Welcome back, Dogster!

Mar 18th, 2009, 09:29 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,121
Gosh kkepler, thanks for that. I'm sure everybody appreciates your input - I notice it's only your second post - did you pop in here here just to slag us off?

I was writing at the same time as you. I'm pleased we're sharing the same moment in time. I feel strangely reassured by your lurking presence - now I have Deepak on the front desk and kkepler in cyberspace to make me feel like crap.
dogster is offline  
Mar 18th, 2009, 09:38 AM
Join Date: May 2005
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Scrambling back up into my seat on the turnip truck and hoping to read more...welcome back, Dogster.
marya_ is offline  
Mar 18th, 2009, 09:42 AM
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Glad to hear you are alive dogster, and ...kicking?
We all await your arrival to normalcy...whatever that may be.

So you made tribal warfare, and will come out on the other side.

Only the dog ventures into....who knows what.
And comes out unfazed....or not.
magical is offline  
Mar 18th, 2009, 09:56 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Mango said a very smart thing in another post: he noted that when on the road things get more intense, emotions are closer to the surface - a word, a gesture, a song can reduce you to sudden, unexpected tears. When one is travelling solo these moments seem to be more numerous - there's nobody around to pull you out of it. Everything has to be solved internally. Travel can be one long inner conversation, particularly when you stumble into the zone where no one speaks your language.

Obviously there are tons of people in India who speak perfectly good English - it's just that most of them are trained to tell you what you want to hear - or what they want to tell you. Most are actually paid to be nice to me; drivers, hoteliers, waiters, staff - or they want something from me. Nothing is real. A fun time can be had, stories can be listened to, wisdom gained - but it's a strangely one-way street.

One of the oddities of India I've really noticed, is that, actually, they don't listen to a word I say. Maybe they don't understand a lot of it. Almost certainly. I whitter on, they smile and say 'Yes, sir,' and, for a while I think we are having a conversation.

Actually they are making a speech. If they ask me a question, they are not in the least interested in my answer. My job is to say that everything is wonderful. If I pass a negative comment, things escalate out of all proportion. There are perfectly good reasons for all of this.

As I'm writing, I'm realising that I have only talked to one person from my world in English in the last three weeks. There haven't been any around. This speaks volumes for the depth of my so-called cultural immersion, I guess - but it's been a long time between drinks.
dogster is offline  
Mar 18th, 2009, 10:12 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Last night I was at Rann Riders - a really odd place in Dasada which is somewhere near the Little Rann of Kutch. Late afternoon I found a little old white lady sitting alone in the dining room. Shirley; one of those fantastically dotty Englishwomen who roam the world killing the available time between the demise of their husband and death.

I don't think she knew where she was. She certainly had no idea where she'd been or where she was headed to. Shirley was sailing in the twilight zone, that delicious hazy place where recollections of fifty years ago are far more vivid than events of yesterday.

I had to talk to her. Shirley was all there was, all there had been - and all there was likely to be for weeks.

'Can I join you? I need to talk to someone in English for a while.'

Two watery eyes focussed on the Dog. Shirley was in The Zone as well.

'Then I'll go away and never bother you again...'

I think she liked the caveat.

So we talked. We actually had an interchange of words. She told me all about Hong Kong in 1962, Kathmandu in 1965, Cambodia before Pol Pot, Laos, Vietnam - all from anothet time. She was, however, unable to tell me anything about yesterday.

I knew how she felt. It's not all dottiness. Sometimes, when one travels, one lives so entirely in the moment there IS no yesterday, no tomorrow, just an itinerary. I mentioned my thoughts.

'Yes,' she said, 'in India you have to do that - just to stay alert - and alive.'

What a wise woman.
dogster is offline  
Mar 18th, 2009, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,121
A long time between drinks...

Did I mention Gujarat is a dry state? Did I mention I haven't had a drink for a hundred years?

I went down to reception today.

'I will pay you $1000 for one bottle of KIngfisher Premium Lager.'

They didn't get the joke. Deepak looked at me with his unfeeling black eyes. He managed to control the curl of his lip. Muslims tend not to understand a craving for beer - or anything else, really. Cigarettes, whisky, charas and wild, wild women seem to be rather frowned on. I can't think why.

So, not only am I looked at constantly with a distant loathing - I am politely disapproved of. Funnily enough, things get more than a little easier once they establish I'm Australian and not American. Gosh - I wonder why that is?

Now guys, this can really wear an old Dog down. Right now, at this precise moment - I would personally slaughter a few children for a beer.

Did I mention that Kolkata charas ran out quite some time ago?
dogster is offline  
Mar 18th, 2009, 10:26 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Ahh, my slot is over. It's six minutes to midnight. Deepak's elderly relative has given up being nice. He wants to shut the office - and me - down. The lights are going off. Click.
dogster is offline  
Mar 18th, 2009, 11:53 AM
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GET THEE TO A DOCTOR: In the dry state of Gujarat liquor can be legally purchased for medical reasons, if prescribed by a doctor. Any doctor, with or without financial incentives, will surely recognize that dogster is not well.
Marija is online now  
Mar 18th, 2009, 12:06 PM
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GET THEE OUT OF THE HOUSE OF MG (from their website):
While alcohol prohibition is in force in Gujarat, it is possible for foreign nationals and visitors from upstate to get permits after filling a form and paying the prescribed fees. Alcohol can be purchased only from a few alcohol shops located within hotels. The alcoholic beverages can only be consumed in the privacy of your room and not in any restaurant or public place. Alcohol is not sold or served at The House of MG.
Marija is online now  
Mar 18th, 2009, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,458
Dogster - welcome back, even if this is only a brief hiatus in your immersion in India. Can't wait to hear the gory details... And trying to tackle India with no alcohol sounds like cruel and unusual punishment!

I understand the suspended in time feeling - when I travel I don't have to be in India to lose track of which day of the week it is, never mind the date.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 18th, 2009, 03:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,281
Hi Dogster. I'm glad you're OK. I was feeling concern over your absence..seriously... Contented that you found the zone...its something that hits you especially hard when traveling alone. You experience deeper immersion this way..no distractions in this sense, at least for me.
It sounds like you need to come home soon and find your base(and prepare for a trip to Thailand the latter half of April to join many of us!). It would be great to see you there. Keep safe..

Mango7 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2009, 04:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 834
Oh I missed being here yesterday when you popped back in Doggie. So, so glad you are okay - we've all been wondering the last few days. Please accept a big hug and stroke from me. Do look after yourself over the next tribal stint. Enjoy the rest of it because you can then just collapse onto that cruise boat next month - you'll probably be trying to escape from talking to english speakers after a few days on that!

Regarding chewed up posts - I've had lots of posts get obliterated so now I just quickly copy them before I press the button and at least that way if the do get chewed up you can have it ready to send again

Take care and great to hear from you.
MaryW is offline  
Mar 18th, 2009, 06:48 PM
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Note to self...Dogster should avoid "dry" places henceforth.
Jaya is offline  
Mar 19th, 2009, 01:16 AM
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Dogster! I'm glad to hear from you.
Amy is online now  
Mar 19th, 2009, 11:35 AM
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Glad you're safe and can't wait to hear the details!
moremiles is offline  
Mar 19th, 2009, 01:56 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 875
Have just finished cooking the turnips, and can now feed you all off the back of the truck of course.

Dogster have been concerned about you, at least you still have your "sense" of humour even if it is dry.

You know there are people who care about your persona and that you keep well, if only so that we can read about the adventures.

Seriously please take care.
Nywoman is offline  
Mar 19th, 2009, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,147
I have only (happily) discoverd the Dogster recently. Scary good stuff. You need an agent.
I must now look up some of the past Dogster sagas to gain perspective.
And do I have it right that you are going on a cruise after this? That will be some transition. Talk about the twilight zone.
LAleslie is offline  
Mar 19th, 2009, 09:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 834
Nywomen - yummy - cooked turnips - such luxury. Aren't we all lucky - we won't go hungry sitting on the road at the back of that truck while we wait for the dog.

LAleslie - welcome to the dog's pack.
MaryW is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2009, 07:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 658
Where is the Dog? Has he succumbed to non-alcoholic poisoning or has he been gaoled for overuse of the Internet?
Tangata is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2009, 03:32 AM
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"In a day or so I'm up north to Danta and Poshina for more tribal stuff - and so, out of contact once again. Let's see if they can kill me THIS time..."
Marija is online now  

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