Bodhgaya, Puri and Pondicherry travel blog

Pathri Rajasekha - The interviewer

Pathri Rajasekha - The interviewer

Boots and gear

Boots and gear

December 19, 2014

Friday. I wish this notebook had lines rather than just a blank pages. As per I have lots to remember.

I am at Nellore. 200 km’s from Chennai. We traveled only 200 KM’s. It was about 1:00 PM and started to rain. It was lightly at the beginning and progressively got worst. Suukyi doesn’t have a windscreen nor is there a visor on the fuselage. I removed the windscreen in Patna last year after the car crash. I couldn’t piece it back together. I removed the visor before I left Canada. It was too scratched up. Even the light rain stung. As it got thicker the pain got worse. I came across a petrol station that was covered so I stopped. There were about 50 bikes already there. Instant hero. I really wasn’t into it. I turned my back to the crowd and watched traffic. 100 eyes. Sometimes I can’t do it. One of the nice thing I love about me is my smile. Even if I am so so I know that I come across as happy. Physically, for the most part, I always appear to be genuine and content.

I can’t turn my back to my brothers. After all they are only interested and mean no harm. I turn and start the BS session.

Almost immediately the rain stopped and most of the bikes had left a white guy came over. I couldn’t believe it! I have not seen a white guy, other than albinos, since Bodhgaya. Approximately one month ago. As I shook his hand I scanned for a car or van he may have been riding in. He pointed to a Royal Enfield 350 Electra. I looked for a car because he didn’t look like a rider. He was wearing sneakers, jeans and sweater. He introduced himself as Basil, from Russia. He has been to India before. He was riding around the coast and going to Goa. He started in Delhi. He wanted to spend time in Kerala. This will be a good trip. He appeared to about 30. It’s hard for me tell these days. I mentioned to him that he was riding the exact same bike I rode around in India and Nepal in 2004.

He told me that the other day, while riding his bag fell off the back of his bike without him knowing. When he discovered it was missing he turned around and went to look for it. Yeah, good fucking luck. In the bag where all his bike documents and a few clothes. While he was looking for it his phone rang. The guy on the other end, he told me, was speaking Hindi [it was, more than likely Telugu]. It’s very difficult to tell the difference and over the phone it would have been impossible. I can only tell when face to face with someone speaking Telugu. As it turns out this guy found his bag and while going through it he found the Russian’s phone number and called it wanting to return it! This is my India. I am certain that he is a rare individual - just as this type of individual is in every country. Nellore was only 30 km’s from the petrol station. I was wet but not soaked. I am not the traveler I once was. I am damp. Only damp! I make the decision to stay in Nellore rather than continue on to Madras. This has an effect. The environment has very very rarely stopped a ride. Anywhere. I don’t want to write of it. But I can remind myself while reading excerpt of my time spent with Electra. In particular rain in Guatemala, heat in Panama and both heat and rain in Columbia. This little bit of rain now makes me stop? How can it be? I am 47. I am getting older. I must address this. Both mentally or physically it’s going to happen. Now it’s physically and I must recognize in mentally. It’s tough to accept. The second is that I don’t have to be in Madras until December 21st. I am only 200 km’s out and the highway may be the best I have ever seen. Perfect, flat, very few curves, three lanes one way and three the other and the boulevard is fenced off.

I don’t remember seeing this vastness of rice paddies. Even in South East Asia. If there is no paddy, there is a paddy being planted.

I think of Wendy quite often. The night I called her. I was really really drunk. I can’t remember the conversation. We have not had contact since. I must have gotten sexual with my end of the conversation. I know drunk me. I think of her so much on the road because I found her to be awesome person. Within the several times we met I considered her to be one of my best friends. I am sure I have noted this before but it doesn’t leave my mind. Spend enough time in the fuselage and thoughts will come. I hope didn’t damage my relationship with Tyler. If there wasn’t enough of a reason to escape alcohol how is it. I cannot wait to return. I will always think of Shoshi when I attend. She too has the strength. Her husband is fighting cancer. I asked Vishnu for his health.

I don’t know why I think of ex-loves. I am too sensitive.

I was up at 4:57 AM this morning. I thought of Annie. But not with morning wood. I thought of her lack of ‘general’ common sense with her it was very very general. It was cute. She was beyond wise. I was told her IQ to be at 130 or 140. I can’t remember. I suspect it was the later. I was thinking, this morning, that I wish I was as intelligent as her. I was thinking of using the words, ‘smart or cleaver’ but intelligent is better. Perhaps this is why we didn’t accomplish. I am not in her league. Her sister-in-law without a doubt. Her brother an equal. Everyone I met at the Christmas party I was an equal. But I am not sure how intelligent they were. At this time, I believe what we [Christmas party people] had, in some part, was through connections. These are only my thoughts because of the short time of interrogation. I am sure that if I spent some time with these men they would demonstrate themselves to hold the fiscal wherewithal to be living in a four million dollar house in Panama. Clearly they must have. It was a real joy to be exposed to this end. I will never forget it. I don’t think I thanked Annie for exposing me. I will have to note it for the next time we meet.

Cara is coming! Three days she will be leaving Canada. Four days she will be in Madras.

The last few days, when I call to check in, I hear the excitement in her voice she also said she has a bag open where she is throwing her things into as she thinks of it. This is Kevin style. I think of her almost constantly. Even the extent of which I travel is dedicated to her.

This will have to be the last time she visits me after me being in India for four months. At the three or four month marker everything is numb. I am now unexcited of my surroundings. Now this is it. Simply. My India. She will arrive as fresh as I did four months ago.

I serviced Suukyi today. I cleaned and re-oiled her chain. I oil her chain every day. I use off road oil. It’s gummy and collects shit. I retrieved petrol from her tank. I have plumbed her from her tank with a line that has a quick coupler on the end. In my chain cleaning kit we carry the male end to the coupler. Using this allows me to extract petrol from her without syphoning. I cleaned her chain. I hate using petrol as it dries out the seals. Her chain has 17,000 KM’s on it. I also checked her oil. Perfect! Not a drop burnt. The oil is as light brown as expected for the distance travelled and throttle action. The air filter was clean. It takes a little work to get to the filter. I have to take off part of the fairing. It never goes back together the same way. But it works. And this is German made. If it’s automotive they are the best.

World news is as follows.

The talb stormed a school in Peshawar shot and killed 142. I cried. It has been less than two weeks since I read Malala’s book. Targeting children trying to receive an education. These people are pig shit. Pig excrement. Is this what it is to be a Muslim – killing innocent childern? I firm “NO” in my book. These people cannot bow to Allah - ever. The killers are dead now but Of those eight, others knew and they too must be called to task.

Pakistan is a long ways away and the Peshawar valley is even further. Other than a two minute section on the west’s news for the next week what does anyone care? Now they we are more concerned of one man in Ferguson. The murder of one man seems to out weight that of 142 children. As far as the news is concerned.

I need a shave. Today, I clipped my nails. My gloves are already falling apart. Only one finger. The gloves I used to Colombia where also BMW. They were a much better quality. It wasn’t any stitching that failed, it was the leather. The throttle palm wore through. I keep these with Electra in the living room.

I am writing at a desk that has a mirror in front of it. I am getting old. As we all do. Did Hunter Thompson want to experience what his was faced? No. He did it right.

Six kids where cut to death in Australia today. I originally wanted to stay near the airport in Madras so I world be closer to pick up Cara. It dawned on me that I can stay anywhere. I will be picking her up in a car. I am so fucking stupid sometimes.

It is the rainy season here. It ends in January. I thought it would be done by now. I have even considered getting a car from here, picking up Cara and then going North to Delhi from here. For her there is as there is still a lot to see in the north. I have seen most of what we would see going North. It’s cooler. There’s no rain. I do have to go that way anyway. Her plane ticket would have to be altered. I can’t believe how much tension this fucking laptop provides. I finally have the document that I was to sign, scan and email back to Jeff complete. I can’t open internet. 8.6 lbs. As far as my mobile house is concerned it’s a lot! It’s probably is the weight of half my clothes.

Oh yes! I forgot I bought a kali Mata from a road side stall on the way here. It was 400 Rs. Can$8.00. It’s about 12 inches wide and 18 inches in height. Made of cow shit. Not paper mache’ or plastic or wood or fiberglass. The painting is great.

I can’t clean my hands. I am so happy I serviced her. It is always on my mind. Especially the chain.

Before I should let go. I had a breakdown. I occurred the day I got sick. Sick does not happen immediately. First is ill. The second stop I was getting ill I asked the chai walla if my eyes seemed ok. “Yes”. After, while on the road, I got to thinking what would, eyes wise, consist of me being sick to this dude? Much before that I sat with my chai and smoke looking at highway.

I don’t know what it was but I cried. Not for long. Now I have had four beer. This I when I reflect on my situation. Fuck cancer. It’s not for me, even though I will be visiting my situation sooner or later; more likely sooner than later. I am comfortable with this now. What is the wait? It’s the waiting. I cried because I was alone. I am currently reading “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This is literally the best book I have ever read. I have never read such eloquence. Please when done re-read. Regardless of age. Older the better. This is why Annie will always be respected.

I wonder what Cara will be wearing when she arrives?

I watched ‘Titanic’ the other night. Can love ever be found like that? I cried.

Pakistan released the mastermind of the Taj attack out on bail. That’s it we snapped. Within 24 hours he was back in jail. An Indian can be only be pushed so far. The release of this killer was too much for us. He was re-arrested in less than 24 hours. We should never ever take that! We are calm but don’t push it. They can and will be a wasteland. The phone call from Delhi to Pakistan must have confirmed that.

My dreams are wild. They range from Jimmy Keith to Allan Jelfs. I do think about the other 30,000 or so I have met.

I have this knot under my eye. The black has dissipated. The knot has not. I wonder if it needs to bleed. I need to get meds, clean my riding gear, wash my girl, do some stitching, and wash the lid. It’s so greasy now. It’s a pollution catcher.

December 20, 2014

Went for a short walk today. Nellore is a typical Indian town. Maybe a little more upscale. I am ready to throw the laptop out the window. While I was walking a press photographer came up to chat. He spoke in English. At one time his English probably wasn’t that bad. He wanted to take some pictures of my tats. “Yeah sure, why not”. I suggested we go back to the hotel [it was only a block away] so we could take pictures of Suukyi too. She would love it. Yesterday a servicing and today pictures!! This is a big couple of days for her. It all took about an hour. I had to reposition her in the sun. A couple of cops showed up. It was all good. The police where smartly dressed in white shirts. It was the first time I have seen the police wearing white shirts in India.

The photographer had a very nice Nikkon. He also made a call to the paper and I have and interview at 1:00 PM at the hotel. I will find out which paper at that time. Cara may arrive tomorrow. The ticket reads, “the next day”. I don’t have a clue. I will go to the airport tomorrow just in case. I should get my atlas and maps from Suukyi’s bags before the interviewer get here. They’re going to ask questions on where I have been. I can’t remember every place. I can’t even remember every state. I do know I have visited 18 or 19. Most in middle, east, west and Northern India. I met a guy yesterday who exported shrimp. The other day he sent a container to Canada. 25 tons. I met him while servicing Suukyi. He was staying at the same hotel.

A rocket shot from Gaza landed in a field. Israel responded with warplanes. Am I the only dummy here? Jordan has proposed a plan whereas Israel is to stop settlement building in the occupied territories by 2017. I just watched an Israeli minister stating that he felt that Palestinians would see the proposal as ‘unacceptable’. Who knows I could have heard it wrong but I doubt it.

The international community has been increasingly despondent of Israel’s policies. Sweden was the first. They have formally recognized Palestine as a country. As the world is increasingly very cautious of Israel. There is only one to blame - Netanyahu. It’s a bitch that U.N. Security Council can be vetoed but the US. In the end this will not end well for Israel. Buti It won’t be for another five to ten years.

The reporter just left the room. His name was Pathri Rajasekhar. He works for the Deccan Chronicle as a Sr. Sub Editor. At the beginning his questions were autonomic. He was wearing a black robe, no shoes and the three stripes of ash and a tikka. Ah fuck! I am having a pop, smoking and I am sure there is meat, other than the bratwurst between my legs, somewhere in the room. The photographer arrives too. Pathri speaks good English. I hid the empties from last night (5) before they arrived. I asked if I could smoke - nope. But he said it in a good way. I had my shirt I laid out over the back of the chair where he was about to sit. It’s one of the polypro T-shirts I wear under my riding Jacket. I only have two of these shirts and wear them for about four days each. It all depends on how much oil, stench be damned - to a limit. Grease always supersedes stench. The photographer grabbed the shirt within a nanosecond I took it from him and apologized like hell while looking at the editor.

I don’t understand the reason for the devotion this time of year. I know it’s temporary. The devotees will revert to everyday clothes. It has to do with Vishnu. I should know of the reason.

I am in the south. I am not sure of things here. Of course we respect the same Bagwans. I will understand in time. He was a super respectful and very inquisitive guy. As mentioned, his, “feeling me out”, questions were mundane. I hated lying to him. If the photographer wasn’t there I may have told him the truth. I told him the truth of everything except finances. I was close. No, I’m going to lie to him, religious man, and all of Nellore that will read tomorrow article.

I have to wash my riding gear. The grey is now dark grey. What is not seen is the oil that helps me slide on my trousers.

I will leave a little gear in Cara’s Madras hotel. That fucking laptop is near the top of the list.

I tried calling Annie last night of course she didn’t pickup. I have a respect for her on her action. I read today that Colombia is going to have an image of Gabriel Garcia Marquez on their next note. I believe I wrote of my respect yesterday I can wait to read more of his art.

I just caught the boy cheating me. I had given him 1,500 Rs. to run out for food, beer and smokes. I should have ended up with 550 Rs. He returns with everything and just stands there like I was supposed to give him a tip. I was thinking why doesn’t this guy give me the change? At the end of all I was handed 360Rs. Dude! Do you think I am this dumb? This not the first boat I had disembarked. Now I pull out a piece of paper. 1,500 Rs. giving minus the food, beer and the smokes. Bhai sahib? I don’t even have to ask. He is the figurehead of the crowd. He leaves, everyone leaves. He shows up five minutes later with the floor boss. He speaks good English.

It’s not my want to get anyone fired. All smiles. I show the numbers. I don’t mind getting fucked a little but – if the fucker smirks. Done. I show the numbers, the same numbers that my fucker gave me, to the floor boss. This is not good for him. If the guy is fucking one, he will fuck more. Maybe he got run off. I wanted a lined notebook. The guy who delivered it was not my boy. My body is no darker than the underside on my nuts.

Tyler’s birthday today!

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