monkeys and soggy cigarettes

What a goofy mug.
To start my first blog while in India, a brief roundup of my impressions of the place thus far. India is: A symphony of honking horns. Free-range cattle, heads-bent to gutters looking for trash to eat. Dirty barefoot people walking dirty dirt streets. Riiich rich and pooor poor. More tropical than I’d imagined. Still very much British. Where I first heard the Strokes’ leaked 3rd full-length. Friendly. Yummy food that doesn’t fulfill many ne’er-do-well-wishers’ predictions of 24/7 toilet-guarding. Broken, dusty, randomly-laid out roads that seem to have been paved as a need to arrive at a new place arose. Families living in tarp-tents erected alongside the road wherever a spare piece of land can be found, outside cooking breakfast in the morning over a smoking fire.

Bought some cigarettes while I was here, y’know, to “sample” the local Indian offerings. They pretty much have the same ass-flavor as American, Taiwanese, and Chinese cigarettes. However, I found myself drawn to them a little too much – kind of blowing the “sampling” thing out the window and trading it for a different verb, “smoking.” So tonight I doused them with water and threw them away – thus rendering them unsalvageable and certainly un-smokeable. Good for me, bad for the Indian tobacco industry and millions of barefoot workers that sweat to bring cancer to the lit-up masses. I was planning to insert a picture of the sodden, broken cigarettes strewn about a table below this paragraph, but the dang five-star hotel housekeeping staff is too efficient and liberated me of my trash before I could do it – sorry, I had planned it to be quite the artsy offering.

And, from above, you likely guesses that the Strokes’ 3rd LP has leaked in its entirety – and I’ve been filling my hotel room with the horribly treble-heavy laptop speaker rendition of it for the past couple days. As for a review, I’m going to reserve an opinion for when I can actually hear it through once with some bottom-end to it – but from a catchy melody perspective I think it’s gonna be a winner. They’re a band I’d like to see live again, as I really enjoyed the Halloween-eve show we caught in the city a couple years back before Room On Fire dropped. Our concert attendance has really dropped off since we decided the frequent trips to the city just weren’t paying off, and reserved them for big or important shows. I am, however, looking forward to seeing the Wolf Parade in January – that one was sufficiently important to motivate both Ben and I to buy the gas, fight the traffic, and find the parking.

Sometimes I love traveling; I think partly because I know my dad did so much traveling when he was younger, and I feel like I somehow following in his footsteps. I would love to be able to have been some of the places he’s talked about, and I feel like my job has at least helped me experience a bit of the “world traveler” bag. Sometimes, waking up in a hotel room with no one to report to and absolutely nothing on an agenda can be a really liberating feeling – miles away from any “real” commitments and real people, for that matter. Especially here, where I can wake up and throw open my balcony door to the sounds of running water and some kinda tropical birds – really makes a guy feel disconnected and content.

Now that I’ve been assured you read my entire boring post, I’ll drop a link for you: here are some pictures from my first few days in India.

Until tomorrow, goodnight.

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