Monthly Archives: July 2006

the holy men of the lake

just as the bible [my lp guide to rajasthan] prophesised, the Brahmin ‘priests’ of the pushkar lake where pilgrims go to bathe led me to the waters to make a puja [prayer] for me…

said priest, who was wearing a dirty white wifebeater singlet and a tatty towel around his waist, began the holy ritual by washing my hands with holy water from the holy lake. next, he made me repeat some prayers calling upon Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, et al to save my soul.

he then, joined by another wifebeater clad ‘priest’, attempted to fleece me of my life savings [US dollars or euros OK, no doubt travellers cheques too]  under the reasoning of ‘the more you pay the better off your family will be’.

clearly not happy with the 60 rupees [$2] i offered, they asked me where i was staying. in return i asked them why they wanted to know this [as it clearly wasnt small talk]. and suddenly they didnt seem to understand my english enough to answer my question. 

Detente.

we smiled and thanked each other for our donations to the gods/holy services and I was left sitting by the lake contemplating the meaning of life [which was actually how amazingly good the hot chocolate brownie with icecream and hot chocolate sauce I had recently eaten, had been]

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shoe woes

quite unrelated to the “flip flop” incident,, I have shoe woes.

the 3 pairs of carefully selected footwear are all giving me grief in different ways:

1. my favourite read/green girlie massuer sandals, bought in rome several years back, gave me toe blisters. i have just ditched them in a fit of rage

2. my hiking shoes, which were perfectly fine in peru, gave me a heel blister. am perservering with them.

3.my flip flops remove skin between the big toe and the one next to it, unless i wear my toe socks with them

i am seriously considering [shock horror] birkenstocks or [even more horrified] teva sandals.

hint for potential travellers: carefully road test all footwear shortly before embarking upon journey.

that is all. thank you.

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pushkar

today i climbed a big mother fucker mountain to hang out at a shrine dedicated to the god shiva. the mountain overlooks the lake [and the city] dedicated to the god Brahma, said to be the only place of worship for this dude cause he dissed his holy wife, therefore denying him of wider worship.

as i went up the mountain i noticed that the locals were uncharacteristically subdued, not even a ‘namaste’. the reason, i found, were the signs in hindi which lined the path that read something along the lines of “whatever you do do dont speak to foreigners, especially chicks who are walking up alone”.

mystery solved.

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jesus krishna & ganesh

yes, it’s true, jesus [hesus] was the name of the sweet spaniard dude sitting next to me for the first part of the journey from delhi to ajmer. he was a buddhist, a zen buddhist, in fact, of the japanese nichiren sect. so i had a good laugh at his expense [no doubt i am not the first nor the last to do this]. it was jesus the buddhist’s first time travelling alone and he had been too scared to take a rickshaw in delhi so I tried to teach him to go forth and haggle [ie toughen up]. i hope he finds his inner peace [aka enlightenment].

speaking of names, ive also been fortunate to exchange pleasantries with krisha and ganesh, the guys, not the gods. i think i need to invent my own travelling goddess name. any suggestions for cool holy sounding names? madonna is too obvious. athena, goddess of war?

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jet lag

i knew i was  heading for india when, rather than queue for the flight, indians returning to their homeland started pouring into the airline cabin out of nowhere. really, nowhere!

i thought to myself  that there would be people sharing seats, or standing for sure. but no, it was just a very very full flight. and i got the feeling that this wasnt the favourite flight of the usually chirpy thai airways chicks, as they were grittinng their teeth as the men checked out their arses as they bent over to serve the meals, and grabbed extra bread rolls from the food trolley as it rolled past.

not being one to judge, this behaviour could have just been from the men opposite and next to me, helped by the endless plastic cups of straight whisky they were skulling.

in reality? …yes and no. i need more time to make an informed opinion.

delhi is/was crazy crazy crazy mahem! and it bucketed down on my second day there, causing the muddy streets to flood. the cows wandering about the streets didnt seem to mind, however.

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flip flops & flying

It came up in conversation today that if one wears flip flops [aka thongs, the footwear] then they are breaking international OHandS rules of the air. My cousin Pauline was unrelenting in her assertion that flip flop shod passengers are disallowed from flying until they are more appropriate shoes are worn. I found this claim dubious, but Pauline is a lawyer and it is generally hard to argue anything against one of these types who is not representing you.

But, full points to Pauline for using such official sounding and legitimating phrases such as “it says so in the terms of carriage”, which, by the way, none of us had ever read so couldn’t verify and disprove, let alone know if there is such a thing as a ‘terms of carriage’.

But anyway, it is up to me to prove otherwise, and I have promised to go mythbusting for Pauline and Otto by wearing flip flops when I catch an international flight from Bangkok to Delhi. Stay tuned for the full report.

To add a slight complication to this simple task, confusion ensued when it was suggested that the flip flops I would be wearing [see picture above] were not, in fact, flip flops. These particular “trekking” Havaianas have a strap which goes around the heel, therefore stopping any flipping and flopping action, which Veronica quite rightly pointed out. Thanks V.

My questions are thus:

1. Have you ever worn flip flops on a flight? If yes, please provide further details.
2. Are the shoes in the picture flip flops, or sandals?
3. Does green tea have caffeine?
Ciao!

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pop culture update section

i.e please keep me updated with bb and oc updates

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