Friday, August 01, 2008

Chandigarh: from Shimla

Incidentally, I ran into the woman who clapped her hands and demanded money, a few weeks later at the same intersection. She hit me on the head and said “I bless you. Give me money!” and I said without hitting her on the head “I bless you right back. I ain’t got no damn money.” Because I still found her hilarious.

Right now I’m in Shimla and because of my computer being dead, I’m having to go back to doing this journal thing manually. I’m also having to close my rest house door with more effort than I’d like. There’s no door knob on the inside, so if I close it normally, I lock myself in. But with MacGyver-grade placement of paper wads, I can close and even lock the door, though I still have the chair in front of it for good measure.

My last few days in Chandigarh were out of a dream. Well, that is to say, I only had two fantasy dreams of being home in my four days there. I interviewed three people, though the batteries died during this morning’s third. Everyone was unbelievably helpful, and the Botany Department for whatever reason really took me under its wing. I will be forever indebted to them for recharging my spirits (and my computer), even as the government official I was working with dropped heavy hints that we should have an affair. To repeat my earlier sentiments on that matter, eeyuck.

I got to ride several times on the back of a scooter, which was pretty exciting. Today I rode with a girl to the Rock Garden (look it up). I made a whirlwind tour of it. (Professor) Harminder of the Botany Dept was surprised when I got back so early, and I told him I thought I got lost. He said there was only one path. I said that didn’t mean I couldn’t get lost (which is true). In fact, the whole place reminded me of a map on Myst (video game). I kept expecting significant music to play every time I saw a weird little figurine made of trash. Harminder’s every-smiling eyes seemed especially amused that I could get lost in the Rock Garden, but what can I say. It is my talent.

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