Showing posts from February, 2010

The Road to Kerala

Faith is believing what you know ain't so. —Mark Twain After the escape from Paradise Beach , I traveled in short order a string of towns in southern Karnataka—Udupi, Mangalore, Madikeri, and Mysore—before crossing the Western Ghats via the hill station of Ooty. Herein are those travels covered. Cat, Lola, and I left Gokarne on the 4:20 train to Udupi, two hours south of there on the coast of the Arabian Sea. I had spent that afternoon tracking down a used copy of Moby Dick and drinking lemon soda and eating mango ice cream at a chai shop on Car Street and met the girls at the bus station at 3. It was the first time Cat had taken a local train, and she enjoyed the experience of hospitable locals, an easy pace, and good scenery: the wide rivers and jungles of western Karnataka. I sat next to a man with his head in his friend’s lap. Indian men have no scruples about affection, even holding hands on the beach. He sat up and fell asleep on the shoulder. The train passed across rivers

Where the Wild Things Are

But who is the king of all of these folks? And I’m lost, and I'm lost, And I'm lost at the bottom of the world. I’m handcuffed to the bishop and the barbershop liar, And I’m lost at the bottom of the world. —Tom Waits “Life is small,” said the tuk-tuk driver . “You must do big things. You live easy, you die easy. Do something big. Easy to do, Khatmandu.” He turned his attention away from the road to say it, and I thought he might hit a Sacred Cow. They say if a tuk-tuk driver hits a cow or a person in India, all passengers should run away as fast as they can. A mob forms of howling, violent natives, and it is not a good place to be. I thought I would rather be anywhere than hanging out the side of the rickshaw next to the turbaned driver. Tom was in the back with our bags and a Swiss girl who was also going to Hospet to get a bus. She had just said goodbye to her boyfriend, whom she met a week before leaving on a year-long trip. They had only spent a little time together since

O India, You Deceiver

Talking shit about a pretty sunset, Blanketing opinions that I’ll probably regret soon. I’ve changed my mind so much I can’t even trust it, My mind changed me so much I can’t even trust myself . —Modest Mouse The taxi to Pernem left around 11 . I got up in no hurry and packed my new bag, a North Face—or should we call it Norse Faith? It was made in Thailand and cost me $12 after heavy bargaining. The purchase was necessary: my canvas haversack from Varna was falling apart. A cobbler had sowed part of it back together in Aurangabad, but all the stitches came out again. The Norse Faith pack fit my things better, and I could lock the zippers. I broke my fast on eggs and coffee with the four girls at their hostel’s diner, and met the Quebecois Lola and the Venetian Paula in the alley courtyard of Tom and my apartments. Cat and Tamara would spend another day in Goa and meet us in Hampi later. On the way to the train station I bought a harmonica that I had long considered in passing from a m