cool pix. i hate this slideshow thing, but it's way easier than pasting all of the images onto the page.
ok, it's late, took like an hour to figure out how to put photos up. here are some quickiez:
it's election time in India, and politickin' is rampant. the political pamphlets look a lot like rave fliers. people scream and beat drums in the street, it's like a parade, strings of firecrackers and then these giant festive BOMBS go off every few mintues, totally deafening&horrifying, the politicians speak into megaphones, old timey.
all of the glass soda bottles get sent back to the factory to get re-used, so they all look ancient and beautiful and have awesome old SLICE and 7UP logos on them, the really cool early 80s ones. also, they have rust around the mouth part, from being re-used hundreds of times.
i've seen a few ladies with amazing big heavy brass spectacles. usually they are cutting fabric.
at some station between mumbai and agra, there were giant megaphones blasting this tinny old tyme ragtime piano music while all these merchants were running around the train windows yelling "panni! water! frooti!", "chai chai chai.", "maaaah-sala!" they kind of sing it like at an ol baseball game, or like a bunch of towne criers.
between gokarna and mumbai, naked kids with rat-tails were throwing rocks at my train from a trench of garbage between the train tracks and the stone wall that separates it from the city. men were squatted every few hundred feet to either turd in a garbage field or scrounge for goodies.
i met a woman at the big station in mumbai who talked in emphatic busted english about vegetarians, "hippy" as a religion (among hindu, moslem, christian), beards, barack obama (ps - everyone wants to talk about barack obama) and who said my skin is tough but inside is so sweet, then she grabbed my face and screamed "LIKE SWEET CHOCOLATE BABY!!"
if you want to make a phone call in India, you look for a big giant yellow that says "STD" in huge block letters. i imagine inside the booth is a crotch grabber machine than implants whatever std you like. i haven't tried yet. also, you can send faxes from anywhere. anyone want a fax?? gimme yr fax number.
i spent 20 hours on a train with these three totally insane men. not sure if i've got the energy to get into it now, but they were like gigantic teenagers in formal business clothes. we just stayed up very late making funny, woke up, made more funny, they wanted to talk and talk forever, they said my beard was good, it looks cute, that i have very good nice eyes, that i look smart, that i look just like a Bollywood star, not Hollywood. twas exhausting. big boisterous braggarts. i felt like Bilbo when Gandalf invites all the dwarves over to his house for that psychedelic party. it was kinda like being around a new friend in jr. high that you think you know well, but then, you invite him to sleep over, and he won't leave and stays all day the next day and you don't like him as much as you thought. there was no escape. except for this army guy i met:
on the train, i got secretly drunk with a very neurotic, skinny, giggly 29 yr old India Army grunt, who I thought was 19 or 20. he snuck me up to the top tier sleeper bench, and opened his gigantic duffel bag to reveal it was full of army-issue raisins and "Wine", which is a generic term meaning any ol booze. he had ttooonnns of bottles of rum and whiskey and beer, and they were all stamped with red ink "for use in Indian army issue only". I guess it's really hard to get booze in India, but they issue it to soldiers, so it's a very prized commodity that they keyster out of bootcamp. he could note drink "wine" without "snacks", so we had to wait until the next stop so he could buy some "magic masala lays" with ridges and 7up and fried battered wonderbread. anyways, here shared with me his booze, his bread, his weird life. the bread was battered and fried...wtf? deep fried bread, battered with liquid bread?
speaking of new friends, there is a weird friend jealousy thing in India. when people are very hospitable to you, i feel like they expect you to hang around them forever, and if you go off somewhere else and meet a new friend, they get very weird and jealous. it's happened a couple times. it's very disturbing and upsetting. all of your new friends get mad at each other. the first men would not let the army guy sit with us, told me he was a bad person, making me stupid, that i would get arrested for drinking with him, showed me a press pass one of them had and said i would be all over the Indian newspaper tomorrow. that sounded cool actually. but, they wouldn't even talk to this nice guy. it was so weird, like a buncha shitty cousins.