Tuesday, April 14, 2009

holy carp, india zone

aw fudge, how'm i gonna tell you all this indian stuff... like this:

ok, in case you were thinking about it a lot, yes, there are squirrels in india. they are tiny and grey w/black and white stripes, no bigger than a rat. mischievous lizards lurk everywhere, crawling up the terrace, licking the windows, lookin fer trouble. every time i go to take a leak, there's a frog or two flipping around the shower, overlording his private b-room domain. you know how we got pigeons, and sometimes their legs are all fudged up or their eye is missing or they got big bloody scabs all over one side? well, in india, they don't have pigeons; instead of pigeons, they got these adorable tiny skinny blonde dogs and tiny monkeys and very young or very old beggars, so imagine sometimes you see a dog running around with scabs all over it or missing a leg, or a monkey with a bashed in face or a person missing an eye or with a crushed, melting hand.

today i saw a baby goat standing in the middle of the road squealing, running up to tourists for help. it was cute as hell, but i'm sure it will probably die. also, a dog chased two huge pigs away from the river. the other day i broke up a neighborhood dog brawl in a dry field involving like 12 dogs. i used rocks and verbal abuse. two big dogs had a little one in their mouths and they were dragging it around, it was bleeding all over.

a restaurant sign that said "mango tree restaurant...by the waterfall 1km...please just try it for once"
a restaurant serving "ash browns", aw yum
license plates written in drippy Swamp Thing letters (WHAT?!?)
aMAAAZING cola called "Thums Up", there are hand-painted signs for it EVVERRYWHERE


people kept telling me that india was incredibly filthy, like disgusting, horrifying. total exaggeration i say. it's kinda messay, very dusty. my first day, i came in to Bangalore. the airport was brand new apparently, so it was like a very clean abandoned shopping mall. ok, Bangalore is TOTALLY COMPLETELY INSANE. once you get into the city, it is jam crammed with denizens, tiny alleys and roads, people selling stuff everywhere and EEEVVERYONE stares at you, sincereley every single person, if you are white, and you cannot ever keep to yourself. actually, imagine an endless sprawling flea-market, it is really so much like that. it is so much like the laney flea market, it makes me feel stupid. produce, cheap stuff, used stuff, dusty shops, dirt floating in your lungs. ok, but beyond being an entire city that is a flea market, there are motorcycles, tiny vans, auto-rickshaws (like a tuk-tuk, three wheeled beautiful tiny automobile) barreling down every alley, sliding by each other, dodging pedestrians, honking constantly (in India, honking is used to let the other drivers know where you are, not to show anger or excitement). it is so insane, unsafe. if you need to cross a street, you literally just have to run across the street, in front of a bunch of motorcycles and stuff and they will either stop or dodge your body, or just honk at you. there is no crosswalk or anything, you just run out in front of everyone. the best way is to find another group of people waiting to cross and go when they do. and on the highways, vehicles pass each other constantly, and there are only ever two lanes. you are VERY OFTEN driving straight into a bus or a tractor or a truck, honking, and at the last second, you and the other vehicle dodge each other, return to the right lane. this is like every 30 seconds. when you are driving you are almost always driving straight into oncoming cars, dodging around pedestrians and auto-rickshaws.

vehicles are SOOO beautiful, there are bright painted totally beautiful 80s mopeds, moon-shuttle tiny japanese vans, three wheel auto-rickshaws, buses are covered in insane shit, paintings and gods and weird english slogans. if you need to get somewhere out of the way, you take an auto-rickshaw. riding around in these is like flying around town in a rollercoaster cart that off the tracks and is rolling dowhill for eternity; it is loud, rattling, you stop and start constantly, turns throw you around the bench.

ok, stuff is really extremeley omg, so fudgin cheap. taking the bus for like a 40 minute trip is cents. a 4 or 5 hour bus ride is like $1. a one hour taxi ride across the country is $4. food at an expensive tourist restaurant, with a drink and appetizers and etc, is $3 or $4. also, i'm getting ripped off for all this stuff, b/c i'm white, so Indians pay even less than that. a 1gb sd memory card is like $5. a 7 hour train ride across states is $5, and you get a bed AND weird dudes come through at every stop to sell you tea or fruit or weird nuts. it is just so unbelievable. i've been here a week, taking buses and taxis and trains, buying stuff, eating at restaurants, and i just now burned through $50.

everything in India is decorated like an endless carnival or parade is going on. everything is painted tropical clown colors, pastel blue, yellow, dark red, pale green, got rainbow lettering, metalling pom-poms tassels hanging off rear-view mirrors, beads, tassels, stickers, embroidered shapes, ceramic facades and sculptures of sexy demon gods hanging off of everything, festooned like there are so many festivals going on that it doesn't make sense to remove the decorations because you will just have to put them back up again, but it gets old and dusty and sunbleached in the down time. literally everything is painted and decorated, like the whole country is a carnival.

sincereley, really, every single person in the street will look at you, stare at you, and if you wave at them, they will smile and wave back, tell you you have a cool beard. and everyone has a list of like the same 10 questions they ask you "hi, good morning how are you?" "what country?" "what is your name?" "madam, where are you going?" "first time India?" "what is your work?". if your bus rides by another, or some people on the street, they will ALL see you and wave and say "hello sir, good morning, how are you?"

the landscape ain't more amazing than anything in america, but i've been getting up around 6 every morning and walking around the deserty country-side. there's like this tattooine bright red dirt everywhere, its hot and cloudy and steamy as heck, the sun comes up huge and red, tropical and desert plants everywhere (prolly my two fav types). it's real flat, you can see lots of stuff. sometimes there's a bright green rice paddy in the middle of a desert, looks like a florida golf course. this place I'm at right now, Hampi, is full of gigantic ogre-sized boulders in the middle of this river, making up HUGE mountains of rocks the size of houses, going up several stories into the sky. i saw an elephant being bathed in a river today. he was restless & fussy, kept getting thwacked by this little guy.

it's pretty hot, but it ain't that hot. it's just like summer really. it stays hot all night though.

i sort of gave up on taking pictures, because things just look so disappointing and small and shitty when you try to photograph them. every time i try to photograph some amazing landscape or soooo cool stone giant temple, it just looks like small shit, or like some slide i saw in art history class. so, i just been photographing some weird signs and amazing stickers and weird shit. i also left my camera memory card at home, but i just bought a new one. not sure if i can find a card reader thing to post hot pix. hope so.

also, in bangalore, holy shit, there are these gigantic (like several stories high) cardboard cut-outs of stills from hot new movies, just the weirdest dudes with moustaches and bandanas and crappy sunglasses holding guns or dancing or...whatever. my camera wasn't working at the time, but i do hope i see one again oh my god. btw, hindi movie posters are so insane, they all look 20 years old. i will photograph them.

i been finding tons of cool garbage, weird wrappers, i will send them to y'all. even cheap notebooks are totally beautiful. they have like the weirdest, irregular, hand-printed logos on the front, big bold colors, screen-prints of ornate birds or flowers or gods or crazy photo cutouts of 70s photographs of flowers, and its so hot and dusty here that everything looks 30 or 40 years old. i have to pick up some of them.

i did find some really cool umm...either shorts or underwears for kids. i will hang them on a wall.

there's some other stuff i gotta tell you about; train ride, adorable kids, nannari, pizza... but later


  1. i wanna see a picture of those cool undies.

  2. how come you didn't take me with u, chu ?

  3. take pictures of yourself in front of those awesome temples and stuff, you will thank me later, they seem lame, but once you are back those are the best to have. If you don't them they do just look like crappy school slides! personalize em! Man I wish I was with you! It sounds Awesome

  4. Hey it's Jolene. I love reading about your experience! I hope to go to India someday. Are you with a group? Take care have fun! :)