Tuesday, April 28, 2009

the moslem guys in india have a really good style. they all have insane beards, really long, formal, off-white shirts, and short hair with this fancy little cylindrical cap on top. a lot of them have glasses.

the old men with money look amazing. they have very colored turbans and long extremely soft&cuddly-looking beards. i donno how they get their beard hairs like that. well, then they curl out their big white mustaches. it's like a bunch of santa clauses on a tropical vacation or something.

the tourists at the taj mahal were goddang hilarious and INCREDIBLY entertaining. i watched them for like an hour until i realized i would be late to meet my driver at 9:30. there were tons of pasty korean and chinese ladies with big curly dos and hilarious bucket hats, big ol shorts, posing for the worst looking pictures i've ever seen. red/brown peeling italian and spanish ladies with freckled chests and big black sunglasses, loose, sultry dresses kneeling and smiling in front of the taj mahal for the Indian photographers, who rip off everyone. their tall bald husbands stand by, admiringly, in crappy Hawaiian shirts and gold watches. you can never seen anyone's eyes, b/c they've all got terrible sunglasses, except the Indians. they rarely use sunglasses. huge confused flocks of old pasty german couples, bumbling around with their hands clutched up at their chests. the americans and canadians are always the most prepared and the dorkiest; bucket hat, walking stick, cargo vest, cargo shorts, off-road sandals, camera, map, trail mix, etc.

THEN i saw two chunky old Italian ladies, both with thematically similar huge white sun hats, black sun-specs and flamboyant black&white striped dresses, tottering around the entryway. AND THEN i saw their third companion, dressed in the same way. what is wrong with people??

So, for two people, a hotel is usually between $4 and $8. but, it's probably a little dusty cement room with a VERY FIRM bed taking up most of it. you share a bathroom and shower with everyone else there. electricity is only on for part of the day. the food caters to foreigners, so it will NEVER EVER be spicy. it will probably be kind of sucky. and then they have all these bizarre hybrid foods that, i guess, western people like: mix fruit porridge, chocolate porridge, banana porridge, fruit salad, banana pancakes (a giant piece of fried crispy bread (like a crepe) rolled up with something in the middle), masala pancakes, nutella pancakes, corn flakes (EVERY hotel has this), museli. actually they all have almost the exact same menu.

some inspiring menu items i will take w/me:
lemon ginger tea: you pour boiling water over ginger and honey, and then devastate some lemons into it, and sometimes spices. hella good.
lemon soda: destroy like 6 lemons into a cup with honey, then pour sparkling water over the top of it.
nannari: some weird drink made from the red syrup of some root, mixed with salt and spices and honey and sparkling water.

A band of overheated men in matching blue velvet 3 piece suits, preceding a wedding parade, playing a very sloppy marching band-type set. the organ sound was awesome though, i think b/c it was coming out of a tiny keyboard blasting through some megaphones.

Me, getting bitten by an insane scabby street dog in Delhi. it done run up and chomped into my lean calf meat, i turned around and screamed at it and it run off. didn't break my skin, thank Krishna.

Laurel was trying to get a summation of my trip to India out of me, and i was being difficult, b/c it doesn't make sense to me, err i don't think i can consciously make statements like that, too conflicted. there is some really cool stuff here, but a lot of stuff that i find extremely unpleasant.

she asked me a funny question, which was "in one sentence, how would describe Indian people?" I don't remember what I said, but it was something like: Indian people are very social and curious and shameless and uninhibited, and, sometimes, oppressively giving. the men seem very attention-starved, like bad jr. high students in men's bodies. they are very religious and unquestioningly adherent to social rules; rules about conduct, respect, men&women, etc... they have no shame about staring at a stranger or asking them personal questions, like "why are you so fat?" "why is your face so red?", or giving advice, like "this haircut does not look so good, you should cut shorter here" or "i dont like that beard so much, you should shave here and here." they are very unafraid to appropriate technologies and tools for whatever uses they need them for, despite the intended purpose of the thing. men are not ever friends with women outside of their family, ever, it is very inappropriate. people seem to frequently mob or move in a big group, and the movement seems to be, everyone for himself, push or dodge your way through. if one kid says hello to you, and runs over to you, 30 more will come and totally surround you. if you take a picture of a family, as soon as the shutter clicks, everyone standing nearby will rush in and crowd around the camera. at a snack bar or ticket window, you do not wait your turn, or you will never get a turn; you force your way up to the counter with your money in your hand and shout what you want. people want to give you things and want you to give them things, and they will ask for them, a pen or a drink or a piece of jewelery that you have. if someone is feeding you, they will keep feeding you as long as you keep cleaning your plate, even if it is painful to your body. if someone offers you something, and you don't want it, you have to refuse without smiling or laughing, otherwise they will give it to you anyway. you have to refuse very firmly and decisively. you have to re-learn how to refuse things here.

everyone is also extremely friendly and wants to talk to you about..anything really, just about you and what you are doing. but that friendliness is VERY OFTEN manipulated by shitty scammers and rickshaw drivers, in touristy urban/market areas, to make you think that they want to be your friend, and then they maybe help you out in some way, or give you a great tip, then ask for money, or else lure you into some scam. it's very weird and confusing. sometimes you want to talk to everyone and be everyone's friend, and then someone tries to rip you off and you hate everybody and don't trust anyone and think everyone is full of shit. and i've seen, a couple times, this weird friend jealousy thing, that i mentioned earlier, where, if you make a friend on a train or in a village or something, then you want to leave them and go see something else or talk to someone else, people can get very weird and mean and jealous, but it does not come out in a straight-forward way, it comes out very passive-aggressively. i'm still very confused about this thing and i dont understand it.


goddamn, i am SO BORED in Delhi, i dunno where anything is, it's hot as heck, i have 8 more hours until my train leaves.

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