Sunday, 7 March 2010

out of india

Out of Love
In the end i fell out of love with india
Priscilla was never in love with it
But me i had love to start with i could fall out of
And fall out i did
For small things, one of many
There’s the bloke on the train to mangalore who asks for some of your water
Which is cool
So you hand it over and he finishes every last drop
Though there’s three hours left on the trip
And he plainly has no,
Like none,
Like no idea this might be remotely unreasonable behaviour
He speaks to you friendly like at one of the halts and i thought
How many people would act like that?
And there’s the family in the rail carriage with the
baby crying in the middle of the night
who simply keep talking to each other in whispers and do nothing
like not one thing
nothing about the crying baby
and the fact it might be waking up an entire carriage
this story happened a few times and still, i think
in how many countries would people act like that?
And lastly
The blind bloke getting off the bus in Gorukpur
Where the people getting on all barge past him
And he’s the first in line to get off
And there’s people and no space behind him
So it makes far more sense to let people off first
Starting with him
But no, because he’s weak, i.e. blind
Not one put of fifteen men, fifteen, lets him
and all seize the chance to be able to
push him back to the side as they squeeze in and on
and i think, in how many countries would people act like that?
would fifteen in a row act like that?
i don’t think they would in any of the countries in South east Asia
Cambodia? No
Vietnam? The most money-grubbing country i’ve been to in years? No
Thailand, no, Lao no
nowhere in Europe
not Canada
some of the skint US is infamously dehuman
but would they?
I’m not sure they would
well here they do
and this is the same story fifteen times in a row with no change
that’s what shocks me
So i’m out of love with it
Its gone
I realise its chiefly down to poverty and numbers
But still
And i’m very surprised to find myself far more down on India than last time but
I’m superglad we’re out
So we’re in Nepal
Still sick
But its great to be somewhere else
The border experience was as hassly and touty as anywhere
And we had six tuktuk train bus journeys in 18 long hard hours
And the road here was absurdly slow...
Once we got from the dusty plain into the rising green of the hills
Moved from the low country of India Nepal into the very first of what becomes the Himalayas
But ahhh, the freshness of it
The difference
The streets i’d imagine are old Chinese or Tibetan
The faces Chinese Nepalese and Indian
The unpurdahed girls and young women in the street
The glorious views, from our malfuncting hotel, of the valley with its small hills and emerald green terraces and winding roads and rivers

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