Aung San Suu Kyi and me travel blog

This IS a first for me in India


January 12, 2014

I think I may have done more damage to my knee that I thought. I am going to get an MRI. Its only $100.

When I hang out at place long enough I almost become a local. At least that’s the way I feel. I am at my watering hole.

Back to the knee thing, when I sleep on my right side it is really uncomfortable still. Just the weight of my left leg resting on either a pillow, my right knee, mattress or blanket hurts. It’s kind of a bitch to sleep. It’s not getting better. 46 and I have never broken a bone in my body. Lots of stitches over the years but no broken bones. It’s not a broken bone, that much I do know.

I will get the MRI in Delhi. It’s easier for me there. I know a couple of doctors at the local hospital.

All the arrangements have now been complete to get Suu Kyi back to Delhi. She won’t arrive until the end of the month. I will either be in Germany or Georgia by then. Manish will receive her at the hotel.

When the Indian man is well groomed, I like the old style moustache. Very handsome very regal.

The dud walla just showed up, not in a delivery truck or anything just two stainless steel pots suspended on either end of a bamboo pole. They are two different types of pots. Maybe one is dud and the other paneer.

The chili chicken at the hotel is to die for.

Suu Kyi’s insurance cost me 5,000 Rs and the transportation was 20,000Rs including packing. And its only light packing they are not going to put her in a box. 25,000 Rs to go a little over 2,000 km’s. Last year I sent her from Delhi to Canada for 36,000 Rs including boxing!! 12,000 km’s [??] as the crow fly’s. The actual is much more because first it goes by truck to Bombay then by boat around the horn before heading east to Vancouver. I don’t know why the huge cost. And I don’t know why I needed insurance because it wasn’t required last year. I think this is a higher-end transport company. They use trucks that have had an old container welded or them rather than the open tarp to variety.

It’s Sunday and some sort of holiday so I don’t think many shops are going to be open. I am still going down to the Fancy Bazaar. I need a converter and I want to buy some books. I would also like to buy some nice fabric or silk to use as a backing for pictures that I frame. I am also going to look for a Nat Geo. Traveller that a friend of mine is going to be featured in. What I don’t get today I will get tomorrow. The only problem there is that the holiday may flood into Monday as well. Oh well, what can I do? I am also going to look for used English Lonely Planet guide books. Good luck on that one. Most of the books are for study purposes thus, if they are not text books they are classic novels; if they are in English. But there is a lot of book stores.

Manish bought me a flight. I leave Guwahati at 6.00pm and arrive in Delhi at 9.40pm Tuesday. The equipment is a Boeing 737-800. India is one of the very few countries that uses 747’s for internal flights. I heard several years ago that they were the only country. China must be using them by now. Maybe the US of Amnesia.

Speaking of the U.S., India kicked out a senior embassy official because of the arrest and detention of one of India’s officials. India should have kicked out the entire American embassy. Someone has to stand up to these assholes. Their government I mean.

Ok, one more chai then I split.

I am close to a large bus stop. It doesn’t resemble the bus stop as I remember them in 97, maybe it’s because I am in the city.

There is a big convention center here and they are going to have WWF wrestling here! Of course I don’t recognize any of the wrestlers. UFC has all but eliminated wrestling from the scene.

I wonder who the Indian government when they talk about the middle class. The middle class I see drives a used scooter.

With it being Sunday at least the traffic will be light.

Fancy bazaar is so far away it costs me between 200Rs and 300Rs to get there and 300Rs to 400Rs to return. A reference is that it cost me 100Rs to get from Karol Bagh to CP.

I wonder where the crazy people sleep at night. They don’t sleep on the streets. Well some do. Mind you, I don’t walk around too much after the shops close not that it’s dangerous it’s just that there is nothing for me to see.

I bought another note book yesterday. It only has 32 pages.

I could use a kidney belt for this drive to the Fancy Bazzar. It takes me five minutes to write one sentence

.

I am getting soft. There is so much more I could write about my feelings and thoughts sometimes but don’t because the journal is public. Maybe next time. I just keep it to myself. Who is it really for anyway?

I finally made it down town and am having chai on the corner of an intersection. I am in the book district. I am going to have to buy a duffle bag for all my books. Most shops are closed. A converter is mandatory today. I need to charge my camera for tomorrow.

I got my converter at the first place I went to. I hope it’s a convertor. It is smaller than my last one, half the weight and half the cost. I left my camera charger and battery with the shop walla. I took one of his business cards in case I couldn’t find my way back. I do this with every hotel I stay at as well. I like to wander and if I get lost I have a card with the hotel’s address on it. I can just show it to any rickshaw walla and I am home. When I tell other travelers of this not too many use it. The two guys from Luxemburg used it. But the one guy had more travel experience than me.

I spoke to Rene at length about Africa. He has been by motorbike. I have always had my reservations because of what I see on TV. What a fool. I am the first to preach about the evils that TV gives as a perception of other countries.

I am going to watch ‘Persepolis’ when I return it is a great movie.

I left my fucking glasses at the hotel and my phone.

The chai walla likes me here. I am giving him business.

It’s warm today. Yesterday it was really really cold. It even rained a little.

I was speaking to some kid a few minutes ago. He works in the old market. He told me that it better to come tomorrow. This is page eight. The most I have written in a single sitting in a log time.

The Delhi way of lighting a bidi is not use here. People oooh and awe when they see me light a bidi the Delhi way.

I figured it out; the converter I found does not have surge protection. I was thinking about this when I was having chai at the last place. When I held the unit it was less than half the weight of the one that burnt out. I am glad I had nothing plugged into the unit when the surge happened. I did have my computer cord plugged in but the laptop wasn’t plugged into the cord.

I want Manish to set me up with an astrologer tell for when I return. I want to get my gem stone so I can make/buy a ring. I need to fine out which gem I should get. The astrologer will tell me. Almost all Hindu men wear them. The married ones for sure because an astrologer is always consulted before marriage.

I have to buy Cara a wedding dress. Manish can hook me up with this. I wonder what her size is? I missed her birthday. It was on Dec.20th, I forgot. Tylers is Dec.30. I wished him a happy belated. My laptop was down at the time. He’s 27th!! Wow!! I wonder if she’s over it yet. I have to get going back to the hotel. There is a crowd now. The chai walla is on the street not in an ally.

January 13, 2014

Broke a glass in my room last night. It was an accident. Groggy this morning. I am at morning watering hole. It’s cold this morning but its going to be a nice day. It must be around 10am.

I drink too much chai

I took pictures of the art work on some transport trucks. I didn’t see any ’eyes’ though. It was the first time I have actually paid close attention to the individual pieces painted on the trucks. I have always viewed the art on trucks as a whole. But they are actually made up of many small pieces. I wonder if that is how Indians view me. I too have many pieces of art. Am I viewed as a whole rather than several small pieces?

The vegetable walla just showed up. He is on a bicycle with a few sacks hanging off of it. Opps, he is the paan wallla. That’s a habit I have yet to pickup. Thanks christ. Smoking and chai are now my only vice. Excluding porn.

There are a few rat holes just outside the chai shop.

I love my India too much. I am on my way to the Fancy Bazaar. I just bought an Adidas duffle bag for 200Rs. in the morning on the way to the Fancy Bazaar. There are lots of fish mongers. All the same type of fish. The road seems particularly rough today. The rickshaws have torsion bar suspension. I suspect they crank them right up for the added weight they usually carry around. IE; 3-10 people. So with just me it feels like the wheels are bolted directly to the chassis

.

I am downtown at the Fancy Bazaar. All the bookstores are closed but it’s early. 10:00am. I am sitting outside. There was a cycle rickshaw driver smoking hash from chillum I arrived. I don’t see this too often, in fact I see more opium smoking than hash.

I am reading in the paper that two Indian Archeological personal are being sent to kabul study Buddha’s Bhikshapatra (begging bow). It survived the Taliban’s destruction of anything non-Muslim because it has Quranic verses on it. It’s huge 350-400kg, 5.7 ft across and 18 inches thick. It is made of grey-green granite. I would love to see this!! It reminds me of the huge bell Susan and I saw Burma. It was 12 feet across. Fucking huge!! It wasn’t in use any more. The wooden beam holding it up cracked and repaired and repaired more and repaired more yet. It’s 10.30 and more and more shops are opening. Time for a walk.

I have purchased several books. I have spent 2,300Rs so far. They are mostly classics that I will never read however one was on Indian carpets. It looked like an easy read and it had lots of pictures.

I am at a chai stall. I was told to go over the bridge and turn right to find my laptop charger. I should have brought the laptop. I am having chai while I wait the delivery of a new charger for the laptop. The cops are giving me the eye. The machine gun carrying type. I think they are just curious. I have been here for over two weeks and have not seen a white foreigner. Maybe a cop with stars on his shoulders will show up for a chat. Up to two stars and they are friendly. Three stars and above it seems like everything is a hassle for them. I wonder how much baksheesh the street chai walla has to pay. Probably just free chai. People are gathering and talking pictures of the white ape. I have actually taken a liking to Guwahati. I wish my hotel wasn’t so far away. I am sick of that fucking hotel. The people there are great though. Some of the best I have met in India yet.

I was thinking about the ship breaking yard that Monique and I saw in ‘97. It was wild. An ecological disaster that, when the west found out about it the Indian government forbid foreigners from entering. They wouldn’t let us take our cameras in. We had to leave them with the port authority. Actually, we had to get permission but the head guy had a free day. I tried to bribe the guy into letting us take them in but he was the only none corrupt official I have met to date. Maybe it was because I only offered 100Rs. Back then I think it was either 27 Rs or 37 Rs to the USD1.00 I should get back to the laptop walla now that every cop within 300m has come to have a look. There is one standing at the street carrying a machine gun looking at traffic, maybe he is guarding me. They are always busting opium smugglers coming over from Burma and I fit the bill. Maybe that is why.

Another day in my head. I got four things done today. Fabric, adapter for laptop, duffle bag and books. It’s now three O’clock.

My duffel bag is stuffed and I am out of rupees.

I am sitting on a hunk of concrete at the chai wall’s stall. He has one sitting spot and a cop us using it. It’s not really a chair but a board put over one of the chai wall’s buckets of water. The concrete slab is fine. I am happy. I stil need to take pictures of the old market on the backside of the fancy market and take picture sof more trucks.

The chai wall’s should be giving me free chai. Their stall business increases three fold when I am here.

I bought some really nice murses for 120 Rs. Each. Cheap.

Everyone tells me I am living the dream. I tell them you can have this perceived dream but you also take the brain tumor and depression with you. THEN it’s not so much a dream anymore. I travel to keep my sanity and remove the tumor from my thoughts. My nightmare began Oct.2/08. The beginning of the fall. I don’t believe I have stopped falling. Before I drank to loose it. And in Canada I take pills to remove it. If I am awake I can’t think about it.

January 14, 2014

Its 5.00pm and I am in the Guwahati airport waiting to go to Delhi. On the way here I was trying to count the number of airports I have been to. I can’t.

There were five passport checks, four ticket checks, two carry on checks and one baggage check. They are not fucking around.



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