Thursday, April 16, 2009

barebackin' in cobra country

i saw a snake charmer on the side of the road. he beckoned to me. from his flute came a strange netherworldly sound. and out of the thin basket at his side came dancing a tiny action figure, hypnotized by the sound, the unmistakable emblem of Cobra Commander pasted on his flight helmet.


yesterday Laurel and I stayed in this paradise zone called Hampi. it's total caveman country: giant boulders, palm trees, stone pillars, dirt and nothing else. we rented mopeds, cruised through the country roads, felt like riding a motorcycle through Bedrock. got heeeelllla burned climbing boulders up to crumbly temples at the top. the tiny brown stonework combined with this weird black moss or oxidation or algae or something, makes the temples look like they're made of rotting corpses or bird bones glued together with hot rancid vegetables. skull mountain! you sweat hell of hard climbing around. you can drink like 3 or 4 liters of water a day and only whiz like once or twice. its so weird.

in India, there's a dorkload of places purporting to serve lasagna, pizza or mexican food. i feel like i owe it to my country to eat them all, but i havent had the nards to do it yet. also, people here LOVE sugar, and tea and coffee are served w/a disgusting amount of sugar pre-mixed into it. it tastes EXACTLY like hot cereal afterbirth milk. gross out. they eat hell of bread too. the cook on the farm made this pasta, which was made with this huge long macaroni noodles (like long as pasta but with a hole in the center. wha??). this gal we met from DC, named liz, who's great and works for the guy who did the soundtrack to Slumdog Millionaire and some Bollywood movies, says this Indian family invited her to dinner and, for a special treat, made pizza for her, which was pre-made Naan bread with ketchup and pre-sliced american cheeze on top, microwaved to imperfection. being the star of the evening, the foreigner guest, EVERYONE stared at her while she ate it and told her how expensive all the ingredients were. holy shit. then afterwards, they all had some beautiful Indian feast while her stomach rotted with bullshit pizza.

sadly my magic red shoes i brought are totally useless. no one in India wears shoes b/c it's too gall durn hawt out here. sandles only.

there's gigantic ants everywhere. goats and chickens and black pigs flop around the street, cows confidently croozin round town, kicking lazy dicks outta their way.

oh yeah, everybody rides these beautiful gigantic black cruiser bikes around, with really weird handlebars and these crazy kickstands that swing around the back under the wheel. hard to explain. holy shit, i was trying to find a picture of the bikes, but I found this instead:

fruit falls outta the trees when it's real quiet. i keep hoping i'll hear like a woodblock sound and then somebody moan and collapse from a coconut to the melon. we ate at this restaurant called the Mango Tree, which is built into a hillside under a gigantic mango tree with these stone benches that you eat at, with an angled stone back behind you so you basically lay backwards and stuff your fat face. the benches face this river surrounded by tropical trees and mountains of boulders. i keep getting spooked that Predator is going to come outta the trees and laser my muscular black arms off. that's what it looks like out here. instead of that happening, a mango fell from about 100ft up in tree, bounced off a step that was 3 ft from where i was sitting, and landed in a yellow garbage barrel. that could've killed my skeleton!!!

i watched some insane movies. look up this one called Satte pe Satta. it was made in 1982 but looks like 20 years older. the soundtrack is so dang good, it goes from insane evil synthesizers to amazing poppy golden age of Hollywood with Indian percussion song&dance. it's really really good, a total goof. I also watched this Telugu movie called Billa which is based on this Hindi movie from 2004 called Don which is based on this Hindi movie called Don from the 80s. It is so awful holy shit. you should watch it if you ever for some reason get a chance. it's like someone tried to cram the entire movie Showgirls into the length of a music video, and did that over and over for 2 hours. it's a crime thriller with the most shitty over the top intense soundtrack and climax after climax every 10 minutes and endless montages of just crime dudes looking "cool" getting out of cars, staring at the camera w/sunglasses, exchanging briefcases for no reason, whipping out guns, slow motion shit, entourages walking away from explosions, poorly edited fast cuts. omg it's indescribable. but I can't decide if it's an amazing incredible lampoon or if it's serious. b/c the second 1/3rd of the movie gets really silly and goofy, and then it gets serious and totally overly-complicated. i sort of want to ask my Indian friend what it's supposed to be.

it's weird how much you trust in american brands when you are in an unfamiliar land, and how much comfort they give you. i see a Coca-Cola or Pepsi logo on some drink and I trust it so much more and am totally confident that it is safe to consume. creepy. also, people don't usually understand the words when you say that you are from "America", but they get it right away if you say "USA". It makes me feel like such a patriot or a war veteran or something, some surly arm-wrestler chanting "U-S-A!" in a big crowd of beefcakes. actually, it makes me feel exactly like one of Guile's airforce buds in the background of his stage, the aircraft carrier. nothing like Mel Gibson in the Patriot. hell no.

we took this funny little dome shaped boat, made out of reeds and tarp and tar, across the river in Hampi. it's like a little cereal bowl with a skinny lil Indian kid paddlin you across. it's spins around a lot, and there is "crocodile danger". when the kid let us off on the banks of this rice paddy in someone's backyard, he kept asking for tips and then hugging me and laurel, the worst skinniest, skimpiest hug i've ever had, saying "friendship?", over and over and over. we did not give him any tips. he was 18 but looked like an emaciated 14 year old. i think people are just real little around here. at least he was not saying "Fatality".

so weird, i feel like i fit in so much in some superficial ways, but i never really could b/c i'm white. i do not look thin here. i look average. EVERYONE has a moustache. everybody's a little floppy and effeminate. i don't like the moustache look as much as the awesome huge black beard look. it looks way cool on young dudes. Laurel mentioned that she wonders if ppl think I am a holy man or a wise man b/c those are the only types of men that wear beards here. we met this crazy old coot bullshit shaman guy with a huge white beard and the smilin'-est, roundest face i ever saw, who guided us around this temple, pressed on our eyes and showed us eye shapes, impersonated scenes from Jackie Chan movies, told us about how to meditate every morning and about some Indian folklore. I like most folklore. I gave him money because he's basically an entertainer with a kind of religous element too. I think some of what he said was sincere and some was a kind of scam. i liked him anyway and he did tell me some things which make me feel good, like funny breakfast breathing excercises, food advice.

we took a bus all night last night, was supposed to drop us off at 7am in this place called Ohm Beach in Gokarna. it dropped us off at three AM and we sat in front of this shrine built around a tree until 6. we tried to walk down to the beach and all these scrappy terrifying street dogs started barking and running out. then we turned down a different street and like 12 more dogs came out. we were surrounded by creepy shitty little bloodthirsty dogs, and there was this insane polyphonic THX surround sound of horrifying street barks. they run us outta town. we took refuge 'neat the shrine once more. then this drunk lady who was passed out under a storefront came over and started talking at us incessantly in like 3 different languages (Laurel says), laughing at us, pinching laurel, throwing pebbles at me. it was really fun actually. i think she was outta her gourd as well. speaking of gourds, people here dry out big gourds and use them as water bottles in the smaller villages. holy cow.

when we got to the Ohm Beach hotel, we walked down the steps to the beach, and this parade of tiny hilarious puppies greeted us, tried to come flopping up the stairs, but they are so uncontrollable that they just kept falling backwards or off the side of the steps hahaha. then they all passed out in a pile on the sand.

on the bus ride, i kept seeing trucks and busses and autorickshaws with these crazy rainbow flashing lights near their headlights. i guess it's another just festive crazy decoration??

anyways, i feel like a hundred bucks. we're at this shady tropical resort thing, right on this abandoned beach with huge stones for basking sticking out of the water. a tropical breeze whispers through the palm fronds, bringing the distinct smell of fermenting turds to your face. the toilet drain is located right between the restaurant and the rooms i think.

i cant go into the sea today, on account of being burned so hard. got to stay out of the sun.

more things to come soon.


  1. So awesome! I would be terrified of the crazy dogs, they prolly have weird diseases.
    I like the Holy dudes. A friend of mine in Thailand got mugged by a 'monk'though.

  2. You gotta see the real "Don". It is super cool.

  3. woah woah woah. i just figured out how to give you a comment. i miss you corgly and i cannot believe this amazing in depth blog you are writing. you have no idea what a thrill it gives me to read. please submit it to lonely planet, or vice or any other young hip travel advice thingy. cuz this is so good, its gonna cram the pubes back onto their waxed balls.
    holy shit! wild dog show down! scary! you go on a camel trek yet? This sounds so awesome and fun, im afraid you waon't come back to USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!

  4. Dude I have the orignial 70's Don on DVD, we shall watcj all 3+ hours of it, it is awesome, the soundtrack is amazing, the movie...not so much, but still good eye candy! Damn this trip sounds awsome!