Tuesday, December 1, 2009

a short delhi post

Delhi... my home away from home away from calm and serenity.
Again i arrive to the busy streets of pahar ganj bursting with riksha
drivers offering competitive over priced rates for transportation, a multitude of rasta wearing
europeans and who could forget the beloved "mother and daughter" re-discovering
their relationship... (mom finds out her daughter is a slacker who smokes drugs, daughter finds out mom is a flirt who likes old crazy hippies..., see also: daughter finds out her mom is hot and no one pays any attention to her).
Arriving to delhi around 11 PM we were forced to look for a place close to curfew time.
After all i've been through, for some reason i was still naive and headed straight for the guest house i stayed in last time since -they said they'd give me a discaount-... I - AM - AN IDIOT... what was i thinking?!
arriving to Anoop hotel (remember the name, never go there, and if you do please tell them your not going to stay there because I told you it's shit. thank you.) i demanded my discount, was informed i never stayed in the hotel and the price i was offered was higher than what i paid last time. greedy assholes, i hope they burn in hindu hell while the devil stuffs gold coins down their throat, then i hope they get ass raped with credit cards and have their penises tied to 10 Kg hanging gold bullions.
Sorry, got carried away... anyway we moved to a room with no windows which was much cheaper and the next day was spent with shopping and random running around looking for places to drink.
Evening arrived and we found ourselves in a bar in our area. the time was somewhere around the end of july, and so the indian people was still grieving the death of their messiah "michael jackson". the bar - like any other place with a screen - showed michael jackson music videos in repeat for the 3 hours we were there. a hippie group sitting 2 tables away from us were got wasted on local hard liquor and on probably less local hash. one of them got worked up and started doing jackson impersonations. apparently that didn't go well with the sikh owner (probably a devout fan of jackson and his legacy) and he got really upset to the point he was ready to lose the entire table - 8 costumers - just to prevent the sacrilege of his beloved artist.
while this was happening an indian guy from an adjacent table waved at me to join their table,
i was thinking "great, nice local people to converse with", joining their table the regular "wht's your good name", "what is your country" were followed by the not so regular question posed by one of the guys "well, i am a student and don't have too much money, can you pay for my drinks?", this is where i get up, and move to another table full of young europeans. I mean really... at least he could talk to me a little more before asking for money,offering me sexual favors, or offering me something to smoke... who knows, i might have bought him a beer myself
even without being asked for it, but nooo... he had to be abnoxious and stupid. (which is even better for me, just saved me money for another beer for myself).
meanwhile... at the other table...
i joined a group of 3 girls and 2 guys noisily drinking beer and discussing their travels.
don't remember anything interesting but after the bar we went to their hostel, where one of the guys managed to fall of the bed and vomit on the floor while i was getting a blowjob and my friend was busy with the other 2 girls doing some kind of weird S&M shit.
shit... i'm lying again, except for the vomiting guy, that's all true. but we just sat there, listened to music untill they kicked us out saying they want to sleep. which was just as well. Looking back
at that night i can't remember a single one of the 3 that actually looked good...
Waking up with a minor hangover the next day about an hour left untill our train is due we went out for a little shopping and train ticket booking. got on the train when it was almost off the platform and TA DA! we are in Varanasi!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

rishikesh. yep. rishikesh...

yes! spirituality! benny is in the house!!! we arrived to rishikesh in the dim lighting setting of
a moonsoon afternoon. upon our dis-embarkation form the bus we were immidiately approached
by a very spiritual riskha driver who offered to take us to a very spiritual guest house with
very spiritual guides to help us find our way.
after 15 minutes of driving we arrived to a guest house. which didn't look very different from
the 30+ guest houses i've seen so far but was obviously much more spiritual since it cost about 30%
more than the prices i was used to. (spirituality, like everything else, has it's price).

And so after incisive searching I finally found a place after looking up a message i got online from a friend. When we arrived at the guest house the rickshaw driver apparently knew The landlady, which left me a bit perplexed since he took us to 5 other expensive places before and told us he doesn’t know other good cheap places. He also took the liberty of sitting in our new room and not leaving until he got a tip (“no, no, not 30… I want 80…”)

Settling in and paying didi for the first night (a price we later discovered was higher than she offered to other travelers, surprise, surprise…) we went out to explore rishikesh. Home to the mighty ganga river, a multitude of temples and other stuff that doesn’t matter.

First day of arrival we performed our first sacrilege by going to the biggest temple and

playing with the thousands of gods (hi fiving, skirt lifting, arguing using foul language), a photo of D Honoring the mighty god of construction is included.

After surrendering ourselves to a puja ceremony (and surrendering 50 rupees each in the process) we got lost in the infinite rooms and corridors of that 7 story building, waking up a homeless guy, sleeping in one of the deserted rooms intended for the gods, in the process.

He asked us for some money but being homeless and probably hungry he was no match for our superior walking away speed (another homeless person out-smarted! Ha ha!).

After hours on end we finally found our way out of there and set our steps toward the bridge which they say connects the touristy part of the city we stayed in, to the more authentic one on the other of the river. Although we never really crossed that bridge we did see it and the monkeys collecting passing tolls from the hands and bags of un-careful Indians and tourists crossing it.

Now… this is something most people don’t know but around 467 BC the monkeys used to run a ferry on the river (long before the bridge was built) and they used to charge a sex toll for

crossing. You could have sex with 1 monkey to cross in economy monkey class boat or have sex With 5-7 of them to go first class by monkey catapult.

All true… but don’t Google it, it’s a well kept secret and no information about it can be found anywhere (except on the secret monkey intranet).

Moving on, on the way back from the bridge we stopped in a massage parlor that looked pretty decent and got an appointment for the next day. The lady inside (who looked pretty good by all standards) assured us with smiles and winks that she had been studying kerla massage techniques for 4 years back south in her home town (retrospective note: lying seducing bitch!).

The next day we came in for a massage. Got covered in oil (I do mean “covered”, completely) and for one hour had hands sliding over our bodies (D who was treated by the lady we talked to the day before even got his wee wee oiled!, I was in the hands of an old lady and thankfully mine was left un-touched). After the endeavor we asked about the massage course (and were given a 60% discount, as a former salesman I should have known something is fishy, discounts which are “just for you” usually are).

Next day arriving at the establishment we saw this “she devil” sitting at her desk with a “massage for dummies” book, now get this: prior to explaining anything to us, she consulted the book (imagine going to a history course in uni and having you professor looking at a book to remind himself what year world war 2 started…). After our first lesson we came out very frustrated, we actually understood about eurovedic massage less than we did before the useless waste of time that con called a lesson. We spent the following hours letting our anger boil inside of us for falling into her trap, 3 hours and 4 cups of coffee later we came back there and cancelled the rest of the course.

IF she would have come to visit us and drink with us at our guest house as she promised she would when we met and IF she would do something kinky with at least one of us, as she implied she would by touching my friend’s penis and by opening the shower door when I asked for soap. We might have let it slide… Be that as it may, she never came and nothing happened and we felt cheated and angry.

Still in a course attending frenzy I enlisted to yet another massage course instead.

This one promised no discounts but had an instructor that actually knew what he was doing without consulting a guide book (also I got this cool certificate I can hang on my wall now).

Same night we also met a Swedish and an English girl who made our stay that much more pleasant (no, you perverts! nothing happened!).

My first subject was my friend D (cause nothing brings heterosexual travelling partners closer than a foot massage…) and the instructor was wearing training pants and everything was fine, We agreed to do the back the next day. That night an English girl whom we’ll name A arrived at our guest house and not wanting to keep massaging my hairy friend I offered her to be the subject of my next lesson, she was somewhat reluctant but agreed once I re-assured her it’s a back massage and she has nothing to worry about. Next day we walk into the massage room with Ramzy (a-la instructor) and at this point he informed me we’ll do the front today encouraging A to lie on her back and take her shirt off. That same Ramzy who seemed fine with doing the massage with pants on just yesterday took them off and replaced them with a loin cloth created from a towel while displaying his tanga underwear clad package.

Needless to say I felt awkward but A kept her cool, probably because, unlike me, she didn’t know it can be done with the instructor’s pants still on. The whole affair felt weird and A left after an hour despite my pleads to use her as a training subject for a while longer (she did say I was pretty good though and left her e-mail before leaving, so I guess it’s ok, right?).

Next day I managed to convince the blond Swedish girl to be my massage subject, this time it really was a back massage… surprisingly Ramzy decided to leave his pants on this time, for reasons which are beyond my understanding (surely the blond Swedish girl was worth the traditional pants off ritual…), and that was all.

I graduated the massage academy summa cum laude and received my well deserved certificate (which of course came with an offer to buy over priced massage oils…).

That night (or maybe it was the night before? Fuck it… you wouldn’t know the difference anyway ) me and the swedish girl went to buy beer at the local kiosk owned by Danish.

We were invited to sit down and join him for a smoke, when all of a sudden, 3 hours passed. Looking back I can remember talking business about running a kiosk, smoking a few joints and laughing my ass off about a product which, by it’s package, now comes with more “grung” (or some other non-existing ingredient…) which obviously makes it better since the “grung” word was written inside an exploding frame thingie…

Going back to our rooms we found Rickey who was stalking the girls room, he talked about he’s

Life, showed us some passive aggressiveness and was generally fucked by an india\drug over dose. Next day we packed our bags and got a rickshaw to the train station. Got on the train when it already started moving (again…) and I found myself back in delhi…

dharamshala -2 the revenge.

"this time i will do more than smoke and drink mint tea!" that was my promise
to myself prior to coming back for a second visit in dharamshala. and i would repeat it
like a mantra to anyone who'd listen! (no one did...)
For you see... the last time i was here, in this magical home of banished tebetians and the dalai lama (some 4 months before) i spent most of my time i
n a horizontal position inhaling and exhaling...
This time though, is going to be different! i'm going to ggo places! (coffee place - Mcloud gange),
change my way of thinking (nothing good in these parenthesis... made you look...), drink more alcohol (this one worked just as i planned it) and maybe even meet my soul mate... (i was so close... and then i introduced myself...) but most importantly, i WILL do some courses!
first 5 days were spent mainly moving between the movie room and the outside chairs in the israli
restaurant... (lazyness - 1 self fulfillment - 0)
and then... a godsend! a friend from singapore is doing a yoga course! i can join him! teras of joy went down my cheek as i contemplated the happiness of actu
ally doing a course in dharamshala... i knew i can count on his serious attitude to make it happen.
the next day 10 AM i was at the yoga place, wearing my only wide pair of pants, and my sandals
which were just used for 10 days of trekking. as a result my sandals aquired this rather distinctive and disgusting scent... one which i became aware of once i took of my sandals and
realized that they smell, and as a consequence so do my feet... th
is has put my in an awkward position, in which i have to divide my attention between the teachings of master yogi and the need to keep my feet on the ground so the smell doesn't bother the other students while they're
trying to do the "manstrating frog in a lotus" position.
2 hours of closing my eyes to relax and opening them again every 10 seconds to look at other
participants to know what the hell i'm supposed to do (the yogi had a quiet melodic whisper-like
kind off sexy utterly un-understandable voice) it was over.
i said thank you and promised to come back, i never saw him again...
now... you people have no idea how hard it is to wake up at 9 PM after a night of hard drinking
that ends at 3... and to wake up to do yoga... of all things...
maybe some of you have an idea
, but tou wouldn't go to yoga either so get off my back!
In order to save my soul from damnation allah has sent a messanger to me, telling me about
a painting class that was taught in the afternoon. "Finally!" i thought. something i can do
while intoxicated and still feel like i'm being creative or productive or other "-ive"s....

It was a chilly tuesday (or any other day) when i came into Krishna's shop.
(a l
a art teacher and seller of stoned baba paintings extra-ordinaire) he ushered me in and
seated me on the floor next to the canvas, took a brush and painted an outline of a sun, then, he put the brush in my hands and told me to... fill the outline it using the yellow paint.
i thought "ok, this is probably a test, i will have to prove my steady hand with the brush and
then he will get me on my way to creating my first kandinsky" i finished coloring the sun thingie
(just mildly going out of line...). krishna looked at it, took my brush again and added border outlines on the top and bottom and on the saides, and said to me:
"not color these lines with this coloe, don't go out of line". apparantly the sun wasn't enough and
he needed more assurences. so i did as i was told.
and let me tell you! i was like a devil with a coloring book! i filled those outlines like there was no tomorrow! upward strokes, downward strokes, even side strokes! any 5 years old would look
at me with shock and awe! as it were, the swiss girl who was sitting next to me looked at me like
i was a retarded elephant. (and you know the kind of looks they get...)
after 2 hours of relentless (and expert) coloring efforts i was sent back home to let the color dry.
arriving the next day for my coloring class i discovered krishna is not there and was informed
by his neighbour shop keeper that he is a bit sick and should come back any minute.
i sat in the nearbye coffee shop and waited to be called upon. after 15 minutes i tried again and was told by the same neighbour that he was just there and (in order to preserve the culture i guess..) said he'll be back in one hour, of course i can there an hour later to be told by the neghbour yet again that he thinks that my class might be cancelled for today
... (you don't say, sherlock...) so the next day, to get back at krishna i didn't come to the class. (except for the vengence there was the thing of me waking up too late and having a scary
craving for breakfast and some sofa chilling time).
Since i had only 2 days left prior to my scheduled departure to rishikesh i had to complete the painting ASAP. and so the following 2 days i worked for 4 hours every time when on the last day
i kept coloring untill i had 1 hour left to the bus. at this point krishna took away the brush from me and helped me finish painting the palm tree trunks and most of the leaves... (i did 1... he did the other 56...). i ran out of there to pack and we had to catch a taxi to chase down our bus and we cought it midway towards the next town (after the taxi driver nearly killed us and blew his
horn at the bus for 5 minutes).
despite everything i was happy and pleased with myself. ever since i have been carrying this canvas with a painting of palms over a sunset which was colored almost entirely by myslef!

if any of you devoted readers have a sketch you'd like colored proffesionaly, please supply me with the colors, instructions and 10 hours of work, and i swear, I will give you the best coloring money can buy! (prices may vary upon size of canvas, coloring time is a constant.)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

ladies and gents, please welcome : leh and kashmir!!

ahh!!! woooo!! we love you leh and kashmir!
i want to have your baby!!! i'm your biggest fan!!

ok, ok... everyone keep cool. don't get over excited, it's bad for business...
let me tell you all about it and then you can make a calculated wise un-impulssive decision.
i was in manali for 2 days when i made contact with "a" with whom i used to travel and she told
me to get to leh as soon as possible. and so i did...
after 3 days in manali i took the night bus to leh.
there are 2 options for this ride.
A) take the ride straight, 18 hours of driving persuming there are no other cars on the road, no debris or snow falling from the snowy mountains surrounding the road, no harsh weather conditions and perferably the mini bus has no passengers.

B) the the ride with a sleep over in a tent village, bringing the total of on the road time to 30+ hours.
being in a hurry to reach leh, i chose option A.

2 AM. i am driven to a junction and waiting for the mini-van. the mini van arrives, i am seated
next to a french girl who again informs me she get's motion sickness and might throw up on me on the way... (why does this keep happening to me?!?!).
we start going. this ride is considered to be one of the most dangerous in the world (second highest motorable road in the world) but i decided it's not going to stop me! and so every 5 minutes i could see a rock to split my head on, a cliff to break my legs from, a puddle of muddy snow to help our mini van slide towards oblivion...
after wrecking my nerves on different kinds of deaths during about 16 hours of driving we
stopped for "30" minutes in the tent site so the driver could drink chai, powder their noses and freshen up in general.
2 hours later we understood something is not quite right. asking the drivers of our mini van and a few other we realized that they have decided to rebel and spend the night in the camp despite
our agreement... can't say i'm angry, that's probably what kept us alive.
well... again we were given 2 choices:
A) sleep in the tent with blankets and a heating oven.
B) sleep in the van.
the place is about 5000 meters high, so it get's very close to freez
ing temperatures at night.
and I, am an idiot, so i didn't think about that before choosing option B since i'm a cheap idiot as well as just a stupid one... paying 2$ for a mattress just seemed like too much to me when i can
have unlimited space in a van instead.
it all came down to one iraeli idiot (me!) and one italien idiot (what's his name?!) shivering in a van that's getting closer and closer to sub zero temperatures as the night progresses.
having all those empty seats around me didn't help at all and after 5 hours of shivering and 15 minutes of crying like a 13 yrs old pregnant girl dawn finally came and the sun saved me from certain death by hypothermia...
a few hours later we were in leh. it took me 20 minutes to find "A", my contact here, and it took her 20 minutes after i found her to convince me to come to an organize
d trip to kashmir.
i was left with 2 days in leh. i had to do something special so i got on this bycycle trip that goes on
the highest motorable road in the world (kardun la pass). and again... i didn't realize how cold 5000+ meters above sea level could be. so i didn't take any gloves with me. and so 2 minutes
after mounting the bike i was off it blowing hot air on my hands so i don't have to cut them off when i'm finished. (it also seemed like a good idea to retain feeling in the fingers holding the breaks when going down a cliff road surrounded by trucks...). the only way to really save my hands was using the amazing heating power of my testicles, i mean really, it's like magic.
your entire body could be freezing but your balls are just the right temperature!
(next time someone you love gets a cold, like grandma, just take those balls and put them on her
temples, you'll see the cold goes away in seconds, i did it twice, i should know).
sunday morning i find myself confronted with "T" the leader of the organize trip and i see this bunch of people and realize i'll have to spend an isolate week with them and i've never seen them before...
a 22 gypsy impersonator, a 23 yrs old crazy "i miss my boy friend" , 59 yrs old " i'm just as hip as you kids" mother, her 24 yrs old "i don't smoke hash, i'm naturally high" daughter my friend "A" with her "how much do you owe me" motto and our guide and his wife. our guide was the type that would turn any sentance into something dirty and sex related (anal, oral, beastial, sci-fi... anything!) his wife was just trying to cope with him by smoking enough drugs and rolling joint's in a frenzy that would honor any amsterdam coffee shop proffesional.
he took her to a trekking honey moon making her wealk miles upon miles, so no wonder she just
wanted to rest and toke up most of the time...
and so, this company with a few othe individuals who might (but probably won't) be mentioned later on set out to phal gam from leh.
we stopped in a town called cargil on the way. nothing, there's absolutely nothing there except
the feeling of being an infidel. which is no fun, trust me...
we stayed one night and moved on to the picturesque town of phal-gam. a town located a little to the east of srinagar, on the banks of a river, garbage on the streets, guest house hustlers hunting for tourists, a guy offering clean shaves using a butter knife sitting on the pavement with a mirror shard... you get the picture.
our guest house was a little off the main streets and so it looked completely different, located on
the banks of a small river, well attended flora, around the clock tea and water...
anyway, it was good.
we had tons of garas between us and got high periodically. one of the hardest questions i had to face when not climbing a mountain or eating inside a tent was "who should bring munchies?!".
i'm a practical guy... so when i'm hungry, i go and get something to eat, but i was stoned out of
my head most of the time, which encouraged me to find other solutions, like harrasing one of the
non smokers to go and bring us some chips using phrases like "wouldn't any one want something to chew on?" (for which i would immediately get a response from our guide "what? like a penis?
hahahaha...) or like going to sleep hungry and cranky...
after our initial week we were offered to prolong the experience and go on a glacier mountain trek. being an adventurous moron i said yes... and so on our 8th day we set out to the glacier trek. first day we went to sleep next to a river. next deay we were pushed awake by "T" who told us the weather is not so good so we better get going early. now...
it may come as a surprise to you... (it certainly was to me...) but glaciers are essentially huge chunks (like... really huge... 5 miles huge) of ice, and as such they need extremely low tempertures to stay just that... huge chunks of ice. i was wearing my short sleeve t-shirt, and had my rain coat tied to my backpack. after crossing 2 rivers and going up one hill a slow drip starte to descend on us, cooling our bodies and making it easier for us to keep walking.
5 minutes later the drip turned into light rain, making our bodies slip from the mud on the boulders and grass on the hill side. 10 minutes later mother nature came at us with all she had!
it was pouring buckets, we were forced to hide wet to our bones (or was it our bone marrows?)
under a tiny rock with a smiling goat herding kid. (probably warmed up by our suffering...)
we used our "hands on testicles" trick until we felt comfortable enough to keep walking...
we moved on... our local guide "RAMZAN" (probably a result of selective breeding between a volcano and an aircraft carrier) who didn't feel the rain or any of our collective suffering just kept repeating the mantra "yesss it is right over hill, not vorry, come, come..." i started suspecting he's trying to kill us and in a desperate move tried to clap my heels together while
whispering "there's no place like home", obviously nothing happened except for me slipping and
grabbing a ledge of ice just in time before sliding off to the half frozen river some 200 meters down. also getting the last dry part of my t-shirt completely wet and seeing the grim reaper on one of the hill tops smiling at me.
finally we arrived at the glacier... which looked - tam tam tam tam tam - just like any other mountain!!! only more slippery... the visibility was shit, we got there and guess what, once we were half way back the weather and visibility actually started to get better. kashmir screwed me over again... we got back, ate the rest of out lunch potatoes and went back to our guest house.
two days later we were on our way to dharamshala.

2 posts in one day!!! yeah!!! try and stop me now fuckers!! (i'm kidding, your not all fuckers, and... mom, dad, if your reading this... your definitely not fuckers, ok? sorry for the language)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

ah... manali.

Getting out of delhi i took the "volvo" bus.
If busses in india were arranged by some hierarchic system the volvo bus would
be right up there! maybe second only to a helicopter and sometimes would
probably be higher than the helicopter under some circumstances.
The volvo is often referred to as "the king of buses" the "archbishop of road transportation"
and lately also the "Megatron of tourist mobilization".
in reality, once you get on one of these revered vehicles you realize
it's just another bus, although slightly bigger. still the same pushback seats... still the same scorns
of indians boarding it on set locations to try and sell you potato chips. still impossible to sleep on.
(in fact, sleeping in any kind of vehicle in india will prove impossible when your driver takes
u-turns around mountains at 80 Km/h).
whenever you mount one of the night traveling buses here, you are essentially given 2 choices:

1. the driver is listening to up-beat indian music at 175 decibels (5 decibels beneath "death of hearing tissue" loudness) and you live to tell the story of the ride.

2.no music, driver falls asleep. you die along with 40 other passengers and you get to tell
the story to your great great grandmother in a cocktail party in the afterlife. (adding juicy details to make her proud...)

in case your ipod (other player brands encouraged) is just out of battery, by the end of the ride the 2 options are so close to each other you can hardly choose which one is better.

well... luckily for me my seat neghbour was an israeli-arab acctress and we had enough to talk about to get my mind of the music (that's one of the things i can say in favour of the conflict, if i find an arab girl to mary there will never be any awkward silences...).
when we weren't debating border locations she felt sick and the for some reason the indian
lady throwing up 2 seats ahead of us didn't make it any better. she pleaded me to ask the driver to stop so she could clean her stomach, afraid for the well being of myself and especially my clothes i got up and crawled up to the driver seat while the bus is swaying like a frigate during a tsunami.
reaching the bus driver cabin just in time to see the mountain side coming right at us and the driver turning non chaulantly to the left only slightly scraping the side of the allready very scratched bus... (don't worry. it's perfectly safe, statistically you have more chance of being run over crossing the street than falling off a cliff with a bus, chances of being run over though are just around 57%...)
i appeoached the driver and tried to explain the situation of my sick neighbour:
me: could you stop for a minute please?
driver: what?
me: stop for 1 minute please!
driver: why?
me: err... my friend is feeling very sick and other people are throwing up and i'm afraid if
we don't stop soon someone will either suffocate on his own vomit or go on a killing spree in the bus.
driver: friend not feeling good? use bag. - hands me a plastic bag the size of my fist -
me: err... what about the suffocating people and the killing spree?!
driver: - hands me another bag - here, take 2.
me: and i need to go pee pee. (i use my superior mimeing skills to show him what pissing is...)
driver: oh... ok, stop in 5 minutes.

i go back to my seat, defeated and knowing that the son of a bitch is lying and he's 5 minutes will probably be at least 30...
2 hours pass and we finally stop. my neghbour "R" is already changing betwean shades of red and green getting ready to fill my clothes and hair with vomit (since the tiny bags are definitely not going to help...) BUT! once we stop, she goes of the bus running, and when i get out 30 seconds later she's fine. like nothing happened! nothing! she just smiles at me, happy as a hippo! i find that amazing... women having the ability to just forget whatever they felt just 2 minutes ago. it's like they have no long term memmory of physical suffering, i'll have to research this phenomenon when i start my Ph.d in sexual applied sciences or something...

the bus stopped in buntar which was my original destination. i was sleeping... got pushed awake by some israeli girl whom i met on the previously mentioned stop only to tell her to bugger
off and go back to sleep untill manali.
arriving to manali i was hoping to find a room me and the israeli arab girl could share. for reasons i would not like to share with you narrow minded people...
we visited about 11 guest houses, some were full, some were too expensive, eventually we split up and i found a room with a great view and only a mild history of robberies. (they happen a lot in manali, so if your room get's robbed, remember, i told you so...)
manali is pretty conviniently divided into 2 parts. new manali and old manali. new manali is controlled by the local indians while old manali is pretty much over flowing with israeli tourists and you can even find some other nationalities if you look hard enough.
not wanting to break that gentle balance i stayed in old manali and after buying a small amount of some very good garas shaped like a pita bread i went down to the ATM and made the "decision" to wait in line for 50 minutes to take out some cash.
the reason for this extended waiting period is because a lot of indians have an apparant problem with "lines" (the kind you stand in)...
they just don't get the hang of it. or maybe it's the west that has a distorted view of how a line
should act... basing my knowledge on the geometric definition i'm pretty sure we got it right though. anyway... i'm standing in a line with 5 foreigners in front of me. i have 4 minutes to wait. when all of a sudden another line forms next to our line. this line however consists of only indians... i look bewildered at the new line, then at the door hoping to see a seperation for foreginers and locals like in the taj mahal, but there's nothing.
they just decided that they don't like our line and think they can make a better one... and it works... they keep pushing through the door going before the first man in our line and so we keep waiting there... after 45 minutes i've had enough and learning from my indian friends
i push my way towards the door. and... no one seems upset. they seemed more confused when we were just standing there waiting patiantly... (see? i just wrote a small culture piece!! hurray!)
i'll go on with one more culture shock i had and then we'll leave this town...
setting: it's the beggining of july in manali, its cold, the rain hasn't stopped for 6 hours.
mud is on the road riksha driver are hiding in their rikshas with the curtains pulled...
even homeless people are not sleeping in the street.
a river is flowing on the way from old manali to new manali.
a rope is stretched between the banks. on the rope, a man is hanging in a saddle of sorts.
aanother indian guy is swinging the rope up-down. the man in the saddle get's he's ass and legs
wet in the freezing river in the freezing cold and screaming with happiness...
my point: these people are completely crazy, who would think of an attraction like that in the fucking winter!!! crazy people! that's who...
on my way back from downtown manali my auto-rickshaw got a flat tire. i was moved out of the rickshaw and used as a human jack, holding the thing tilted while the driver changed the tire using a hammer. a hammer is your all around tool in india. it's the only one they have and it somehow eveolved to the point you can actually fix anything with it. i've seen a guy change a lightbulb using a hammer... honest...

dearly beloved, finally another post is published. next one is leh and kashmir. i hope. also i hope it will appear here today... love. ben.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

delhi stories Pt.2 The mighty TAJ!!!! (tam tam tam ! ! !)

"OH! your going to india?! you simply must see the Taj Mahal! it's a fuckin' wonder!"
that's what every idiot on the planet who's ever heared of
a country called india can tell you..
"it's amazing, and enlightening and blaaaaaa!"
the only real wonder is that this over-sized building can somehow convince people to come
and see it in any kind of weather. obviously i'm one of those idiots... and this is my story...
I remember it like it was yesterday... the date was, err... something like the beginning of june...
i think...
what i'm sure of is that i was sitting in my A/C room with 2 ceiling fans spinning on top of me
watching yet another so so funny episode of sex and the city... err... i mean robocop 3... yeah.
i was watching the manly movie of robocop 3 lying down in my underpants and was only mildly sweating thanks to the abundance of cooling devices in my room.
after all the killing of criminals on the TV stopped i went out of the room to the slightly warmer
computer area (only 2 ceiling fans with no A/C... cheap assholes...) and through the magic of
facebook messaging found out "C" is coming to delhi for a few shopping days before flying back home.i met them later that day and they informed me of their plan to visit the very place this post is trying to warn you about. they lured me in by assuring me everything is taken care of and
all i needed to do was say "i do" and i'm done. (being stuck in delhi for over a week now i had very little to lose) disregarding all my friend's warnings i said "i DO" and 2 days later i was forced
out of bed by a call from the reception at 6:30 AM. (i should have seen dawn as a bad omen
and quit the expedition at that moment... but nooooo....)
they got me inside a car with a driver\guide\random person and got on our way through
foggy delhi towards boiling agra. 3 hours after we set out the driver takes us off road to a
tourist trap disguised as a small temple\castle. we walk inside and take a seat, all around us are
"best quality" over sized wooden elephants... (you simply must have the best quality elephant, even if it does cost 150$ more than a similar one in the main bazaar (cost: 10$), but if you buy one there... what will your friends think?!)
now the plan of these establishments is to pay a handsome commision for your driver if he makes you stay and eat there, luckily for us our driver saw that we know how this works and
after we pleaded him for a few minutes to take us elsewhere he yielded and saved us from the 8$
cheese sandwitch (2 slices of bread, one slice of heap cheese) and took us 300 meters on to a dhaba who tried to rip us off by placing bottles on the table when we arrived but the prices were
reasnobale so we decided not to kill him just yet... (i forgive you old dhaba guy... i forgive you)
we got back in the car and continued our journey. the driver decided to be nice to us and to his
desired extra tip by pointing out monuments in the area with an accent we did not understand
("so this is a palace for who?!", "this be rhddadfg for 200 dsfkjh and that one...") but we smiled
and kept asking questions as expected from us tourists.
we reached the main gates, our driver looked around, decided it's too dangerous for him and drove 100 meters further to a safe haven in the form of a restaurant.
while pushing us out he mentioned a few more words of advice of which what i could understand was "say no to anything your offered" and "don't take your clothes off when they tell you".
we walked back to the main gate and 5 meters from the entrance were attacked by a blur of Indians.
first offering to take us by rickshaw instead of the 3 minutes walk and then offering us water
when they can see us with full bottles and then offering nothing but still asking for money in return.
oh yeah... forgot to mention... the heat... it's un-fucking-bearable!!!! i was sweating the second we got out of the climate controlled car. i was sweating from areas i had no idea had sweat glends and i was soaking wet a minute before we entered the main gate.
soaked tourists always look like easy targets. it means they're suffering and being children
of capitalism we are trained to consume to feel better. so i bought another bottle of water...
25 minutes and 750 rupees later i found myself in one of the longest lines i've seen in my life but also the most un-organized one. my female friends passed through the ladies line (4 women) and
the people in the men line (248 men) let me go in front of most of them (probably hoping to help me have sex with all 3 of them, man solidarity has been put to a test and won!)
Now i have just 6 people ahead of and i could actually see the light glowing through the metal detector. but then! out of the blue and grey and offf-white! comes an indian whale! looking very much like the fat guy in some movie you've seen. and sweating like that same guy on a tredmill.
unlike a fat guy on a tredmill this was a fat guy in line just behing me and he was hoping to get me killed by making me smell his armpits which were convinientlyplaced on top of my head.
after my shirt was soked with his sweat in an equal amount to my own i finally passed through
the metal detector and met with my friends who were hiding in the shade of a dog and a small
child with a toy umbrella.
the marble floor is said to reflect the rays of the sun beautifully.
that happens only between 5-6 AM, we on the other hand were there around 2 PM.
at this time the only thing reflected by the marble floor (or the parts you can see between the scorns of indians...) is UV radiation.
seeing all this people and knowing how you feel makes you go "WOW!!! what the fuck is wrong with them?! what the fuck is wrong with me?! and then... you finaly walk through the arc and see the taj, and now what you'll probably be saying is "err... is that it?!"
unlike the fantasy i had in my head there were no drums, no red ribbons flying my way,
no great spiriual enlightment... no nothing, just a lot of hindu mumbling all around me and a very
distinct smell of sweat. along with our ticket we were handed 2 extras (having paid 75 times more than locals) a 200 ml water bottle and shoe covers. i though they should be used
to protect your feet from the puddles of sweat but appearantly it was another clever way
to go against religion and towards tourists.

shoe covers - a thin paper like cloth with an elastic band, placed on shoes to confuse god and
make him think your barefoot while wearing your favorite sandals underneath.

the reason shoe covers were invented is because your supposed to enter the Taj barefoot.
as you know, the entire building and it's marble surroundings are heat traps and will burn
any foot unlucky enough to be western or just not hard working in the farming sense.
so we got those on, took 20 minutes around this nightmare and moved out. on our way back
we could see entire families trying to get shoe covers out of the garbage bins since the entry
fee for locals (10 rupees) does not include them and why buy them when you can get them for free?!
getting out of the place i still felt it was too hot and bought a small globe of the Taj with small
white stuff covering it. i was offered to buy it for 10 USD and got it for 5 rupees after the kid
ran next to our rickshaw for around 5 minutes which was pushed from the back instead of
being sat on and driven like you would expect...
that's enough of this story, i'm tired and it's not going anywhere.
oh, and on the way back we had a mouse in the taxi, the driver assured us it was ok, but
it didn't seem to convince the 3 ladies in the car who refused to put their feet down during the
following 5 hours drive and kept screaming everytime they saw a wire or a piece of paper moving around in the car.
send me an e-mail, i'll send you all the high quality pictures of the taj mahal i have. i'll even
pay to have your photo stitched to it in photoshop by someone. just do yourself a favour and don't go there.

love. peace, coolness.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

a visit to a mosque, anarmed!!! (ta da...)

delhi story #1
the red mosque, the great the mosque, the mosque with no end... it has been called all those and more.
and that is why, yours truly (me! me!) has decided to do you all a favour and take a look
at all these claims of grandeur and splendor. well...

it was more this czech guy's fault... he turned up one morning when i was drinking my
morning coffee and pretending to read the morning paper. this guy just got up from his seat
two tables from me came to my table and said " hai can i sit with you?"
naturally i said "no you fucking idiot! i don't want any company!" he backed away in disgust and alarm and it took me another 20 seconds to see he doesn't understand cynicism and say something like "relax mate, just kidding, ha ha, ha ha". at this point everyone were looking at me in disbelief
and i had to clean his chair and make room for him.
naah... i'm kidding. he's a nice guy, i told him he can sit right away...
he told me about some czech liquer and offered to bring it for a taste. i said yes and so we
parted to our rooms for a few minutes.
five minutes later i came back to see my new czech friend involved in a conversation and number exchanging with a bald old indian with a laptop. i came closer to discover that he was actually getting direction to the great mosque in which he can get raped... naah... kidding... just a mosque. no rape in the working hours i'm sure...
(Mr. angry Muslim; I would say the same thing about a synagoge if i had a chance, so no reason to kill me yet. thank you for your kindness)
anyway a short while later we went to the metro to do my first Delhi touristy thing.
the metro was amazing, just like modern ones, but with a constant announcement to beware of pickpockets and the constant feeling of claustrophobia surrounded by a wall of Indians who
for some reason just like pushing each other for some reason and for another one (probably the same) refuse to use deodorant or shower before attending public areas.
it's not everyone. just everyone i had a chance to stand next to in the subway...
we finally get to the mosque area. a guy with a bycycle riksha comes up to us and offers
his services for 60 rupees. but ha ha! we were warned by the bald indian to not pay more than
20! and so we say "10" he says "20" and we get on... organized chaos is all around us.
we reach the mosque. 2 guards are standing there, neither one is even looking at the direction
of the gate. i guess they either don't care or maybe fanatic christians are not found in abundance here...
we go to the main gate. a welcoming sign informs us that in case we are interested in taking photos inside (well... we did just travel in the boiling heat for an hour and were covered in some
random indian's sweat.. so yeah... we would like some memory of this place) we would have to pay 200 Rupees. we pay for one camera (but i had another one! ha ha! take that radical islam!)
and take off our shoes. before we go inside a guy asks us to pay another 100 rupees to make sure
our shoes don't magically disappear while we are inside. and finally we get in, escorted by an old
guy with a limp who obviously doesn't speak any language since he explained stuff by pointing
and mumbling (rgagr rgahgsg rgahg! eh... aefar far faerasd) and that's how we came to know
about 5 prayers a day for mouslims and the best areas to take a photo at (the guy would
go to a corner, make a square sign with his hands and show us the right angle for the photo, so
helpful these people...) after we took a walk around he tried to get us outside but we asked
to see the tower (oh... don't get me started about that one...) when he showed us the tower he
decided he's shown us enough and asked for some money for his services. he did a 2 sign with
his fingers. obviously we thought he meant 20 but noooo.... he's one of those greedy old mumblers... he asked for 200 and made sure it's from each of us. we gave him 100 for both (the whole fucking tour took about 5 minutes! he wanted 8$ for mumbling at me! to be honest... if
he would mumble at me. i mean, if i could feel genuine concern from his side and the tour would take around 10 hrs... sure, i'd give him the money... or anyone else who'd like to mumble at me
for that amount of time.)
ok... enough about that... we climber the damn tower (another 100 RPS a head) took some damn photos, mine were illegal with my damn camera being un-paid for... and got out of there.
not before some nicely dressed Muslims mumbled at us some more and took our picture.
we got out of the mosque and met this riksha puller who's around 70 and i was so impressed by his english i just had to go with him. (he could mumble at me for 5 hours and i'd give him 400
rupees, easy... i mean this guy was older than my dad and he pulled us for 15 minutes through
traffic on a bicycle!!! he must be getting so many women... damn!)
we got out of there and went to counaght place. to see the magic garden in the center.
now this public garden which is about 10 sqr kilometers. so we had to go all around it to find
the thing. then the guard tells us we cannot come in with a camera!!!! i mean... what the fuck?!
it's a park in the middle of delhi but your not allowed to take pictures?! i offered my czech friend
to the female guard as a sex slave and she accepted so we were able to get my camera inside.
when we got there the only reason i found to prevent cameras (although phone cameras are allowed, again, what the fuck?!?!) is because theso called "biggest fountain in india"which is supposed to be in the center of this huge park is not working. so they are probably trying to hide incompetence or something similar... anyway i took a picture inside!! I AM soo bad! i think
i'll try stealing something next. maybe i'm missing out on a career...
that's all folks. next one is about agra. which is probably where god sends people to burn when
hell is over booked...

Monday, July 13, 2009

the story of a luggage and the way to delhi.

this one is more informative than good. so it's up to you to decide when it's
too much for you and you can skip to older or later posts.

The way to delhi was amptwith surprises. the first one being my one night stay (not stand... sorry)
in istanbul.
our flight from israel was delayed and a very helpful (although kind of scary) girl kept telling us that the connection flight in istanbul will wait for us.
i decided this is a good time to get drunk and headed for the dan lobby to fuel up on beers.
after several visits to the lounge and one visit to the local gas chambers (they call it "smoking room" there...) i pissed twice and got up on the plane.
2 times wasn't enough and i had a strong urge to piss during the two hours which i didn't please since a turkish mother and daughter were sitting next to me and i didn't want to bother them
(that's what being nice and stupid will do to you... learn from my mistakes!)
just when i was about to burst we landed.
got off the plane and found out none of the connection flights didn't wait for us and so a group of 30 hot headed israeli's stormed the help desk which for some reason thought everything will go
smoothly after everything went wrong...
2 choices were presented by the shocked-crying-nervous breaking down staff of turkish airlines.
1. aquire a foreign passport and fly through dubai.
2. stay the night in a hotel paid by the company and fly on the same flight the next day.

since i was in no hurry (and i don't have a foregin passport...) i chose option 2.
i couldn't tell you much about turkey... lot's of people, all the women look angry and everything
on the radio sounds like war propoganda... (don't worry, they're not going to brainwash me, it's safe)
now if i had to guess i would say that at this point mu luggage was hiding from airport security and assembling it's weapons in the basement area of the airport...
i also met a couple of israeli guys, one of them was a tv producer which was accidently gay as well, and when we talked about traveling and sex he was utterly shocked that we straight people
actually have to do anything more than smile and wink to have sex in israel and for that reason
he thought it should be even easier abroad. (like just thinking about someone and sex will
immedialtely bring her to you and give you a night of never ending pleasures...)
well then... NO! it's not even fucking close to what we have to undergo to get that thing you call
intercourse... obviously for some of us it's easier than others... much easier (B' i hope your reading this for a change) but for most of us normal and moderately shy people it's the equivalent of studying a semester in physics studies...
the next day i got back to the airport.
while i was going through security checks my luggage was outside the government building plotting to kidnap the prime minister's son.
i wen't through all the security exams and passed with blazing colors. asked again regarding my luggage and was once again re-assured it's coming with me wherever i go. we entered another lounge, this time because the israeli's had their way with one of the clerks demanding compensation and once again i got to get drunk before the flight for free. this time i pissed for 3 times before boarding to make sure.
on the flight i was seated next to an 18 yrs old very rich indian (who might as well have been 30 by the way he looked) who tried to ask me questions and tell me things which i did not understand. but i filled everything i missed using my superb imagination and so i know that
he is a transvestite who came to india to become rich by putting up a show with sex and horses and his real dream is to dance in the russian national ballet group.
back to my luggage for a second... it has kidnapped it's target and was now driving towards a safe
house it prepared with some of it's luggage friends. they were just going through their list of demands when i was touching down in delhi.
i arrived and went to the luggage belt to wait for my best traqveling companion. (i call him deuter... cute isn't it?) after everyone from my plane got their companion and left i went to ask the in-charge guy what happened to mine. after filling out some forms i was released only to be called back 3 minutes later during my "this flight is finally over" cigarette by the same guy who said they found my luggage. i came back with him and he is pointing and a light blue with white dots trolly saying "this is yours sir!, your luggage!" (he's not asking... he's telling me it's mine!!!) now...
this got me a bit confused since only ten minutes ago we went over my name and luggage description... and what he showed my couldn't be further from what we just talked about.
i should have accepted it as a bad omen for what's to come but as always i'm too innocent to understand.
went out again and found a hotel in the main bazaar. delhi experiences will be written in coming posts, this one is dedicated to the luggage.
by the way... at this point my luggage was at a shoot out with police forces after their hideout has been discovered. several of my clothes were hurt but it was still usable.
after a few days of "the luggage is coming tomorrow don't worry sir" the 4th day was marked with "sir, your baggage is lost" with an indian accent which only made it more annoying.
at this point everytime i called them they got me furious at "hello".
my luggage on the other hand was very calm in her prison cell in turkey. the last thing i got from
it was an e-mail saying "prison, sorry, goodbye"
so i know it is lost but they refuse to pay me any compensation... i kept at it untill i sent them an angry e-mail threatning with a law suit and telling them they have caused me great grief... (it's always good to be in great grief when you want to sue somebody)
and demanding my "delayed luggage" compensation. their regular response up to this point was
"sir, your luggage is lost so we cannot give you delayed compensation". i always though that if something is delayed and then lost doesn't change the fact it was delayed. so i made a point of claiming that money.
eventually i got a call from the manager who said he's sorry and told me to collect the money the next day. i was happy i made progress and went outside to celebrate by buying a new mp3 player. on the way to the ATM i was stopped by some producer who aid she needs extras for some commercial or something for the next day. that's nother story but for this reason i did not get to collect the money once again. 2 days later i went to the office only tofind out it's closed (closed!!!!) after i've been told it's open by yet another turkish airline employee.
i decided to send everything to hell and went on the bus to manali. more stories of delhi will be published shortly. much more interesting than this one, i promise...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

the holy land and the unholy deeds.

after 10 months abroad i have finally returned to the mother land! no... not russia... israel!!
when i arrived to the apartment at first dressed in my blue suit trying to make somethnig different
of the environment i left back home i was immediately pushed back into reality by E "what are you wearing? what are you a faggot?!" (no offence intended toward faggots) . i wanted to say "no i'm not a fucking faggot", but instead; took off the jacket and sat down to smoke some of the local stuff i missed so much... (i know i'm weak, but it's hydroponics... you try saying your not a fagot to give that up... don't judge me!!!)
and then everything came back to normal, staring at my big screen tv, stoned and drunk and happy.
now back to moderately priced alcohol and the biggest (per tel aviv)
amount of beautiful women to walk the earth.
now that, in my opinion, is the only reason jews or israelis are the chosen people/country
(honestly, i don't think anyone thought we really were chosen until bikinis were invented...)
some of god's angels must have come to tel aviv in the summer and stayed at the beach for a few hours.
(angel A: "Oh maan! would you look at that?! should we kill her and take her with us?"
angel B: "naaah man... she's still a virgin, wouldn't want those terrorists getting her right? let's just wait for a while...")
this is un-fucking believable! especially after coming back from India. just walking around in the streets and smiling like an idiot. that probably took most of my 2 weeks there. i love this city!
I got there because some friends and family members forgot how much they hate me and decided they want to be reminded about it, so they bought me a round trip ticket to israel and back to india just to make sure. (haha! what done is done! stupid...)
as loyal readers already know i never say no to free stuff, let alone a free flight. so there i was. with my new suit at the arrivals terminal in israel... hugging and kissing anyone unlucky enough to come in my way.
after the formalities i was lovingly kidnapped by my parents to the wasteland which some people call a social desert and others (city council...) call a social settlement.
i spent a night in family solitude and moved on to greater and much more socially pleasing areas. e.g tel aviv.
the beating heart of Israel and the middle east (at least...). Moving back to my old apartment i realized that life is different when you are un-employed and most of your friends are busy students or working cooperative bees...( you know who you are! you slaves of Americanization you!!!)
Obviously that didn't stop me from getting drunk daily and enjoying the free city life
i so much needed and deserved.
the beaches as i mentioned earlier were just one of the many reasons to come back from a vacation to a different vacation several thousand miles away.
my 2 games of matkot during the 2 weeks reminded me how come i stayed in shape in israel. and that really is all that kept me from being the skin and bone i am today. (don't look at me! i'm almost hideous!!!)
i've visited most of the holy places in israel during my stay obviously... (me being a very religious person)
i've been to la champa bar to attend the ceremony of cava drinking and getting too drunk at least 3 times.
been to the holy city of jerusalem to visit holy love and drinking shrines...
and who could possibly forget my visit to the not so holy but good food and free vodka shots shrine headed by T.
T is an old acquaintance of mine from a time of hard work and desperate struggle for money (convincing people to buy things they don't need is never easy...) so we met with a few friends in the bar she works at.
one shot of vodka led to another to a total of 13. 2 beers accompanied those 13 and one benny became kind of intoxicated. we moved out of there swaying from side to side back to T's apartment for a puff. we made it
with the help of a friendly taxi driver and sat down for a smoke. Z at that point (we have me... T,O and Z) was laying down on the sofa, giggled for 40 seconds and puked for 3 minutes.
she was taken to the shower, puked for another 10 minutes giggling senselessly while me and O were busy
making sure were high enough to stay drunk enough.
Z was then taken to the bed, puked there for 5 more times and moved back to the shower. (she's also available for house and room puke painting, contact me in person for additional info)
at this point i looked at O trying to listen to what he says and all of a sudden the whole room moved a little to the right. i held my head and shaked it, everything was aligned again. 2 minutes pass and the same thing happens.
T walks out of the shower, i smile at her, i get up and walk to the toilet. i look down, i let go of my insides and spill them all over the toilet. and now to the word of advice: try to stay as close to the bowl as possible when that happens. i puked once and it took me 5 seconds. it took me another 10 minutes to clean the walls of the toilet which were filled with particles of green beans and stuff... i stumbled back home afterwards and a few days later re-visited the cava shrine for my goodbye party. getting inside my costume suit again i was kept in a drunken state for a few hours couldn't really tell you too much about that party except it was touching but only in a mental way. (again with the sexual connotations... I'm horrible...)
the next and last day we went out to another place and this time B has decided he's keeping me up untill dawn. so we were walking aimlessly around tel aviv sometimes drinking sometimes eating until we got to a place that simply refused to notice we are there and made me thank god for it and convinced me it's time to sleep.
the next day i took a train to the airport and from here a new traveling and luggage saga begins. stay tuned
and keep your browsers on target!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

delhi, the place where suits and dreams come true...

out of kasol and back to delhi.
where it all began just a couple of months ago.
arriving at the main bazaar is kind of like arriving to the inside of an oven with 5 different people trying to sell you something every 5 cm or so... lucky for me that after a month and a half in india i already got some of the repelling products like the divia tank top and the cheap handmade bracelet...
once you have those they know your not new there and the harassing gets cut down in about 95%.
but people are still prone to make mistakes. especially when your like me and you have
the curiosity of a crow and the shopping enthusiasm of a 30 yrs old single career woman...
(which means it's high... do i have to explain everything to you people?!)
one of my mistakes was that a guy came up to me with a sun glasses case and told me it's
a ray-ban. i wanted to see, i tried it on. i said i don't like it so he started to bargain.
1200 rupees!
no... don't need.
1050 rupees!
i don't want it... i think it's ugly...
i just don't like it... can you leave me alone?!
300 rupees! that's it...
(at this point i decided that the only way to get rid of him is to make sure he loses more of the deal than i do...)
ARGHH!!! ok, for 50 i'll take it.
no no... look at quality, Rei Bun original! 150...
150...? only 150...
Get away from me! let go of my arm!! WTF is wrong with you?! i don't like the shades!!!

at this point he let me go and even that happened only because he spotted another tourist
looking around aimlessly...
so now that you know all of this it would be pretty easy to understand how i ended up dragging
B around clothes stores to find a suit. everyone's looking for the highway to success these days, and i decided that whatever it is i plan to succeed in i'll be wearing a suit, so why not cut the middle hard work part and skip forward to the suit part?! genious! i thought that with a suit i might even get laid... (that one didn't work as i planned, appearantly "hey, let's do something with me, you and that clitoris" is just as un-effective with a suit as it is without one...)
During our almost a week stay in india we were able to pass all the clothing shops in the branded area of delhi the "caunaght place" and drive most of the sales people frustratingly mad.
since our shopping hours were somewhat different than those of the "working people" a lot of the times the ratio between us and the sales people was 8:1 against...
imagine entering a shop with about 20 zombies... err... sales people and their all desperate for brains! err... sorry... customers... so we get in and immidiately they start stumbling on each other to reach you and show you something and hide behind doors to shout at each other...
they're persuasive skills were good. but they didn't hold against our special "we have no money"
Eventually we found a shop with only one salesman, wasted about 2 hours choosing inside and got out of there with a suit, a song in our hearts and no holes in our wallets.
i'm really trying to keep this one short so i'll finish wih an anecdote...
i'm sitting in front of a computer in one of the hostels in the area.
a woman walks in, asks if she can use a computer and when prompted for her hotel and room
number she gives my hotel and my room number...
i look back, and tell her "eh, that's my room! surprised i never noticed you there".
she gives me an angry look and spits out "i don't remember the exact number! it's on the second floor" and she sits down on the PC next to me.
so i'm a nice guy and i start a conversation...
"it's funny i havent noticed you there, we've been staying there for 4 days now".
she says " really? me too, almost a week"
me says "were leaving soon though, my friends bougt me a ticket back to my country, where are you from?"
she goes "switzerland, your from?"
and me... i'm not thinking, i just go "israel"
and then she explodes! "it is you singing in hebrew in morning?! you suck! all israelis are fuck!!"
you can probably guess from knowing me and how good natured i am that i'm just surprised and shocked... but she doesn't care... she goes on...
"you don't care about anything!" (i was singing in the shower at 12:30 PM which i think is ratehr reasonable but hey...)
i try to reason with her "well you can always knock on my door, i'll stop, i have no ambitions to be more annoying than i allready am..."
she just gets up, throws a "fuck you!!!" at me, throws a 10 rupee note at the indian guy in charge and storms out.
turnong around from the other side of the glass mouthing "FUCK YOU!" at me again...
i greet her back with a fuck you and a finger through the window hoping we'll meet again for tea in the afternoon...

and then i'm off to israel...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

a bit late, but this is the kasol story...

dear blog, it's time to wake up...
so... we were leaving bagsu and going for kasol.
what we found out from refugees who visited and ran away after a period of hours to days back to the loving bosom of bhagsu is that "arsim" could be found there (arsim - a kind of low intelligence goblin with the ability to speak hebrew and use hair gel, bred in urban reserves around israel).
so without much to go on but driven by our desire to see at least one more place before my 5 months in india are over (to the point of leaving B' on his death bed, or so we though
t) we packed our bags and headed towards the un-known.
D was so stressed out by the possibility of arsim that once we arrived to kasol she immidiately began running in a frenzy screaming "we have to get out of here, let's find a taxi, no! let's start walking!! we have to ruuuun!! they'll catch us and make us go to habad house to pray to god!
needless to say we simply threw some encouraging words and a few mint tea glasses at her to calm her down. after D has been pacified and tied to a joint we decided to find a place to stay.
after a few days of looking for a place we finally found it:
nirvana, The Taji house, huge room, shower, lawns, serene river flowing under m
y window, mountains on the horizon, 3 friends with diarrhea (2nd most common cause of death in infants!)

it was a clever scheme probably designed in some dark basement in one of old kasol's buildings.
they know nobody wants to stay there because of the arsim. so once a group arrives they choose
one or several people to poison with food and that keeps the tourists inside the area.
ingenious isn't it? well, it worked on us. 3 of my friends got hit with the free flow disease...
and so we stayed at the taji day after day while i'm watching my friends waste away one liter
of shit after another (pardon my french...)
After a few un-eventful (outside the cabin's toilet) but beautiful days in kasol we finally decide to go up to the villages. but not before B decided to have a verbal conflict with a waiter in
one of the restaurants...
B: can i get orange juice?
waiter: papaya juice is very good.
B: ok, can i get orange juice
waiter: papaya mango even better than papaya.
B: ... (confused look) err... can i get orange juice?
waiter: no mango or papaya?
B: orange juice?
waiter: papaya orange?
B: orange juice!
waiter: ...waves hand in dismissal.
B: orange juice?
waiter: shows an angry face, and goes away.
so basically the customer is always right untill the waiter is right and then the customer is just
definitely wrong and has no idea what the fuck he's talking about
as long as we're on the subject of things that happen all the time in india... one more thing that tends to happen to a lot of people is that they tend to get obsessed with something indian and feel like it's something they have to do because that is what actually defines they're connection to the country.
For most people it's drugs. for some people, the privileged few it's something else.
"A" for example has turned into a kind of a mislead peanuts eating rodent. every place we arrived to he spent the first 30 minutes looking for "masala" peanuts. and on top of that he starts taking it personally. a place that doesn't have masala peanuts will have a taste of his jewish wrath.

"what do you mean you don't have any?!"
"don't have... only regular peanuts"
"you mean you don't have any now and you will later or you mean you never had any and your waisting my time?!?!"
"sir, you come my shop..."
"what has that got to do with anything?!?!, find me some MASALA PEANUTS!!!!"
at this point we usually have to grab a hold of him before he turns green and huge and sarts throwing tanks and other machinery at random indians...
anyway... we moved on to the villages. Tosh was first.
there were about 15 of us so we decided to order two jeeps. after about 10 minutes a jeep arrives. 2 minutes more and a car arrives (suzuki maruti). something about the size of a mini cooper with the prestige of an auto-riksha.
when inquering the guy in charge where are the 2 jeeps we were promised he points out at the jeep and says "here, jeep. and over there small jeep". first we tried to explain that the small jeep is actually a "car" and even if it was a small jeep it's still not big enough to carry everyone. after going outside and walking around the mini car for about 5 minutes we finally got him convinced that the only thing getting into the small jeep car is a dog, a handbag and if we try really hard we might squeeze in a midget as well...
another real jeep was ordered and got there after 20 minutes.
we started stuffing the insides of the jeep with people and the top with bags. i got the honors
(or so i thought) of sitting up front with our driver. 2 minutes after we started our journey i noticed that although there was about 30 cm between my leg and the shift for some strange reason his hand kept sliding over my leg for no reason. and all the while humming weird shit in
hindu. the rest of the passengers disregarded my pleas for help ("he's touching me!! why is he doing this?!") just kept cracking up and encouraging the driver (gotta love my friends eh?).
i tried to move as far as possible towards the door but it wasn't enough, he started using the
"can anyone give me a ciggarette" trick and the known follow up of "can you light this please" asking me to light it myself and pass it to him. probably a sick way of getting a taste of my young boyish sexy lips...
apart from that incident the whole jeep ride was accompanied by scared looks of the driver outside with remarks like "look, bags sit good?" and while he kept repeating that never once did he even consider slowing down or offering us to make sure it's tied... ah well... eventually we did get to tosh. i ran out of the car and did my best to prevent all eye contact with my assailant. (which was licking his lips suspiciously, i've been told)
Tosh is beautiful, surrounded by waterfalls and an abundance of river paths. playful children and happy (alas very bored) grown indians.
after "A" had his way with one of the kiosk operators, we met some indian guy travelling before
he goes studying electronic music production in the UK. (he belongs to the "industrial" cast that decided to move on to the "D.J having sex with models" cast).
A short while of taking showers with buckets and freezing to death from lack of blankets we have decided it's time for another village and together a group of 20 of us decided to carry on.
And so again a group of 20 people with bongs chilums and guitars are walking the wilderness. (not exactly what colombus had in mind when he decided to start exploring, but he got his continents mixed up so i guess he doesn't know shit anyway)
an hour or so of walking later we arrive at kallga. not as pretty as tosh. not as welcoming. not as anything really... but i did get a couple experiences nailed there.
first and foremost it was my first real stomach ache and diahreah lesson! hurray for me!
i'll let you in on the details because i know you like that...
i've had a few days in which i had no apetite and arriving in kallga for some reason we decided to stay in the cheapest place we could find. an example would be a toilet which lets out the shit water right next to you when you flush, getting the bottom part of your pants literally "shit wet".
so i go to sleep, wake up, go to the woods with a book. look at a tree, puke at a tree. go to the toilet, and that kinda finished my day.... i've read about 140 pages in that toilet session. (and i'm not a quick reader, i can preomise you that).
i have moved on or should i say moved back to eating plain rice and plain toast for the following 5 days. which would be great if i was in 16th century china but sucked ass in 21st century india surrounded by munched people stuffing their faces with all sorts of chickens and spices while i am forced to eat 2 Kg of rice and 1 Kg of bread a day. (sure, i could have anything i want but that would mean making a concious decision to stay in the toilet for the rest of my trip)
that was my confession. the other thing i've learned in kalga is that there is no god.
i can promise you that... a guy who travelled with us stepped on shit 6 times in about 40 minutes. while no one else did. which means there has to be some devine intervention for that to happen. and if there is devine intervention for that it means god really has nothing better to do.
which doesn't make any sense and thus creating a paradox. conclusion: no god.
i think that makes perfect sense.
who would have thought you'd get to learn something as important as that from reading all this crap i'm writing eh?
so that's basically it. we came back to kasol, i was told that my friends and family bought a 2 way ticket from india to israel and back so i can take a look at all the progress that has been made with the "ha bima" building in tel aviv (and also i had a birthday) and next post is about glamorous delhi and the quest for a suit get ready, get drunk!

Monday, May 18, 2009

c'mon everybody! do the dharamshala!!!

hello again. (it's a long one so bear with me please)
long time eh? well I've been busy so fuck off.
sorry... didn't mean to yell at you.
let's get down to business, someone has to write this stuff down.
so i'm in Dharamshala right? and i got here 3 weeks ago... right?
and i'm tra-ve-ling right? so... there has to be a reason for me to stay in one place and
go nowhere and see nothing for 3 weeks eh?
well... it's heaven here. and except for the fact that it's heaven it's also as cheap as hell.
and so...
i got here 3 weeks ago.
and since then I've been as busy as anyone would be surrounded by cheap food, music and a totally un-reasonable and completely crazy amount of garas.
To the point that you actually look around and consider bagsu to be a drug factory designed in the matrix to increase global food consumption.
or maybe it's a scheme of the Indian government to start their own colonial empire by
making people eat Indian food and learn yoga to the point of pacifism.
now when it comes to me... as everyone knows I'm strictly against drug abuse. but...
well, i do condone mild drug use when it is legal, and mother did say...

"Сын, если возможность представляет себе, захватить ее яйца, и получите все, что вы можете из ее!"

which would be translated freely to "son, when an opportunity present's itself, grab it by the balls and milk it dry!"
and i do. mother can be very tough if i don't listen to her. even if i am half way around the planet it doesn't mean I'm not scared...
So i stay in vague consciousness most of the time which is better than all the time isn't it?

Now, a lot of people come to India to achieve spiritual enlightenment.
well, I, Ben poliak have finally achieved the 3rd degree of food enlightenment.
here are the main breakthroughs I've achieved.
first and foremost: mint tea.
it is the core of my existence, the apple of my eye and the only thing that might stop the apocalypse if consumed correctly by enough people.
second: is coming...
everything you order will allways be "is coming" for as long as 2 hrs. (probably meant to give the food a mystic "flow" feeling, in the "everything is constantly moving" spirit)
third: masala
everything, no no... absolutely everything is with masala! as a consequence everything is a bit spicy and everything gives benny (that's me...) heart burn.
And yet... it's still so much cheaper to get a heartburn in india than it is in other countries.
You already know what my mom thinks about opportunities... (even if it is for a painful condition)
Let us all move on to the substance related section...
have you ever smoked a joint? and said to yourself "wow, this is great. all i need is a tv or anything at all to occupy my eyes and tought and i'm all set for the apocalypse".
An hour passes, your not as ready anymore, your friends are not as funny anymore. and now your completely convinced your dog is not the genious he presents himself to be...
Now sure, you could smoke another one, but your too lazy to even move your head around for a better angle at the tv.
The best minds of our time (B' you stupid idiot!) decided after several experiments to
create the garasiest cookies of all time. (idiot!)
convinced 4 of us that it's probably one of the best things we could do to and with ourselves
and the next day we each had a chocolate cookie with very little (or if you ask me none at all)
cacao inside and a lot of the other brown stuff (not the toilet stuff!!! bad readers! bad!)
so we ate them, encouraged by our friends (B'...you fuckin' moron!!!) and by our drive for success, in any field, specifically substance abuse.
we were promised the world. to remain happy and high for as long as we wanted to...
instead... we got.... this:
We had our cookies. we were anxious to get the experience going. A few minutes pass and
J is giggling. what's up? nothing nothing... it's just funny how that light looks like an antler who's having sex with a turtle... HAHAHA... we all laugh. J is hillerios when your high.
he's about as funny as a termite stricken coffin when your not...
we all gradually get up from our bakery lounge and head on to the next place.
we decided we need a place with a television, so we can learn something while were doing
our best to stay perfectly still.
so we get there, i sit down. look at the menu, concentrating to read really slowly...
(just trying to
really enjoy the letters and numbers) order some kind of pasta, look at wall-e on the tv set.
I get so into it that i'm so happy when he meets eve i practically cry when understand that
these "robots" have human emotions!!! just like me... or B, or J...
i close my eyes for a second. i need to pee! i open my eyes. wall-e is in danger! they're trying to kill him!!! but why?! why?! i like him!!! he's like me!!! i try to close my eyes and keep the images away. i stumble up, go to the toilets and hope it's not too late.
it's ok, i can still control this function. i'm the MAN!!! i get back. my pasta is there, i lift one penne and try to reach my mouth. i fail. try again. got it! it's in my mouth, i think i'm chewing it... it's over. i got it in my stomach. let this be a proof of the human spirit! but enough of that.
i look at the screen, madagaskar 2. a dancing lion, this is just irrational! i close my eyes in fear of the fact that it's just one dancing lion now but in the future there could be thousands! millions!!! lions dancing in our electric cars and on our graves...
but never mind, i can hear J saying he thinks he's dead, i hear A saying he just figured out how
his conciousness works, i can see B, he's here, but not really. he's trying to win in a staring contest against the television. and winning!
i close my eyes. open, people, someone places a blanket on me, "this is sparta!" in the background.
close, open. other people. J and A are in the same state i am. "i am beowolf" in the background. still too scary to come around.
close, open. 7 hours passed since we got here... i can move my feet now. i can understand human speech. i'm free! i'm never doing this again! ever!
maybe just never have a whole one...

so this is it. heading to kasol next i think. maybe to manali, who know's? time will tell my friends, time will tell...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

India, at long last.

Ahh, arriving in New Delhi...
I know this might come as a surprise to some...
(it certainly was for me!)
but the first thing you notice after landing is that this country is filled, if not overflowing, with...
well... Indians!
I mean, they're everywhere!!!
checking your passport, driving your taxi and offering you everything ("only for you my friend")
from hashish to their own mothers for a price.
so after having about 274 close calls with the taxi on the way to the main bazar i finally got here
being utterly in shock and trying to look very relaxed in the face of danger (i love buying things, they love selling things, DANGER).
walking around the main bazar looking for a place to stay with Indians shouting at me in perfect surround sound (360°) and in perfect Hebrew to come and check out what they're selling.
I didn't give in to temptation and after leaving my stuff in the "safe room" of one of the hostels went for a walk.
got haraased by: map selling guy, travel agent guy, 2 orphans, 1 mother with baby and one cow.
sat with a travel agent called "Eli" who gave me what now seems like overpriced offers for a ride for dharamsalla but made a point of being friendly enough to tell me stories for 45 minutes (arrgghh!!).
Finally getting out of there met a lovely couple (lovely word... lovely...) callde saar and tamar.
spent the rest of the day with them and met 2 british guys who did a northen trip on bikes.
one thing led to another... and next thing i know it's the 4 of us and 3 indians and a cow having sex...
well... no, not really. but we did have a beer in some weird indian place and got harassed by an indian which (in his words) is a very good guy, really, good guy. you know? very good guy...
yeah... so we got out of there and went to sleep.
second part:
yulia. i got a car which was supposed to take me to the airport, wait for her there and take us back. (350Rs)
we got to the wrong airport (450Rs)
switched airports and saw she has 2 friends with her, so we took them with us. (700 Rs)
we got to the main bazaar, the guy asked for a tip. i said no, i gave you enough money already and took your picture, what more could you possibly want?!?! (700Rs + lighter)
since then not much has happened. found tickets to darahmsalla.
got hit by a cow again, got harassed +79, drank local beer, haven't seen a single beautiful indian girl...
went to a really expensive bar , to find that one beautiful girl...(glass of wine = a night in the hostel).
most of the time is spent with nothingness in mind. although i do seem to be thinking a lot about food... i wonder why. :-\
short story, shorter, it's a culture shock. i'm getting used to it. next stop, dharamsalla!

still taking showers and brushing my teeth! that's why the call me Ben "willpower" Poliak!

Friday, April 24, 2009


ahh... a blog.
finally something that's truly mine. something that has no opinion of it's own and does
exactly what i tell it to.
somethang i cain wraite wiz spallings erurs end dusn't curact mi...
something i can write as many three dots... in and doesn't feel anything about it.
so let's start.
first post eh? has to be something really good or really bad.
Or just something. so far it's been nothing, as you may have noticed.
so this is my last day +1 in Singapore.
why +1? (thousands of readers must be asking themselves)
because i was supposed to leave on the 24 at 18:50 on a flight to New Delhi from Singapore.
but am still here. which gives me an opportunity to start writing this.

we'll start with a short summary of the singapore period: (documentry music sets in)
Mr. benjamin poliak arrived in singapore on the 22 of september 2008.
at this point benjamin was just a young (very talented) boy from a small village.
he came for the sacred work of the jewish god. spreading the word about the dead sea "expensive" cosmetic products and their magical ability to heal the asian skin type.
he has been doing the work of god for 7 months. and saw that it is good.
on the way a few wemen came along, a few dollars, and about 5 words in mandarin.
to all you mandarin speaking ladies out there: ni hun may!
at this point your supposed to giggle and say "sank you" :)

now... 7 months... and that about sums it up. specific quesions will be answered in private. (i love to share...)

now about that missed flight. the reasons i was late for the flight are numorous... but what's important is that i convinced "ashok" the guy in charge of "air india" that a friend of mine had an accident and that's why i was late and that's why i deserve a re-booking.
(it's that sylvia girl... 3 years on a motorcycle and just on the day i'm flying off she has an accident and forces me to go see her an hour before the flight)
anyway next post is when i'm landing in delhi.
dear blog, i'll talk to you soon. don't go anywhere.

i don't know any sylvias. i wish i did though. sounds like an interesting person.