rough time of getting up, laying on the beach, reading until dark, meeting a bunch of people at night, rinsing and repeating. All in warm weather on a smashing beach. It’s been tough.

One thing to note, as you may or may not know, cows are sacred here, I’m not talking about the Sacred Chao but the “moo, I said, moo” variety. Generally I have no problem with cattle, they are a fine, noble species and taste great when cooked properly. Given the aforementioned reverence, they have free reign to go wherever they damn well please, and by ‘go’ I’m not just talking about spatial movement but bowel as well.

Whilst minding my own damn business last night, walking along the beach - barefooted - I stepped right skwar into a Goan Beach Present, a Sacred Landmine, a Holy Shiite and a fresh one at that…Cringing and cursing the bovine race I turned towards that large collection of saline solution to rinse. While walking towards the sea, I found - with my other bare foot - yet another steaming pile of processed grass. Ah…memories. Least I didn’t get hit in the head later.

This New Year’s Eve turned out to be gleefully drama free, something I was quietly hoping for. There was much drinking, much laughing and a puppy that was doing it’s damndest to eat my face. I ended up just sleeping on the beach, as it was really warm and I just couldn’t be asked to walk back. I woke up this morning to find a goodly number of other revelers asleep on the beach as well. *Shrug* So it Goas…

I’m going to be on the moo-ve - sorry had too, couldn’t help it. I’ll try to coral any more of them. Oh now I’m just butchering it. I’ll try to steer this back on course. Yeah, I herd ya’ I’ll stop. Where was I before the puns started horning in?

Moving, right! I’m here for another week, then I’ll be on the move again. My winter break having come to an end. Hopefully somewhere along the way I’ll be able to pick up a new camera and maybe a cell phone. The only thing I miss about the phone - well other than the data on it - is the usefulness of it as an alarm clock.

I’m still trying to coax my camera to take a few more photos for me, but most of them lately have been turning out badly, and all from last night were blurry. Before anyone says it, yes it was the pictures and not my vision. ;p

Again, happy new year, and try not to make any resolutions you don’t really want to make.

{No photos due to technical difficulties}

to give all you know and never feel it
to hold back each day
until it dies away
-tim buckley

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