'Round the World with David and Ron
The Boys are Abroad!

November 2007
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…I’m coming home…
Filed under: Home again Home again riga jig jig...
Posted by: @ 2:20 am

Ok, it has all been grand, really grand. I have learned and grown and been enlightened and have treated myself to a feast of visual treats, but folks, I am ready to come home. I am tired of my jaw dropping and my eyes popping. I have repeatedly had my breath taken away and I want it back.

Here are some of the things I miss.

-My dogs.
-My people.
-Coffee as I know it.
-Drinking my morning beverage out of a mug that you can put both hands on.
-Dogs that have people, food dishes, collars and shots and cats that have heaters to curl up next to.
-Traffic laws that are not ornamental.
-My studio.
-Smoking etiquette
-Choices like small, medium, large, or biggie!
-Asian or Italian tonight.
-Driving on the right side.
-Being able to read labels and street signs.
-A full compliment of outfits and accessories.
-Conversations that don’t involve pantomime.
-My dogs.
-Consistency in things like which side is hot and which is cold and does the pepper come out of the one with smaller holes of is that the salt this time?
-Sensibilities that acknowledge that products like Tang and Nescafe are not the same as Orange juice and Coffee.
-Icy beverages.
-Potable water.
-Knowing what kind of toilet is going to be in the public facility.
-Predictability, as in, I am going to the store and I am going to buy milk and I am going to know how the money works and I am going to be able to speak with the people at the store. I will enjoy being able to accomplish this kind of thing without being transported into an unintended adventure or inadvertently inviting a lesson in “its not such a small world after all”.
-And finally, my Dogs.

I will be stateside soon, very soon.


South Africa: ron speaks
Filed under: Africa
Posted by: @ 3:50 pm

South Africa, part 2

We experienced so much in South Africa. It is so much bigger than I thought. When I planned this trip and then suggested we drive from Jberg to Cape Town by way of Durbin, I was thinking about a three-day journey with lots of time to explore. It took us five days, a car accident, and a good many miles on the odometer. To do it again…who can say. So like I’ve done in other blogs, I picked the images that are cool and let that narrate the rest of the blog.

Johannesburg has a reputation that doesn’t lend itself to tourists strolling the streets of downtown. There was the recent car jacking death of reggae legend Lucky Dube, it is the home of a good portion of Africa’s mercenary activity, and the razor wire/ten foot wall/electric fence aesthetic all working to give the place a really bad name.

We left Joberg without really seeing it. David’s tummy and recovery from India to blame. We contemplated going to Krueger Nat’l Park and then to Cape Town but decided instead on seeing the Drakensburg region and the south coast.

(I’m not sure I’d be able to get my animals to hold still while I tied them up. But if you look closely, you’ll see there is no room in the back for them…)

It was easy to drive there even if it’s on the wrong side of the road. By that time I has been driven on the right in Australia, Singapore, Bali and India and rented a car to drive all over New Zealand. We got pretty good at the wrong side driving, if not for the roads…
Here’s what happened:
We were on this stretch of Highway in the middle of nowhere. All you see is Acacia scrub with these wicked long thorns, sky and sun.

The roads are in mediocre condition but this stretch pictured above had a nasty shoulder with a six-inch drop in places. Across from where we landed where three crosses where someone else wasn’t as fortunate. The roadsides were littered with auto parts from lots of prior accidents. Not a nice part of the highway. So David is driving and veers off the road (as ya do), we think the tires blew trying to get back onto the road, he lost control of the steering and ended up driving on the embankment for a while thru said acacia and then we hit a ditch barely missing the huge rock! Neither the front nor the side airbags went off, despite the fact that the car ended up on it’s side with David crumpled up on his door which is now the floor…

Thankfully we were both okay, shook but alright. The police were there within 10 minutes and then stayed with us in the blazing African Sun until the rental car company finally showed up three hours after they said they would. We stood out in that sun for 3 1/2 hours; we were cooked lobsters by the time they showed. Thankfully we had a bottle of water that survived the crash. But it only gets better, the rental car place that brought us this new car towed it the wrong direction and screwed up the transmission. So we had a nice new car that didn’t move. At least we were able to get out of the sun and into air-conditioning. We spent a 6 hours waiting to be back on the road. oh well, at least we were in one piece.

As it turns out, we were only ten minutes from a great little diner, where we got some great “Mom” energy. Thea Swart (pictured with her husband Hendrik) gave us some of the best fish and chips I’ve ever eaten and then told us all the cool places we needed to see between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. Thanks for all the TLC!

Here are some of the Highlights from our trip to Cape Town:

Kidd’s Beach in the early morning before breakfast. One of our great beach walks.

This is the Stormriver Gorge. Vertigo and way cool. We spent the night at Stormriver and got up early the next morning and when for a 7Km hike on boulders to a falls at the Tsitsikamma Nat’l Park.

hiking on the boulders. We were sore the next day. Notice the orange on orange?

This is a rock dassie or Hyrax. The dassie is the African elephant’s closest living relative, in spite of the size difference. This close evolutionary relationship is deduced from similarities in the structure of the feet and teeth.

Big grasshopper huh?

This is at the end of Africa. Cape Agulhas is the southern most point in Africa. There’s a sign that says one side Indian Ocean and the other side Atlantic Ocean…both look the same…

again we miscalculated to vastness of the country. Many hours diving through country like this.

Finally we got to Cape Town: a great city and we had the best tour guides while there.

Christel and her girlfriend Corne were great to us, taking us all over and entertaining and feeding us. They even let us get our dog fix.

This is choppie. He’s great and we fell in love.

Cape Town is an amazing city that I’m sure we’ll visit again. Table Mountain is a treasure and eye popping experience not to be missed!

We also saw some amazing coastline and natural sites while in Cape Town:

The African Penguin

A basking whale

We were sad to say goodbye to Cape Town but Kenya was calling us…

South Africa: Joberg to Port Elizabeth
Filed under: Africa
Posted by: @ 9:46 am

South Africa, part 1
As we learned in my last entry, Johannesburg was a great comfort to me but I can’t tell you as much about the city as I can tell you about the plumbing in the place we stayed. One of the most enduring images I have is of neighborhoods of nice homes surrounded by big fences which were topped with razor wire . It looks like a fine place to live as long as you don’t mind living behind a gate. Our gate opener wouldn’t work one day and so we couldn’t leave. It was a little strange and it makes me wonder if this is the direction our world is going in. The further away you get from the city the less you see of people living in compound arrangements but high fences with razor wire is an aesthetic that South Africa seems to have grown accustomed to. I hope they get it all worked out, but the “apart” portion of “apartheid” still seems to have a place here.

Once we left Jberg, we were treated to some of the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen, and I have seen my portion.

It is always hard to imagine the largeness of a place until you go there and see great distances.

We were full of awe as we traveled through the Drakensberg Region.

Mountains and valleys surrounded by more mountains and valleys.

There are not that many places where one can see so much at once.

The closer we got to the shore the more population increased. We saw some communities that I had no reference for. They were kind of shantytowns but not really (OK, so some were “really”).

I know there are problems here with AIDS, and violence and poverty but everywhere I look I see proud people working. It bodes well for the future. This seems like such a rich country, I hope there comes a day when the dreams of men like Nelson Mandela can blossom into reality. SA, I am rooting for you!

If I had to summarize my impression of this continent in one word, I think it would be, vast. It is vast in terms of space; it has large expanses of landscapes that would rival anything you might find in Montana or Wyoming. It is also vast in terms of the many different ways that people experience life here. I tried to talk with our friends Christel, who lives in Cape Town part time (and Madagascar the other) and Corne about what kind of political climate has created this place. I know only what I have heard from the American Press and they only talk about it when they don’t have a good Anna Nicole Smith scandal to cover. It is terribly complex and though there has been progress, there are problems that make American politics seem like Romper Room. It is too big for me to get my head around but I hope for a day when everyone is able to partake in the abundance that seems to exist here and that people don’t feel like they have to live behind razor wire.

The south coast of Africa was another visual treat and again I was interested to see how people live. I saw rural communities made up of tiny but loved homes painted in a broad palet of crayon box colors. A lot of the homes were round with thatch roofs.

I remember seeing a house like that on the cover of a book that my father had and thinking how strange and foreign it looked.

We underestimated the amount of time it would take us to get were we needed to go so saw a lot, but much of it was from our car window. Oh, and there was a day spent standing by the side of the road waiting for a tow truck and a new rental car…

yeah, I tipped a rental car but Ron is more interested in talking about that than I am. He got it all documented and I am sure will have plenty to say in his entry. You will all be happy to know that my teeth are fine.

I may write more about it once I figure out why it was really Ron’s fault (though I was the one driving). Ok, I will say one more thing… I got out of my newly tipped car, and looked at the gravel under my feet and what did I find, but an orange bread bag closure device (bread tab). If you don’t already know it, orange is important to me and bread tabs remind me of Mom. She saved them to the point of irrationality and I teased her about it but when she died, I couldn’t throw her collection away and now I can’t pass one on the street without picking it up and thinking of her… orange bread tabs are very rare so, thanks Mom for being there and looking out for us.

India, the last for now…
Filed under: India
Posted by: @ 2:52 am

We wanted you all to get a picture of the cows interacting with all the traffic… I’ve created a GIF movieloop. It’s about 1Mb and that’s large, especially for a dial up connection, so you might have to wait while it downloads.
until later,

1 comment
India, part 3(ron’s mumblings)
Filed under: India
Posted by: @ 10:22 pm

Here I am in Africa still thinking about India…what an amazing country, India. We didn’t see but a fraction but what we saw was overwhelming to our senses. We are very grateful for all the help we received from Vijay, Sanjib and the rest.

Our first day we were taken around to see the major “sites” in Delhi.

This is the India Gate…remind you of something? Think Paris, France…I think the English were trying to out do the French in Arches…

this is the parliament and government buildings.

We visited the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi: An oasis in the middle of Delhi.

We made arrangements for Manik to take us on an overnight outing to Agra and see the Taj Mahal. We got up early and the mist over Delhi at sunrise was awesome.

All the sights, sounds and smells are like no place else. What we were told was that Bali is all about what’s not said and everything on the surface is nice. But India doesn’t hide anything, it’s all out there for you to see. All of it.

Here are some of the things we saw:

Can any of you figure out what kind of animal this is???Alien living in cognito?

Agra was dusty and dirty and filled with people who REALLY wanted to be our best friends as long as we would just come inside and see what beautiful things that they had to sell us. Overwhelming at times.

The Taj was amazing. In the morning…

at sunset…

and at midday…
You can understand why it is one of the Wonders of the World.

We visited the Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Check out this link for more about the Taj and Agra sites.
Fatehpur Sikri was built in 1564 as the capital city of some ruler back then. It’s amazingly intact.

This was a gravestone erected in memory of some rulers favorite elephant after it’s demise…I’m thinking about one for Peggy or maybe Margaret…

On the way back to Delhi, we were side-tracked by a protest of about 30,000 landless farmers/peasants marching for a piece of the Indian pie. We ended up four-wheeling through fields and tiny villages because they closed the main highway back to Delhi. The people had been marching for about a month over 200 miles. Their story is amazing.

Just one more thing to see in this place of overwhelming experiences. I’m writing this from Nairobi and have already been to South Africa. Again I’m behind in my duties…alas. But I’m alive and healthy and seeing the world. Doesn’t get much better than this.

as always,


ps. Okay, true confessions. I know this was a stupid thing for me to do, but I forgot my camera when we went to the Taj Mahal. Can you believe that? So I became someone’s best friend and bought their postcards and took pictures of the pictures. Pretty good, huh? ron

India, Part 2
Filed under: India
Posted by: @ 2:34 pm

So, I felt compelled to say a few words more about India before we move on.

After we finished up my dental work, we hopped on a plane and spent about 30 hours in Mumbai…formerly Bombay. Mumbai is not immune to some of the problems we witnessed in Delhi but it is a grand old city with much more of it’s History still hanging around for tourists like us to snap pictures of.

There was architecture that rivaled any I have seen, and yes poverty and traffic to rival Delhi’s. They do seem to have a plan to keep garbage off the street though and The Crawford Market…Wooooweeeee.

If only we could have gotten my dad there before he became too infirmed. Orville loved a market and he would have gotten that “great sale fever” that would overtake him when he hit a good one. It seemed to breath youth into his whole body. He would have willed himself to hold together just so he could finish seeing every last retail opportunity. To accomplish this he would have needed another decade at least.

It’s hard to imagine, but it is a whole neighborhood of little windy streets that didn’t seem to care much about grid systems. These lanes are lined by ancient crumbling buildings and dotted with road construction projects. When I say “road construction” its not like what you are thinking. It’s more like an ancient man and his two slightly less ancient sons decided to improve their lot, so grabbed spoons and a hammer and went out and dug up the sewer line in front of the storefront leaving a trench and a big pile of old Bombay in the middle of the road. I think at least half of the population of India must shop these streets every night. Orange cones and caution tape seem to be a western phenomenon, so people walk down this obstacle course over the bumps through the trenches and around the heaps of rubble…nonplussed. Ron and I attracted the attention of a man who was about as big as an American seven year old with an eating disorder, who volunteered, or more accurately, insisted on being our guide and to show us where all the beads were sold. He moved fast and demanded that we keep up. Difficult as it was we were able to lean into the mass of humanity and be carried along. It was just possible. What seemed impossible was to hear one of those incessant horns blowing and look back to see some motorized vehicle making its way through the crowd. Somehow it all works and when there are treasures to be found one must buck-up. There were treasures, unfathomable treasures. Sadly we discovered Ali Babas cave just an hour before we had to start making our way to the airport so we got to have an experience but didn’t even try to shop. Well, we did get a few of those smart Indian cotton shirts I mentioned in my last entry but that hardly counts. Mostly we gawked and vowed to come back.

Mumbai was fascinating and I think there are many places in India that are more akin to Mumbai than Delhi. India is difficult and eye-popping. We have enjoyed museums, art, architecture, great food and the people. I would love to return though I would not necessarily recommend it for the first time traveler unless you have a good guide and fair warning.

We did have one last farewell experience on our way to the airport a miracle happened, traffic lightened up. You don’t know how unusual that was. We have spent the past days smashed between every manner of man, beast and vehicle rarely driving for more than and inch or two at a time and everyone sits in their car blowing the horn to pass the time. I spent a lot of energy and good humor searching for my Zen place in those moments. On an aside, in credit to the Indian people, nobody gives an inch in traffic and everyone is blasting that horn at every opportunity (did I already mention that?), but no one seems angry about it. The predicaments I witnessed in my own country would have evoked bad language, red faced screaming, fist shaking at the least and quite possibly windshield bashing or gun waving. Not so here. It is part of life in the street and you go along and get where you can as fast as you can and expect the other guy is going to do the same…all the while blowing that damned horn. Anyway, back to our final adventure.

We had negotiated with a young man from the travel and tours desk at our hotel to drive us around for a day tour of Mumbai and on to the airport where we were told to arrive three hours before our scheduled flight at 2:30 AM… BLEH. It all worked out OK, but I would have traded his ready smile and impossibly long eyelashes for a few more words of English. We spent the day nodding and smiling a lot and not ending up at the places where we thought we were going but, oh well, we had a great day and at last headed to the airport. But wait, behold… a break in the traffic and it seems like we were going to arrive an hour early, so our driver, in his halting English, suggests that he drop us off at a restaurant/bar where we can relax a bit before going to the airport. I didn’t feel right about it. I was thinking that we could find someplace at the airport to hang…I mean this is the international airport in a very large city so, there must be someplace we can make ourselves comfortable…but at his insistence, we are dropped in front of this dicey looking place and told that he will meet us back there in 40 minutes. I don’t know that I have ever felt so white and so tall as we walked up and entered this establishment. One of the things about the Indian service industry is that there is nothing surly about it. They want you there, and they want to meet your every need so someone opens the door and a team of men dressed in black and white awaits us. These men seem to be assigned only to us. Our boys bring us into this room where a woman is singing and it is LOUD! I mean loud like this may be the last music I ever hear kind of loud. Now I do not have the most sophisticated ear, and I am sure that there are subtleties missed due to my ignorance, but this singing, to me, sounded like cat-wallering. We are escorted to a sofa as there seems to be no proper tables. As we take our seats, we notice that there are girls of varying ethnicities all dressed in full sari’s leaning up against mirrored posts holding big stacks of cash and smiling a lot. Our team is bustling about attending to us, bringing us little bowls of crackers and peanuts and when they asked if I wanted a drink, I, without hesitation, answered in the affirmative. Ron ordered a beer and I ordered a gin and tonic and then another hoping it would numb my discomfort. The team brings Ron’s beer and a tray with a glass with gin in it and then asks if I want ice and how much, now tonic, then they stir it all up and then stand there and watch us have a sip of our drinks so they can ask if they can top them off or if we need something re-filled. So, we are here in this noisy, hot, den of iniquity being watched by a team of incredibly eager waiters and smiled at by a team of equally eager Indian hoochie girls and I can just remember thinking that this experience will be much more fun in the telling than the living and telling the waiter, “yes please, more ice please”…

Oh, damned, we had been so careful. We had been brushing our teeth in bottled water and avoiding any contact with liquid that didn’t come with a seal… I forgot. So, we make our escape and find our driver who I think has probably been having a good laugh with his friends telling them that he dropped those two queers off at the hoochie bar… Ha Ha Ha!

The Airport is this big overly lit series of lines and security checks with an over used PA system that gets that shrill feedback whine whenever they use it. It was the coldest hot place I have ever been. There is nothing beautiful or comforting about this place. It is a people processing plant. So we get there and make our way through the endless lines and finally go and find something to eat at the one restaurant in this country that is in direct contrast to India’s eager-to-please mentality. We sit down and I feel a lurch then a churn and a need to find some fresh air (futile). What ensued was a contest between both ends of me to see which could purge my system the fastest and a self-guided tour of the Mumbai airport toilets. This was spurred on by the thought that, surely, there must be a better one (the horrors!). The contest of my ends followed me to the plane where I went from a wild sweaty fever to a bone rattling chill and finally to South Africa where I found a down comforter, a hot water bottle and a clean bathroom. I am grateful to the innkeeper. He and Ron saved me. Ok so he tried to grope Ron (he said it was a “lakka one!”). I don’t care, I forgive him, I am better now and hallelujah.

I am feeling good, and we are off to see what we can of this place called Africa.

I’ll be in touch.


1 comment
India, Part 1
Filed under: India
Posted by: @ 1:12 pm

Hello All,

Well, I am back. Eden kicked me out, so now India. New Delhi is about as far from bucolic Bali as one could imagine.

We have been very well cared for here. Sanjeeb, Vijay, Mausami and Manik, have seen to it that we are safe, looked after and have gotten to see everything. Also, Dr. Upender and his staff have tended to my teeth and oh boy wait till you see em! Thank you all.
(Ed. Note: this is Manik, our driver for the week…his skill behind the wheel is unparalleled unless, of course, you are from Delhi)

Here are some things I have seen this week: Monkeys, Elephants, Camels and Cows on freeways, and this is without even leaving the city.

I have also seen the most beautiful people…more than any other place I have been. Folks, they know how to do it here. There are eyes here that look like there is nothing they haven’t seen.

I have had a hard time not staring but they have stared at us a bit so I don’t feel too bad. Back to those eyes, imagine a Labrador in love, or a Labrador looking at you when you are about to eat the last scrap of chicken. Longing, loving, gentle and searing all at the same time. There are other qualities worth mentioningas well. People here have been good to us, I can’t say it enough, India is a place that wants you to visit and wants to take care of you. Nowhere on our journey have we found people more eager.

Now, back to the beautiful part, I have been quite impressed by the fabrics. Indian women are most often seen draped head to toe in the most amazing Saris.

It makes your breath stop for an instant to see the brilliant colors: Hot pink, lemon yellow brilliant green or blue…as bright as you can imagine. The men’s shirts are from a similar pallet…no one is afraid of color.

Here is something that puzzles me. It is not uncommon to see three or four passengers on a motorbike. This is particularly thrilling to witness when the person sitting side saddle on the back is bedecked in one of those aforementioned Saris which dances around in the breeze and, magically, never seems to go anyplace it shouldn’t (like in the spokes for instance). And, I have repeatedly seen cars transporting more than double the recommended capacity.

My impression has been that the people of Delhi have taken public transportation into their own hands…or cars as it were. It is not an exaggeration to think of those contests we have seen, you know the “how many people can you fit in VW” ones. I saw the tiniest little car the other day and counted five men in the back seat. They looked like they were all headed off for a day at the office and were chatting away amongst themselves and the three people who shared the two front seats. It seemed as if there were nothing in the world unusual about the situation and I suspect, there wasn’t.

So, back to my puzzlement…on my best day, I can often be seen with a dribble down the front of me.

I usually start spilling on myself first thing in the morning and save specimens from my intake for the rest of the day…and I am a sweaty thing, so even if I didn’t spill, and started out with a perfectly pressed shirt, it gets kind of wilted looking almost immediately. As you read on, you will understand that the Indian people have every reason to appear bedraggled…life is not easy here…but (Back to the puzzle), I have never seen so many people dressed in crisp, clean, fresh from the laundry garments. End of the day…beginning of the day, same-same. The men’s shirts never seem to get smudged or wrinkled…how do they do that? and the women’s Sari’s always look like they smell like flowers and weigh absolutely nothing. Hmmmmmm.

But, sadly that is only part of the population.

There is another side to this city. The population here is seventeen million. Just for reference, the entire state of Washington has about 6 million, so, nearly three times the population of Washington State living in one city and they are not all dressed in clothes that smell like flowers. I have no idea how they would begin to count noses because there are a very large number of residents of this city who have never had an address. India was described to me before I came as a city that hides nothing and it didn’t take long to see what that means. When you stop at a street corner people come up to your window…desperate, bone thin, wretched, sad people holding infants that look like they are sleeping but who’s eyes are open. It feels like I am in a submarine, all safe and sound, privileged and clean with our driver and our nice air-conditioned van. Outside we see all these people who are drowning and desperate for a sip of the air they see us enjoying. You see everything but you can’t even begin to roll down that window or…This is one of those places that is fascinating but heart breaking.

The saddest place I have ever seen. It makes me realize how privileged I am to live in a world where I can be annoyed by bad architecture, weight gain and Republicans. Here is an eye opener…what I see here is closer to what most of the world experiences than what we all see everyday at home. When they call the U.S. the richest country in the world it is hard to understand what they are talking about if you are having trouble coming up with the money to fix a broken car or buy the newer computer. These needs seem real if that is all you have ever known and you only have your neighbors to compare yourself to. But I am here to tell you we are fat and over-privileged.

It is also not hard to understand why so many people resent us…so this is an aside to that person that threw the squished up dirty lime at my head at the market the other day. I forgive you. I did not appreciate it, but I can imagine that if you are struggling the way I suspect you may be, and you see a big fleshy overfed American having a holiday and looking around for stuff so that he can take it home and show all his fat friends and family that he has been to this ever-so-exotic and fabulous place where you can get the coolest stuff for hardly any money and blablablablablablah…Yea, I might want to pick up a used fruit and hurl it. We hear about the needy people in far away places but to see them is quite another thing. So folks if you have got it, give a bit…ok, so off of my soapbox.

The other night our van got a flat tire in the middle of one of the major thoroughfares. Ron and I watched the press of traffic as Manik (our driver, and hero) changed the tire. I tried to count how many lanes of traffic the street was designed for but it was impossible. No one pays any attention to lanes anyway; often they don’t even bother to paint lines. We in the U.S. would have probably allowed three vehicles to travel abreast on this particular road and had a space on the left and right to safely pull over in case of emergency…this piece of pavement was about the width of three U.S. of A standard lanes with no safety shoulders. There we were, semi-permanent residents in one of the three lanes watching the most unbelievable dance of all manner of moving objects. There were never less than five vehicles between us and the other side and remember that there are now only two remaining lanes. They drive here like they are all about to miss the final episode of The Soprano’s.. FAST, they allow about 2 centimeters in any given direction for grace and they move into the smallest of spaces at alarming speeds. Driving in Delhi is a constant game of chicken. And let us not forget the pedestrians that are in abundance, running up and down the sides of the road and (no kidding) across the lanes of traffic. It’s Madness! I don’t think we could learn to drive here anymore than we are going to learn to like Lutefisk or Blood Pudding. You have to grow up with it. I am surprised that the traffic situation has not been more effective at population control. While we were sitting there, we saw cars, motor rickshaws, pedal rickshaws, bicycles, busses, trucks large and small, a backhoe, and a horse.

We did not see a cow, pig, goat or mangy dog this time but they are often part of this mix. It is not unusual to see a great big cow or even a whole gaggle of cows meandering across any street in the downtown core or lazing about with their buds on the traffic island just watching it all happen. They are sacred and protected and so get beads and bells around there necks and free run of the place.

Finally, you can ‘t really understand what its like here without some sensory aids. So here’s what lets do. Go into the smallest bathroom in your house with several people who you don’t know (enough so that you wont be able to move without touching someone). Now bring in some animals, cows, chickens, pigs or any poor wretched near death critter will work. In order to really get the feeling, you will need to crank the heat up and everyone will need three props, a loud horn, and a bag of vacuum cleaner sweepings, and an onion. Now, close the doors and windows and empty the sweepings on to the floor. Begin blowing your horn… no really blow it and don’t stop… keep honking and now, dance around a bit, really get your dust up. Now we need to engage the nose so grab a wad of hair out of that dirt on the floor and set it on fire. Or better yet light one of your attendees’ hair on fire it will add to the general feeling of wretchedness. Now cut up the onions and everyone take turns using the laundry hamper as a toilet. Now if you can emerge from this looking perfectly pressed, Welcome to Delhi!

As ever,