Flying is quite a curious thing, but being curious myself cancels it out making it mundane, thus bored by the excitement of setting out to wander away the hours days weeks months I landed. All seemed normal, the air thicker pushed its way into you but then pushed out by the throng and malaise.
Rows and rows of bodies. I was warned about the bodies in the streets but this was beyond blaze so many and orderly thin clothes pulled up over their faces lying there, oh they seem to have made a mistake one stirred. ”He is alive I scream, somebody helps him, I don’t think he is dead yet, English, ENGLISH who speaks English.” At which the body nearest my foot whips the cloth off his face and says; ”I do, but I don’t care, I care to sleep would you be quietening now.” I ask the taxi driver what was going on, he tells me that they sleep on the paving outside the airport as the marble is cool and the scrod they drape over themselves is to stop the flies from flying into their mouths, The gate of India a girl dressed in a way one only may call crisp, feeds the pigeons. In my land feeding the pigeons consists of an offering of the corner of a crust of your sandwich, or stale bread which the pigeons hit on the ground and bicker over but not here, here she stands like an hour glass from her falls seeds scattering in every direction she seems mesmerized by the flow through her fingers till they are up, then she reaches into a 50 kg sack and repeats the action. Unsure whether it is my audience or her simply at play she turns to the bag and digs like a child on the beach in my land spraying seeds across the scattering pigeons, what abundance and plenty. She is driven away in a very smart car and I know I will never see her again. That is a new experience, where I come from that is not the case.
A wide eyed Indian man is very excited by my watch. He has never seen one like it before. Two faces he says two faces of equal size this is something we never see. I had not thought about the equality of the watch but now I am yes but the charm of equality is soon destroyed when he asks do you wear your time on the top face or bottom face. As if every step forward is tempered and forged with several backs again. He is bitterly disappointed when I say to him that I got the watch in India. If it was foreign he could say we can’t get good watches in India they are breaking so fast that if you want to wear a watch you must budget at least at very least 10% of your earnings to be continually replacing broken watches, and if you don’t wear a watch then you are at risk of getting the time from someone who has not yet found out their watch is broken and then you are getting to be late and your job is going just like that, so you must keep buying watches, the watch Wallas hold us to ransom and they know we have no choice but to pay, and I would have felt obliged to give this poor man in desperate need of a watch my chronometer par excellence for a moment of joy followed by a lifetime of regret. So it was quite marvelous that I could say I bought it in Sikkim, he tried to say that is very foreign but he realized after a moment of this course that I had been in the country some time and therefore knew his script. You know what you would pay for this anywhere else.
There is a noise that a scythe makes as it rasps the pave-stones of the pavement, the time Wallas had been sleeping and had not fully awoken his arm numb from having slept standing in a doorway but he could smell the vanilla scent in the air the smell souls release when they are confronted with travesties of existence, and here lay the tuk-tuk driver injured but not injured enough, it seems to be the peril of his tortured soul that is calling for the release, his wife had a creeping madness and it was by dying that he might save her from further suffering. The pier still wood despite the electric alternative in death we do not want progress it is a fundamental act of regress, the return to the earth and impending it must not be risked. There is a moment when the flames have become hot and the outlines are no longer clear when a drug crazed woman refusing to let him go jumps into the flames and either lifts a baby out from the cinders or melts into vanilla.
I have not yet seen a Phoenix but there is so much I have not seen I have only 2 eyes. You see. Everyone is in a state of grace. The time Walla wines you on when you travel, the urgency of most things becomes like a gossamer, activity is like a ghost of what it was. There is no pace the race is now for other rats you are unplugged remote and clear like the air of a Himalayan dawn. The toy train is one of those paradoxes of travel. Avoid it at all costs but take it to truly know why.
The mid west of the United States of America has a great deal of hollow destinations the worlds the largest ball of string cannot be more exciting than its description, so too the Bavaria train loop is just that and no more you find yourself wondering why is the world wild life fund sponsoring the planting of marigolds on the top of the Himalayas, but unlike the famous horse shoe bend in Bathurst South Africa which is a wonder to behold the scale the unlikely geology the fauna and flora the convergence of ecosystems and monkeys a timeless delight. The Bavaria train loop is of no great proportion nor interest so frighteningly boring is its reputation that I stopped the jeep some ways off and surveyed it in a roundabout manner (forgive the pun) am I being unfair trusting a fellow traveler to do the under painting, no I don’t think so, to devote a tremendous amount of effort to finding exciting train loops is a task for someone else. The Himalayas eat maps and bend time. The town is just the smallest jot away, I will simply not believe this you tell me that it is a 8hour ride, yes they are adamant, so with disbelief we set out, what makes me so sure it can’t be 8 hours off is I can see the town after about half an hour I could throw an orange and hit a duck on the roof. Duck derange for lunch, but no sooner that we get near when the road bends and we veer away, then it veers off again and the duck is far above us and the house too in fact the hole town. As I get more and more concerned that we are going very wrong the driver explains that they must zigzag down the ravine and up the other side to get to the village, yes it is far. It is like going next door via America and so after 2 hours of zigzagging I understand why this town is virtually untouched by tourism, rightfully so what makes it even more hair raising is not the sheer drops or the crumbly road surface it is the smells of mechanical failure and the grindy clanking of a vehicle long past its due for a tune up.
Looking up I was sure I saw a gold fish in the sky, oh a flock of them all swimming with two frogs, the stalk a few yards off shook its head and I with just 3 flaps of its wings was shooting up through the bottom of the lake scattering the gold fish. My this, is a confusing place, how does this lake come to float about up there, then all of a sudden some Buddhist monks streaming towards me banging pots and making a terrible racket, in a great state of agitation so it is with relief that flying lakes are not normal here, I thought I had stumbled into a very odd area of reality. Where is it going I call to the monk, I don’t know we must be encouraging it to come down from there or we might lose the lake and the lake are a goddess and if we lose her how will we be explaining that to the Dalli Lamma, he will not be understanding if we say she just floated away, this is a judgment she is sick of the pollution she is running away from the rubbish we throw into her, Katchaperri Lake is now to be found in the remote region of Sikkim and it is with great relief to report that the lake is once again a terrestrial lake. The temple had to be moved and all the monks. What a magical moment what wonder to stand between the land and the lake and see the sun shining through the waters, I think it happens very rarely it is the only relocating lake I have ever heard of but let us hope that more people have the courage to admit sighting flying lakes, if we see UFO’s then why not levitating lakes usually it just needs one man to be brave then everyone speaks up.
Mutany halt you cannot go further, mutany. Now thinking of that my ticket was booked and I had been planing this for my whole life and I was flying home in a fortnight and therefore if I waited for the next voyage to the Andimin Islands I would not make it back in time for my flight, there simply was no time for a mutiny it must be a trick to get backslash I cannot let this stop me, who has mutinies still that happens in the days of captain cook and peter pan. Not in modern times not today know there can’t possibly be a mutiny not when I already bought my bananas for the voyage, under the weight of all my camping equipment mosquito repellent aerosols roll-on and stick burning coil and homeopathic citronella oil and fine mesh net, the weight of the dawning reality crushing me, when following a dream you can bear mighty loads and yet when you are defeated by circumstance then your luggage breaks your joints.
Mutiny no amount of back shish seemed to matter the sailors were bent on burning the captain, I could do nothing but escape the heat by heading up the Himalayas, I walked away with a very heavy heart the andirons would have to still be a dream a few years longer, a heavy heart but a lightening load as I handed bananas out as I walked and soon I felt better about things, you should try it handing out bananas go do it now, you get some great reactions.
Bollywood was all about me for the briefest moment. Lakshmir Lodge is a fabulous hotel 1star kind of place but it is tremendous, I always say it is not where you are but who you with that matters, and what we make of the moments and the moments make of us. Lakshmir Lodge in Mahalliballipurium the trans grenadier capitol of the world, yes they meet once a year for a festival and you can’t get a bed in the town, but then I think that is the point party all night and wear lots of lipstick. We were of course 3 weeks too late and with my woolly beard they encamped me firmly in the category of tourist that is interested in stone carving, the training capitol of India the boulders have been practiced on by generations of students however to not be too obtrusive they all worked in one quarter scale.
Rajmol Film City was our destination, promised 650 rupees a day as much marinade as one can drink and ones own hotel room with cable TV and western style food all for staring in a movie directed by Rudga Howard from blade runner, wow what an experience, red carpet sunsets martinis and disco glam rock, Alissa Millana’s friend saying I thought I would never see you again, the beard had to go but that was fine, they could give it to widows and awfulness for as a rudimentary blanket, we were treated too well, packaged into the bus the cattle of the crowd depart, but when it is our turn a black cab pulls up and it is in great luxury we are escorted to the train platform a mere hour off making friends with Mark and Marie a British yobbo and a toff they could not have been more divergent a veritable Romeo and Juliette young vital full of excitement as opposed to me young somewhat ground down but certain I would bring Utopia to all. On the train we are given 50 rupee notes for cigarettes or peanuts, this is stratospheric as 50 rupees buys you 4 boxes of cigarettes and enough peanuts to burst a flock of squirrels.
Lakshmir Lodge regularly sells its guests to the film industry, when you check in you say I would like to star in a film if one comes up and given 7 days and some offer would have arisen. On the train I ask what is the name of the movie and the tout responds with “Shadow of the condom” and a jaunty wiggle of his head off he trots as the blood drains to my feet and they put me in the taxi so that makes me the main course oh god how will we ever escape this even more surprising is the Belgium couple they don’t flinch, they must be the liberal type the kind that swings and cottages and loves dogging. Then giving them the benefit of the doubt, what did he say it is called? “Shadow of the condor” oh the relief rushes through me.
The lack of marinade was overwhelming, the fact that cable tv was all in Hindi could be a misunderstanding, the hotel room that was a condor for another couple to get to their room was perhaps a mistranslation room condor perhaps have the same route. The green lush tropical gardens sprayed with a mist of sewage water ensuring camera perfection but causing many extras to become I’ll as the winds blew these droplets everywhere, the intolerable hours and disorganization, the western style breakfast being a slice of bread and a hard boiled egg. These all were tolerable with a sense of humour and refreshing even, however the as much marinade as you can drink, that was definitely lacking. They sold marinade but we were told as much as we could drink and free. Half truths and misinterpretation being led astray that is all what India is about, however a straight lie that is in Indian, that is wrong that causes a riot. And I found myself party to the most amazing acts of primal expression on an individual level. The man in the marinade vehicle got it worst, we had no idea whether he was with holding our rightful marinade or whether he was acquiescing out of fear but he had a man in furry rock to the edge of toppling the dispensary, now you must appreciate that a man built like an ox rocking your box is intimidating if you are a father of 3, 5 foot 1 and weighing 42 kilograms, the Indian marinade Wallers are almost transparent. And to be dealing with furious stomping oxen all day is quite a task.
I understood this to be fruitless the Wallas was by no means the perpetrator of this he was a little man in a tight spot. I have always lived in Utopia and therefore when the world is not as I see it I always bring it back to view with firm gentleness. Gandi would have been proud, strike unite and refuse to be treated in such a way, the irony of it was that it was the 20 pence saving that toppled the empire not the 33 usd they docked our daily wage of, it went beyond money, we be not feel entitled to the full 50usd they were paying us, that is not including the finders fee they pay to the recruiter of the commission they pay the managing agent, we agreed to work for 17 dollars a day because that was what we were happy with but it was a package and 20pence worth of marinade is a class issue, in Witnail and Eye they go off to a club and Witnail comes back with 2 cocktails Eye says but I thought you have no money how much did those cost, he said well things work differently in these clubs it is free to those who can Afford it very expensive to those who can’t. It was our class that they insulted, we all could easily afford the 20 pence but we did not wish to be a situation where we might be called to. I do not carry a bucket with me I take for granted then there will be a lavertrie and carrying 20 pence is a little like carrying a bucket of shit, it reeks of poverty.
Now you may wonder how can I dare to be so politically incorrect, it is only through being honest that we repair the rift in Anglo oriental sensibilities, If you were making a fopar you would want to know, I would, and they need to understand that this senseless greed is something that becomes so very toxic that at some point it becomes an us and them scenario once that happens the good are punished with the bad and the incentive for good behaviour on either side ceases. The marinade waller no doubt till his dying day will fear the next assault because some Indian told him he could drink up his entire marinade supply without paying, yet they need some kind of greed police consolidating reports of lying Indians and going and teaching them the error of their ways.
In short do not fear as long as you are the one giving and they are receiving all will be pure happiness, but don’t expect to work there it is in working for someone that you realize what they truly think you are.
By the way hydrabad is a very mountainous region remaining under Muslim rule even under the British, oppress a nation but give them somewhere inconsequential to run to, that is what makes Hydrabad so tremendous, the principle of in consequence packed to the brim of people of consequences, people interested in not being suppressed oppressed repressed, the veritable axis of independent Indian thought and self reliance and it was in hydrabad then I was inspired to write my greatest poem, moo moooove please Mr cow, although you won’t anyhow, I’ve never seen a cow moove, unless he had an itchy hoove, and itchy hooves are very rare, mostly cows just lie there ………. honk your horn, resting cow barely dawn, does he even understand, he understands this is cow land Rajasthan the blue city the passion on the street’s something is going on Indians are trying to talk to me but have not the vocabulary, they can talk for hours about cricket, they know all the words, buy the urgency the politic distance gone now a throng of people a newspaper is being thrust in front of me, I don’t know why they realized I must be German or Russian and not read English, they tap the photograph see, I am completely in the dark I have no idea why they need to show me a newspaper, what meaning could a plane crashing hold for me? At a complete loss I ask why is this important? The Indian man almost hysterical if his head had exploded I would not have been surprised. Apoplectic he says it is the twin towers, looking at the picture I can’t help but think not anymore, there is just one there now, they will have to call it the tower from now on, are these Indians such a fan of symmetry that they are assaulted by the singularity of the mono tower, what is happening, then he says 2 planes crash, other one gone too, now that is just ridiculous, I simply must buy a lottery ticket, that is just impossible. Not that I know much about planes, buy that will serve them right for building so high, the sky is for birds not bricks, this is a very unlikely accident I remark, the agitation is extreme they seem embarrassed to tell me then one says and a plane hit the Pentagon, now despite being born under a turkey I know that the Pentagon is like a no go zone for crashing your plane, it is bound to be misconstrued in some way, those Pentagon type folk are really on edge I have seen that on the tv dramas. This is like a twilight zone conversation. And a 4th plane crashed in a grassy field, How am I to make sense of this the Pentagon and now a grassy field not to mention 2 buildings near bye to each other, it is a bad time to fly, “Thanks I appreciate your concern I definitely will extend my stay” I say, one thing the Indians are good at is getting you to stay longer and shoving me ho unreliable planes have become they really know how to find the angle.
Lying on the roof top looking at the stars some jets scramble over us. There is a military base on the next town Jaisimilar next to Pakistan they seem to suddenly be doing a lot of man oeuvres, even the world war 2 anti aircraft light at the red fort is waiving across the sky. There sure are a lot of people on edge this is a strange thing, I can’t be sleeping under jet fighter planes not with the air industries recent track record so time to go south Pondicherry a former french colony and no bricks in the sky yes there we can be safe from this antique aircraft light.
So very french it was described as, well I have not been to France but if it is the case I trust in France they say so very Indian because that was what Pondicherry was to me more of the same not that it was boring India is a delight but not like the French films at all.
The best sleep I ever did have was being rocked by a rocketing train, the hard beds were unpromising when we embarked however with the gentle motion of the train the beds became increasingly comfortable, I should like to live on such a train and have the bliss for perpetuity.
Hammocks were abundant in Goa a firm favorite one traveler had a hammock and nothing else he slept between two palm trees and ate jungle mango clearly a shoestring budget has many manifestations
The lady she seemed to know her way around a good time, casually she remarks there is nothing more sensual than shaving a mans head, in the morning we all having breakfast something is different one of the chaps is completely bald, furtive glances around, so how was it worth going bald for, shying away he says “I was planing to have a cut anyway” I looked at the men I met with no hair differently after that, they too looked at each other differently, there was a brotherhood among st them, whether it was shame or pride I cannot say, perhaps a rivalry perhaps a common respect, she did it dry.
In the Himalayas there are some cinemas, Darjeeling I seem to remember, we decide to see a provocative movie, and so head out the adult movies are 10 rupees the Hollywood movies 15 rupees, they won’t take our money, no women the cashier says, only men. This strikes her as odd she protests “so I can go see people killing each other but I can not see people making love, that makes no sense. ” That is the way no women allowed, we finally find a cinema that will allow us in, the air is thick with smoke so thick they struggle to get a match to light for their next cigarette. They watch this movie and the things that happen in the movie are so taboo in their culture that they misunderstand the whole thing and view it as a surreal comedy rather than an adult movie, a woman being shagged vigorously by a man in a hotel room answers the phone and does her best to suppress her groans for the duration of the conversation which concludes in her making an arrangement to meet by the pool at 4pm the screwer then asks who was that to which she replies casually oh my husband, screwer does not miss a beat, the Indian audience melt off their seats in peals of hysteria, they roll on the floor in hysterics and the knee deep cigarette ash, the wonder of it is finally I understand how Indians view me they see these western pornography movies as a sort of national geographic see the bizarre sexual and moral perversions of the Americans, it is no wonder that they consider a girl on a bus sleeping as an invitation to make love as they do not fully grasp these dream sequences so common in pornography, and so I must implore you do not fall asleep on a bus, you will wake with a man kissing you while fondling your bosoms.
I really wish I had read the book Karma cola, I was told it was good, I am not much of a reader and Alli read me some of the local Goa’n literature at the time I felt it was depleted, that sort of writing you can expect of a grade 4 scholars, however in the echo resonance of my mind I find that my understanding was off, it was too fresh I had not milled it properly. If you live in paradise and the only dangerous thing that could affect you be the Indira Gandhi nuclear research facility one province away, then your writing would be tipped at best, us westerners are listening for the action the vigor of crisis, and reminiscing is not a novel in our world unless it has a well crafted hook that makes a mockery of all the challenges of life, is the cars engine block turns out to be one of the solid gold engines cast in the final days of Hitlers regime in order for Nazi to drive to India and live out their days in splendid luxury, the family drove the car for 50 years not knowing, lax mi died of typhoid the treatment was too costly Sadie died of gangrene after stubbing her toe but they could not afford a bandage, private died in a dowry fire, the old parents are now frail and have endured hardships beyond imagination, only to be tormented in the last 3 years of their life, by knowing they were very rich all along, and all of their suffering was inconsequential, desperately trying to cope with adjusting to having wealth. But then that is the book you would find in the states.
What I hope to convey with my matchbox series is the intimate moment, you slide the box open and peer in you are ready you have invoked the viewing, there is no accident, you have chosen to see. You are as much the artwork as the box is. your response in the pass the parcel situation is too the artwork, delight disgust or indifference you bring years of beauty and your cultural echo these boxes are all part of a greater picture a picture of world dreams a picture of world eye world taste, one cannot like everything that would overwhelm the mind, one is invited to like something and to take the first step by purchasing and object and allowing it to be in your thoughts each day you are helping the artist, the artist needs to feel there is a greater audience out there like an Orchestra needs a concert hall an artist needs a wall and a viewer.
In the heat of turkey there was a hopeful romantic, he looked at Emma Ane knew that he would marry her, he took her out upon the town, to the most wonderful clubs, bennum jennum.
Then there was a girl in Goa well more of a lady not yet a crone but perhaps fearing the inevitable demise of her beauty the seat of her respect and therefore as it slips from her fingers she flounders in ever greater intensity of passion like soldiers rape each other before going into battle the nature of desperation of the finality of death. So she looks to stab at immortality, but how to drive a pin into reality to be remembered to be not forgotten, there is nothing more tragic than a forgettable lady. Men can amman wealth but women they are too flighty they are ruled by strange waters, so she comments that she has never been more satisfied than by the head of a bald man. In the morning Ian the only South African we met traveling was bald, he had been initiated into her bizarre sexual fantasy, we know his class were appalled and that she could open herself to such risk, the raw rot that he might harbor, and how many has she taken to her chamber invoking the biological roth of uncertainly ways
The thing about a swindle is that it is the feeling that you might have been had, it is the quantifiable nature of it all, the feeling that there is someone whose existence depends upon doing you in, and you cannot easily quantify the number of swindlers out there is it 1in 100 000 one in a billion or one in 10 this is a big dilemma, ignorance is bliss but bliss is dangerous, when it empties your wallet in a strange land with strange ways and spits you out then it is rapscallions. Such rascals managed to denude me of substance and fact, substantially to their favour, it was a climatic day to say the least, Delhi, the government tourism agency big sign, small office, with hindsight I should have been more cognitive but holidays are holidays I was in a rush to get to the parties of Goa, we entered with a hope to fly, yes we in a hurry we need to get there as fast as we can, no we need not a tour of Delhi, I am sure you cousins carpet shop is a wonderful thing but we practice a non-materialist lifestyle we hope just to go the full moon party, we need an air ticket, 2 week wait but we will miss the full moon how about the train, fully booked school holidays, bus will do perhaps a sleeper is that possible, no there must be a way to make full moon, we have hoped to make the party for a few years now all our friends have told us they the best, how can we get there. Well there is a chance I could ask my sisters-cousin if he could make a special trip it would be a bit of an extravagance but full moon is almost upon us. he has a taxi it would be quite comfortable, and thus after 3days and 2 nights in a taxi with the meter running we alighted in Goa very happy until we were laughed at we had been had. There are guaranteed tickets called tactical services tickets to allow the free movement of tourists around India. You need never wait more than a day to rail anywhere in India
Crowned by a crow, the very weight of a crow is surprising and that weight upon your head unexpectedly while walking down the street, well I would not have thought it possible, yet there I was in an Indian street, narrow but not crowded. With a crow landing upon my head. My heart skipped several beats. I have always had a special rapport with animals, as a child there was an Egyptian goose which would drink water from my hair, none of the other children could gain its trust. There was a lizard that I had a conversation with and actually reached out and stroked it under its chin, it looked quizzically back at me and I hope enjoyed the sensation as much as myself. There has been a great trust with animals and I have loved the acceptance they have shown me, but to be used as a kind of mobile throne, or to be ambushed from above in that way well is it not taking things a little too far. The shock was so great that I dropped to my haunches, and went from being an advantageous viewing post to being a vulnerable fortress, the crow flapped its wings and continued on, my how odd the world is.
Some days the lyrical nature of life seems to be and flow in the rhythms of a Schubert symphony, one is not necessarily at peace with all the ingredients, however what one does find, is that without parts there would be no whole, just a hole in the puzzle of life. Now don’t get me wrong I do not wish to know about the darker corners of humanity, the world we build is definitely at odds with nature, we iron out the wrinkles and we saints the traces of realness, there is even toileted spray to guard against their being some smell of poop escaping between your anus and it falls into a water pool in the toilet bowl locking away the aromas forever more. What do you expect it is a lavatory, this is its purpose, there to be no trace of its purpose is odd imagine a teapot yet one is not allowed to acknowledge that it is a tea pot or to acknowledge the tea or the water you wish to pour over the leaves, we would find ourselves in a quandary. Yet that is the experience of the shitter, I remember the good old fashioned long drop, flies by the myriad and aromas strong enough to make a blind man see again, and there you sit above a pool of ses, wondering if in the rich soup of it all whether there are things other than flies living down there and wondering whether the life down there might be advanced enough to have claws? Us and our toilets in the west how complicated, as if a telegraph came from hades saying you shalt have much mystery and frequently. I send you impractical ablutions, in India they really have it all working very well, there is a toilet, very little smell, slightly public but you can close the door and while you participate in such activities you are safe from eye contact. Very draft the simple wood construction allows the breeze to pass through, keeping it smelling like the seaside paradise it is, the lack of toilet is a little alarming, but then lets forgive them for not having porcelain, you find your self in a badly constructed wooden room like a steam room with a run hole cut in the wood, looking throughout the hole it is very bright below, a chicken runs past dazzling to the eye in the sunlight, you hope the chickens understand not to spend too much time directly below, just imagining a pristine white chicken sprayed with explosive diarrhea. Or the same chicken a day later after being pecked at by all the other chickens, like a walking meat ball in the world of chicken feed. Taking a seat with all these rich imaginings going on in one’s head, there is no other factor that comes into play, just when one’s bowels begin to loosen, giving over to relief giving over to horror, there is a noise a deep noise a sort of raspy grunt and just when you realized what is below you what is below you help release you from the other end, imagine the thought you push I pull you push I pull, but the most terrifying thing of all is when there are no more truffles to be sent to the underworld, and the greedy pig licks your anus. Suddenly quaint is no longer as charming as I thought.