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21 January 2006

a couple days off

i went to delhi from wednesday to friday to renew my visa in-country. it is a hassle, but the general is all about customer-centricity. so i got a little time away from site. i've only had two days off since 10 august or so. and a lot happened, i saw as much as i could. here is a brief an probably not-so-witty synopsis.

after i submitted my paperwork for the visa, i went to the hotel, got a map, and hopped in an auto-rickshaw to see some sites. i asked the driver to go to the lotus temple, he said 90 rupees ($2.25) for a 30 minute drive. sure why not. so, here is the temple, and this is me at the temple. i rarely take pix of myself, but i had to for this. it is one of 7 b'hai temples in the world, whatever that means, i just know that sometimes in the kama sutra they talk about the lotus as being the vagina. and the porn king HAD to go to the vagina temple. the building itself is pretty amazing and seemingly useless. i guess people go there to pray, but they could pray in something way cheaper and feed the bums that were always asking me for rupees. the building is made of slightly curved marble slabs, and the peaks are supported by cables from the inside. you have to take your shoes off to walk anywhere around it, and there are some cool pools all around it and a monstrous lawn that you aren't allowed on (another brilliant waste of indian resources). but seriously, it is a pretty cool place.

himayun's tomb
after that, it was another 30 minutes or so to this guy's tomb. i wanted to go to Red Fort, but apparently it was closed. not sure how you can close a fort, i didn't wanna go in, i just wanted pictures of a big red fort. either way, the picture here shows a mosque built specially for him on the left, and his octagonal tomb on the right. not sure why he is important enough for this, but it was something else to do. i met a russian guy there who looked like a poor man's Carrot Top. he wanted me to take a picture of him, he was surprised to meet someone who knew could speak 10-15 words of russian. he left before i butchered his language anymore. one of the guard's was blathering on about this and that about himayun. i think he started in heavily-accented english, but i think he switched to hindi once he noticed i wasn't paying attention. after this 3-minute high-speed intro to himayun, he asked for money. BITCHEZ! so i offered him 50 rupees, he wanted 100. i'm so weak, but it got rid of him. i saw some chick who looked like she'd been hiking around the world (you know, tie-dye shirt, zinc oxide on the nose, cargo pants tucked into her socks, ball-cap, monstrous camping backpack with everything-and-then-some attached to it with carabiners, but she had sunglasses with a side-view mirror on them. looked kinda dorky, but i'm guessing she'd been pick-pocketed or such and they are now useful. awesome.

on the way into the tomb, a got stopped by a guy with some baskets. he throws them down in front of me and says "wanna take a picture of my snakes?" it's an honest-to-god snake charmer. that was pretty neat. i never really thought about seeing one but it was cool, so he opened his backet and the snake came up. i didn't realize that cobras can choose to fan out their hood. i thought it was like that all the time. so i learned something. so he charmed the snake and then charmed a second one he had cooped up in the bottom basket. it was quite interesting. he offered me to pet them. his explained they are safe to pet because one is a male and one is a female... hmmm... this logic might work if they were the same sex, POSSIBLY, but according to his logic, the only dangerous cobras are hermaphrodites and eunuchs. i declined. i figured he'd want money, but when he asked for $10, i'm like WHAT?!. not that i can't afford it or that i'm cheap, but that is the biggest i've heard of in india from a beggar/street person. and he PREFERRED dollars. sorry man, i ran out of those 6 months ago. so i gave him the equivalent in rupees, i mean, he popped my snakecharmer cherry. i'll always have a soft spot in my heart for ahmed rajul patel shankanarayana or whatever his name was.

in other news, here are some other random travel related things... most of them dubbed THE BAD!!!
  • i was sitting in my nice aisle seat, with a frenchman to my left in the center seat. the people are crowding on the plane, and this guy slides into the row behind me... i forget about him until someone tries to get in the seat he's standing in front of. he is in our row in the window seat. so he SQUEEZES against the flow of passengers to our aisle and we are tryin to get out of the row, blocking traffic, so he can get in, all because this fukk-job was BORN a fukk-job. then, in his infinite altruism bathed in heaping dollops of consideration, he says, "well, i GUESS i could sit on the aisle to make it easier." so THAT's it, ya ass. he saw he had the window seat and decided to fukk us. this bald, big-nosed, greasy prick with chest hair worthy of a professional bowler over-flowing his shirt should be beatified. he'd be so kind to inconvenience himself with the roomy aisle seat, all the while squishing my fat ass in the middle seat and this tree of a frenchman in the window seat. but he won. it's been said i need assertiveness training, i know this.

  • the flight from vizag to hyderabad was delayed about 1.5 hours. to make up for this, the pilots said, fukk it, the passengers have flown enough to know the safety procedures, sit down. the flight attendants were about half-way through and the pilot told them to stop, get belted in, and finish in the air... hmmm, what if we don't make it there?!

  • i get to hyderabad to make my connection to delhi. the flight is delayed (i swear, in the year i've been here, i've NEVER seen an indian flight on time). it gets delayed again... and again. about 4 hours later i get to take off. i get to the hotel 5 minutes before the nice italian restaurant closes, had some amazing lasagna with a buffalo meat sauce, then went to the bar and got there 10 minutes before last call. this night wasn't going well.

  • met a canadian woman at the "regency club happy hour", she made fun of my "plain clothes cop" shirt, i mentally made fun of her side-swept hair, capri pants, deck shoes, and the long t-shirt she was wearing under a short zip shirt thing that was barely below her boobs. she was nice enough, but funny looking. that's how those REAL free spirits dress. apparently she has her own business selling trinkets and doo-dads and accessories. yikes! despite all that, before she spoke i knew she had to be french... not far off.

  • the next night i went to the hibachi grill. had some excellent food, and i got seated with a bunch of japanese. hah. thought that was funny. i think i impressed them with my drunken chopstick skillz.

  • met an elderly white couple in the hotel elevator. they asked where i'm from, i said, USofA, ohio. they were all surprised. they're from frickin' east liverpool, about 45 minutes north of my hometown, bellaire, ohio, so that's some crazy shite. granted i wouldn't work my whole life to retire and vacation in india, but it takes all kinds

yeah, i think that's about it. hope you all feel refreshed.

you can see more pix of the temple and delhi here.

3 Comments:

Anonymous mom 2 said...

zac...great photos...what memories you are gonna have..and YES i love your little goatee beard thing...looks very nice..very handsome...glad you had some time away from the site..you really needed that...take care...love ya mom 2

12:36 PM, January 21, 2006  
Blogger themom said...

this was your best blog yet... i laughed my ass off (i wish!) only you could make a miserable, poor country come out comical. you definitely have a unique perspective. glad you didn't play with the cobras...bad snakes!!

later baby!

5:48 PM, January 21, 2006  
Blogger swedish chef dave said...

Ahoy Cap'n

your going to have to learn to tell the beggers to just "FUCK OFF"
or "take it or leave it", dont keep giving them money, grea trip and a great blog

speak to you later

Dave in the jungle

9:49 AM, January 24, 2006  

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