Monday, 17 October 2011

Freewheelin’ in India - Day 15: Shithead Space Cookies

From stupid o’clock the inconsiderate bastards in the room next door were making a ridiculous amount of noise, kids shouting, ladies screaming at them, crashing around and general fuckoffitstooearlyness. After too long trying to block it out I got up and burst through their door, all bed-hair and boxer-shorts, saying “Ssssshhh, PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO SLEEP”. There must have been at least eight startled faces staring back at me, all crammed in like a cheap tin of sardines and stinking up their window-less room. After an hour or so further sleep, packed, washed and ready we were carted to the bus station, after a brief stop-off at a travel agent who was obviously the drivers pal, trying to sell us two tickets which we could buy at the station, but for double the price. These cheeky fuckers do this kind of shit constantly, you say, “take me to A”, they take you to D, then C, then by the time you hit B, you want to hit them for wasting your time and their petrol. If global warming actually exists, I’d put the blame solely on them.

We waited half an hour then jumped on our direct bus to Pushkar, which would take five hours, at the hottest part of the day. It wasn’t so bad, as I was by the window with the breeze blowing in and my right arm hanging out as I read Screwjack, a relatively decent yet slightly lacklustre collection of shorts by Hunter S. Thompson, but the little runt in front of me kept spitting out of it, and I could feel the frequent flicker of his expelled fluid. I didn’t mention it, or react in anyway. It’s funny what I put up with when in a chilled mood, compared to what can set me off when already ‘on one’ which, to be fair, is rare. We pulled over at a stop half-way there, and Sarah jumped off to go to the toilet. After a few minutes the driver pulled out to leave, and I stopped him explaining that she wasn’t back on-board. A few more minutes passed as I sat sweating, staring out of the window worriedly looking around wondering if she’d fallen down the toilet and was gonna come running back like the little boy in Slumdog Millionaire. The driver again went to leave, and I shouted “Please wait, we can’t leave her”. He shouted something back in Hindi, but the ticket seller told me not to worry as the locals looked on at me like I was crazy, in my panicked state, however leaving my lover at the roadside was an impossibility, and I was just about ready to get our bags and get off when I saw her walking back to where we were parked. I screamed her name again and again, and she came. Relief swept over me, and she had no idea why.

Off the bus, onto a rickshaw, hotel destination given to driver, different hotel reached. He said “Bharatpur Palace” implying that what was probably his uncle’s shitty dive hostel was in fact where we wanted to go. Guess he didn’t realise I was actually a writer, not an illiterate, long-sighted invalid that couldn’t see names on building signs. I simply looked him in the eye with a knowing glare, and slowly shook my head saying “No”, and he drove on a few hundred metres to our budget abode, with its priceless view across Pushkar Lake and cosy pink rooms.

We toked on some smoke and spoke of supper, choosing the nearby Rainbow Restaurant as our next provider of Russian roulette. The food actually turned out good, great in fact, plates full of falafel, hummus, eggplant, pitta bread and fries thrown at us after a reasonable wait. Definitely one of the better, if not best meals we’d had, Sarah’s favourite so far, and after, the owner pointed to a sign saying “Space cookie for dessert”, followed by a whispered “Marijuana!” with a wink. We were in like Flynn, taking him up on one of the stronger ones, which we shared, then set off to hustle with the local jewellers for some silver rings. Gonna melt them into bullets for when the werewolves arrive.

The cookie definitely made me a bit giddy, but Sarah seemed to be galloping, having a grand old time laughing at anything and everything as I laughed at and with her. We played a few hands of Shithead which she won, and made bets playing Blackjack, which I cheated on the last hand, making myself bust so that we’d end up all square. I don’t need to win, I’ve already won.

I spent another evening writing into the night as my lady laid beside me. Always so much to say, but not enough hours in the day.

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