of course one of the great merits of traveling is the fact that all travelers are removed from their native element and are therefore on a more unequal footing which makes social interactions interesting and easily started. the other night, we came home from watching the world cup game at a ridiculous bar called 'once upon a time', and decided to go up to the roof because i am in love with stars and made this quite clear to my companions.
but anyway there was a baker's dozen of young japanese men strumming and smoking. we had literally 2 words of common knowledge between our languages, but there was a guitar and apparently EVERYONE knows american pop music, so we sat and listened and participated when possible. it's funny how close they sang the lyrics despite having little to no understanding of what they meant...music (insert cliche about it being the great uniting force)..which reminds me that the great tragedy of oh six has also just occured. my headphones have retired from this life, those wimp ass bitches. so now im forced to just sing music outloud to myself while riding in rickshaws. which at the very least keeps everyone entertained.
Also. never before, in my memory at least, has my jaw actually dropped at scenery-- until this morning when we rose at the hour of dawn in order to commence the great southward pilgrimage. i went up to the roof one last time while rach was saying goodbye to her boys, and there was a whole range of snowy mountains that id never seen before (due to the afternoon clouds). god it moved me; i must have mountains again in my future residence. fuck MASS
the day started with the bleary goodbyes. then a trixie ride to the bus station, an 8 hour bus ride that dropped us 3km short of the border (of course), walk in the blinding afternoon heat back to india, then once we cleared customs we hopped in a jeep that contained, i suspect, an entire extended family going back 3 or 4 generations. Five men in the front seat--driver sitting on lap of friend--four in the back seat, and countless women and children stuffed in the trunk, plus hangers on the back and human roof luggage. it was great fun.
Three hours later and here we are again in the much loathed 'city' of gorakpur.
For one thing, the whole train station smells like someone vomited prolific amounts of cheese/curry in every possible crevice and corner and left it to bake in the june sun-- which is, i must concede, possible. but nonetheless unpleasant.
annnd im tired of listening to 15yr olds who are a head shorter than me try to spit game. i wish there was some interaction that was possible that doesnt entail money or 'ooh delicious foreign woman' as the initiating element, but all we can do is hope for the best i guess; there are always suprises and unknowns...and im trying to shy away from making generalizations here.
but anyway now we waitin for some kind of train to varanasi (which i am excited about), after which point we still have no plan for how to transverse the rest of the subcontinent.
which means it is going to be an epic week.
the train is calling.