(2014 – the following pages were later eaten by a cow!! Poetically, also, some of my most challenging experiences in India. I have decided to transcribe with gaps!)
“I’m sure that there must be some God-written reason why I wanted to come to Gudjarat! Tho’ for the life of me I cannot figure out what that might be! I am probably learning something valuable, but I seem to be travelling in retrospect at the moment and I will only realize what that is when I leave.
What a nightmare! It is probably partly my attitude, but this really is enough to drive anyone crazy.
According to some Indian gentlemen I met today I am learning the true meaning of ‘uneducated’. I do not choose to believe that definition. I have encountered people all over Asia who are ‘uneducated’ and none have this degree of thick- skinnedness. I can do nothing here without an audience of 50-60 people staring at me. This is peculiar and I am o.k. with that, but when they participate i.e. pulling at my hair/clothes and openly talking and laughing at me, only 6 inches from my face…well that’s something altogether different!
For two days now I have been like a zoo animal. No information in English and no offers of help, even when requested! I was talking to a nice lady today who slowly stopped being friendly and hurriedly fled as the crowd around me grew bigger and bigger. I would also have liked to have left, but where could I go? It is the same everywhere, even with the officials!
I have just experienced one of the most exhausting days of my life.
Got escorted to the temple – followed and stared at – lured into stairways by strange…..
and whistled at, forced into barring…..
the so called educated man, pleading…..
beautiful. Walk down plagued by…..
well, one in particular. Fun…..
The incredible magic-man…..
Bus station nightmare…..
worst thing to do – …..
No help finding the right bus and constant laughter.
“Talaja bus? Talaja bus?”
Eventually I found it. Talaja looked worse – and was, but I had some experience behind me, so no breakdowns, but eventually was forced into a “No admittance” room. The window soon filled with curious faces. Una bus arrived.
…..journeys are o.k. because people
…..closer, they can only look from
…..They look at me and I look
…..an incredible looking people-
…..seems to be a tendency to
…..fact there has been some
…..reliant on a drunk
…..cheap guest house.
…..allow men. So
I trudged behind him and his bike through the dark alleyways and closed doors. Felt completely exposed and at risk. To make matters worse he appeared to have no understanding of me not understanding his language (or maybe he did and was saying awful things to me!) Cried again in the end after a feni (coconut strong spirit) stinking Indian appeared and joined in a 3 man argument, in the pitchblack, about where I should go. He tried to stroke my thigh – thumped him hard and sat in the rickshaw.
“Just take me to a hotel!”…..
Everyone looked bewildered – …..
comprehension that it…..
were driving me mad…..
first instinct and…..
bus stand.) The…..
distraught, the guy who had helped me tried to calm me down by breathing feni in my face and stroking my body – an unpleasant goodbye. Argument about money which caused him to offer me 10 rupees discount!! (too embarrassed to take it…I should have!) Drank a chai accompanied by guy who would not leave me alone. Tried listening, peeping – heard him throw the door open and roughly pushed…..
…..locking my door calmly, to find
…..got the office. He turned out
….Great! (He had seen me arrive and knew the story and could see that I was upset.)
….understand why it seemed
….to register any
…O.K. I am an
and said (I have heard this before)
“It is the peoples way, y’know. They are uneducated.”
Yes, and so were the Kalash! It is not lack of education, it feels like some more unpleasant, inherent, national Gudjarati trait. I hate to say it, but I really feel that is true. If only I could speak more of their language to begin to explain myself.
Now I am dirty and tired…..
dreadful room in a dread…..
beginning to fear that Diu…..
nightmare – longing for…..
to speed me to GOA…..
tomorrow will be….”