Dots All Over ~
August 22 through September 9, 2000
$1 U.S. = 45 Indian Rupees
(Remember to click on the thumbnails for
enlargements of the photos)
August 22 through August 29, 2000
(ccl) Travel days....typically
hectic, sometimes fraught with misunderstandings or necessary adjustments.
Not so on the day we left Greece. We got to the Athens airport in plenty of
time to check both us and Paula in. It turns out, however, that the Athens
airport isn't the greatest place in the world to be stuck with a few hours to
kill. I would estimate that there were less than 100 seats in
the place, no restaurants or bars to sit in, an abomination of a PA system, and
twenty or thirty stray dogs lounging around and looking for handouts.
Supposedly they're building a new airport to be ready in time for, you guessed
it, the 2004 Olympics. Anything would be an improvement over this one.
Normally I try not to bore the Long's
Strange Trip reader with mundane details about things like the airlines we're
flying, but I have to make an exception in the case of Emirates Air. When
you get your tickets through a consolidator, it's kind of like a box of
chocolates - you never know what you're gonna get. In this case, I had,
without question, the finest experience of my extended career as an airline
passenger. The plane that took us from Athens to Dubai, UAE, was a
brand-new Boeing 777, with tons of leg room in coach and individual TV monitors
in every seatback, with ten or twelve different programs to view. The meal
was actually delicious, and was accompanied by French wine. We watched a
classic movie called "On the Beach" with Gregory Peck and Fred Astaire,
then fell asleep. Our descent into Dubai was announced to me abruptly by
the guy behind me, who began kicking my seat for no apparent reason. He
had been over-served, I decided.
For those of you asking yourselves,
"Where is Dubai, and what is UAE???", you're not alone. I know
very little about this tiny desert country in the Arab world, except that it's
something of a conglomeration of several emirates, and is run by the sheiks or
emirs of those emirates. It's very wealthy, as all of the citizens share
in the riches brought into the country's treasury from the sale of crude oil.
They import workers from other countries to perform menial tasks, like cleaning
the streets or working at McDonald's. Our flight to Bombay (now known as
Mumbai) included a two-hour layover in Dubai, Emirates Air's hub.
Stepping off of a plane at 2 in the
morning anywhere can be disorienting, but when you land in Dubai, if you didn't
know better, you'd swear you were on a re-fueling stop on a mission to another
galaxy. The sheiks have built themselves a brand spanking-new airport
there, and I assume that every one of Emirates Air's flights goes through there.
You're quickly unloaded from the plane, and you're processed through customs
based on how much time you have until your connection leaves. If you've
got under two hours, you have a red ticket folder, and a customs agent quickly
shuttles you through the "priority" line. It's all very
efficient, and all with a purpose: to allow you plenty of time to spend as many
of your hard-earned travel dollars at Duty Free Dubai. At 2:00 in the
morning this place looked like Lennox Mall on a Sunday afternoon! At any
one of the many stores there you could get pretty much anything you wanted, from
a Rolex to fine single-malt scotch to John Grisham's latest. All this in a
Muslim country, and tax-free. The bizarre nature of our brief visit to the
UAE was cemented when we checked in for the final leg of our journey and found
out that because our flight had left Athens an hour late, we were being
automatically upgraded to business class. Has this ever happened to you on
Delta? I didn't think so.
So, snug and comfy in our roomy,
fully-reclining business class seats, we slept for the duration of the three
hour flight to Bombay. As the plane touched down at the airport, I came to
my senses and realized that finally, we were in India. The moment I had
been preparing myself for had come: culture shock, full swing. Trying to
be as alert as possible after an all-night plane ride, and holding tightly to
our bags, we emerged from customs and into the frenzied mob that waited outside
I'm always amazed by the number of
people who come out to meet planes in third-world countries. In the
States, when I get off of planes, there are maybe a handful of people there,
meeting folks. Maybe it's that flying is no big deal to us anymore.
Maybe we're so affluent that we travel at will, and nobody's that excited to see
us when we arrive somewhere. Whatever - it seems like when we arrive at
these backwater airports, there's a contingency of people there that rival
Leonardo Dicaprio's fan club for turnout and enthusiasm. At any rate, none
of the throng waiting at the Bombay airport on that morning were there for us,
so we got into a cab (paid for up front at the government cab stand; good advice
given by our guide book) and headed for our hotel.
Once in the cab, we had nearly two
hours to stare, wide-mouthed, at the spectacle that is a big Indian city on a
weekday morning. The streets were clogged with all manner of vehicles -
cars, bicycles, scooters, oxen-drawn carts, buses, and trucks. Add to this
a large number of frightened pedestrians scampering across the roads to safety,
the ubiquitous sacred cows moseying unmolested down the thoroughfares, street
performers, and handicapped beggars working the cars stopped at the traffic
lights, and it's enough to bring on a panic attack in a Zen master. Which
of course, I'm not, so if you know me, you can hear me starting to
hyperventilate at this point. The icing on the cake was our taxi driver,
who barely spoke English, and who also seemed a little deaf. He tried for
the first 30 minutes of the ride to take us to a different hotel, then spent the
last hour and a half trying to find the one we wanted.
After checking in, having some tea
and toast, and taking a little nap, we felt fortified enough to venture out of
the hotel. We were staying in the Colhaba section of Bombay, which Lonely
Planet (our guidebook) had recommended as the main place where budget tourists
stay. Our hotel, as well as most of the other hotels in the area, looked
and smelled rather moldy, a phenomena no doubt due to the fact that we had
arrived at the tail-end of the monsoon season. In fact, during the eight
days we were in Bombay on our first stay there, it rained seven of those.
Arriving in India during the monsoon season is something to be avoided at all
costs, if possible. The rain is torrential, and it comes down in buckets
during most of the day. The streets are filled with potholes, the curbs
are broken away, so there's no way to avoid eventually stepping in one or more
nefarious-looking puddles. The gloominess of the rain serves to make the
whole experience depressing.
I had a tough time our first few days
in the country, I'm willing to admit. The contrasts experienced by the
first time traveler to India are striking. There is opulence alongside
squalor. Women float by in beautiful, jewel-like silk saris, seemingly
oblivious to the trash and debris that are everywhere. Junkies inject each
other on the sidewalks at your feet; people languish in the streets, seemingly
ready to die. Stray dogs are everywhere, mangy and thin as waifs.
Everyone wants to help us, everyone wants to talk to us, and anyone with a
camera wants their picture made with us. The aroma of delicious, spicy
food fills the air and changes at every street corner. India - it's all
that you've heard, and more.
We saw some unbelievable things that
first week in India. I don't think the tourist sites we took in will stay
with me like the images of daily Indian life that I witnessed during those first
few days. Today, as I write this, after having been in India for more than
three weeks, I am completely nonplussed by the sight of cows in the road.
But thinking back to those first few days, it was quite strange to see large,
horned bovines successfully negotiating a round-a-bout in Bombay rush-hour
traffic. We saw a dead body laying on a stretcher at the train station,
completely unattended and barely out of the flow of foot traffic. We saw
women in beautiful saris of every color imaginable. We saw lepers begging
for money, and ate dinner at probably the finest restaurant we've been in
on the trip. A man painted "Wiley loves Christie" on a grain of
rice for us, and one day on the beach, we were mobbed by people who just wanted
to stare at us, it seemed.
We hit most of the major sites in
Bombay during our first few days there. We took it easy, trying to work
our way into the rhythm of the city. On the one day in which we had no
rain, we took a boat trip to Elephanta Island, which is about an hour and a half
from Bombay on the Arabian Sea. The caves on Elephanta Island are thought
to have been created between 450 and 750 AD by Hindus. Actually, these
aren't naturally occurring caves. They are temples which were carved out
of massive rocks for the purpose of worship of the Hindu gods and quiet
contemplation. As this my first exposure to Hinduism, I was struck by the
beauty of the images of Shiva, depicted in his triple-headed form as creator,
preserver, and destroyer of all life and everything. The images are massive and
fantastic, and tell some of the many stories that are central to the religion.
In the darkness of the caves the peaceful sound of water dripping from the
ceiling added to the reverent atmosphere as worshippers placed offerings in front
of the statues.
By contrast, we also visited another
famous Hindu shrine in Bombay, the Mahalaxmi Temple. Mahalaxmi is the
goddess wealth, so she's quite popular in Bombay, and probably the rest of
India. On the day that we were there, pilgrims lined up outside the tiny
building with offerings of flowers, coconuts, money, and sweets. Once
inside, the throng, which had this time been split by gender, with men entering
on the right and women on the left, approached the icon, and made their
offerings. Priests sat around the icon and collected the gifts, sprinkling
flowers over the icon and laying the sweets at its feet. Men worked
feverishly on all sides to shuttle the offerings from the altar, once the
priests had accepted them. People prayed and someone even handed their
baby over to one of the priests, so that he could pass the tike over the icon, I
suppose to bring wealth and good luck to the baby in its lifetime. It was
unlike anything I had ever seen before, and I couldn't help feeling a little
repulsed by the whole thing. It seemed to go against two things I had been
taught as a Christian - that there is one God, and that you aren't supposed to
worship idols. It just all seemed so "different" from what I, as
a Westerner, am used to. But a closer inspection of things reveals that
maybe it's not all that different after all.
The Hindus believe in one God,
Brahman, the One without an equal, the One from which everything comes, an indescribable, timeless, and formless
entity. The multiple gods and goddesses of Hinduism, which number upwards
of 300 million by some counts, are merely different manifestations of Brahman.
These gods and goddesses embody qualities of Brahman, and exist to help Hindus
understand God, to "get their arms around" the matter, so to speak.
Hinduism has been in a constant state of change since its origin some 6000 years
before Christ. It incorporates many aspects of other religions, and
regards all religions as potential paths to the truth. Hindus revere
Jesus, the Buddha, Mohammed, Isaiah, and other Old Testament prophets.
There is no organized hierarchy in Hinduism, no pope, no bishops or preachers,
and no church on Sunday. Hindus find the path to God within themselves,
sometimes with the help of a guru. As I watched people lay offerings at
the feet of the icon of Mahalaxmi, and offer prayers to her, I realized that
it's not so different than what I've seen Christians doing at their altars, or
in front of images of Jesus or the Virgin Mary.
All very fascinating stuff, and a
subject that I hope to understand more about when I leave this country.
But it turned out that while in Bombay, the computer gods, those vengeful,
spiteful beings, were not with us. One morning I woke up before Wiley and
quietly got out the computer to do some work on the web site. I had done
no writing during our last two weeks in Greece, while Paula was visiting, and I
wanted to get those pages written and uploaded before we left Bombay. We
had only intended to stay there a few days, as we wanted to get up north to the
Rajasthan region of the country. Panic set in as I realized that the
computer wasn't booting properly, and several more feverish attempts proved that
it wasn't going to, either. It's hard to explain to people how important
this computer's become to us. It contains all of our photos, our addresses
and phone numbers, passwords for various accounts, all of Wiley's career
musings, and various other important information. Not to mention that it
supports the web site, but that ultimately resides on a Mindspring server in
Atlanta, and I had just uploaded my work two nights before.
OK, so now what to do? We
called Sony in New Delhi, and they told us that they didn't sell our model in
India yet, so there were no support services for it. We began
contemplating mailing the machine back to the States for repair, then we
remembered all we had been through before with Sony, when the first computer we
bought crashed two weeks before we left. I couldn't imagine who of my
family and friends loved me enough to deal with Sony in my absence. Then
we considered whether we could buy a used laptop, thinking that it would do
until Wiley's sister could bring our repaired computer back to us when she meets
us in Thailand in November. We set out to what we were told was the area
where the computer shops are in Bombay. The first store we stopped in had
laptops, but we couldn't even see them without buying them, and they cost about
$3000. So then we started considering whether we could get the computer
repaired in Bombay. I was vehemently against this, not trusting anyone but
Sony to fix this computer. But we stopped in a place called Computer
Garage, just to see what they said. After being told to go to first one
dark, dank cubbyhole, then another, we were finally told by a guy who spoke very
little English that they had, "low, low prices". I began having
difficulty breathing. We escaped to a nearby bar to reassess the
situation. Wiley asked the waiter offhandedly where we might get a
computer repaired in Bombay, and he send us to another part of town, where we
found an IBM/HP reseller, who sent us to Nilesh Shah at Moon Computer
Manufacturing Industry. Nilesh listened to our problems, and convinced me
that he knew much more about the computer than I did, which was comforting.
Despite the fact that he sells copiers and manufacturs new computers, he told
us that he would fix the computer. He later told us that he had felt that
it was his "moral duty" to fix it, since we had no where else to turn.
Just another one of the many good souls we have met on this strange trip.
Getting the computer fixed required
leaving it with Nilesh for quite some time, and we had had our fill of Bombay by
this time, so we decided to get outta town. We had been told by some folks
we met in Turkey about some beautiful Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain caves in central
India, just outside of Aurangabad. We bought tickets at Victoria Station,
the venerable old station in central Bombay, and got ready to get out of town.
August 29 through September 3, 2000
By the time we had made up our minds
to get out of Bombay, and had bought our train tickets, there were no seats left
in first class, so we had to settle for second class reserved seating. We
had been counseled to always travel first class on Indian trains. It's not
that luxurious, but at least you have your own seat, and you're out of the
circus atmosphere that is second class. But, one of the books we read
before we left advised us to always consider the "holistic" nature of
the trip - to look at the whole thing as part of the experience, whether it be
cashing a traveler's check or taking a train ride. So, we figured that
this would be part of our experience, and it didn't disappoint.
We arrived at Victoria Station plenty
early for a 7:00 A.M. departure. All over the floor of the station, people
slept on pieces of cardboard, or small bedrolls, or directly on the floor.
Presumably, they had nowhere else to go, or they had an early morning train to
catch, and it was more convenient to sleep at the station. It's a
characteristic of Bombay that is indelibly etched on my mind - people sleeping
outdoors, on sidewalks, in alleys, on rooftops. This city is immensely
overcrowded, and there seems to be no easy answer to the problem. I read
in the paper yesterday that last year, 1049 railroad-side shanty-dwellers were
run over by commuter trains. It seems that people are so desperate for a
place to live that personal safety takes a back seat.
Once on the train, we stowed our
backpacks overhead and settled in. The car looked ancient, and the seats
were little more than hard benches with space for three people (a rule that was
frequently violated, as more and more people without reserved tickets attempted
to squeeze themselves into non-existent seats, until the place began to resemble
Neyland Stadium during the Florida game). The place looked like it
would benefit from the application of a good detergent and a few well-placed
blasts from a high-pressure hose. Second class isn't air-conditioned, and
the open windows were barred. As more and more people filed onto the
train, it became apparent that we would be knee-to-knee with our
seatmates. Once the train started, it stopped at seemingly every station
along the way, picking up more and more people, until the seats and aisles
overflowed. The dangerous-looking spot where the car couples to the one in
front of it was usually occupied by a beggar, sitting forlornly on the
wildly-bucking metal plate. At each stop, beggars with every possible
ailment, and vendors with every possible good, boarded the train and worked the
crowd. Ragamuffin kids got on to beg, and came straight for Wiley and me
every time. We bought a family some food at one of the stops, and they sat
on the floor of the train and ate it hungrily. Certainly, I don't think
we've been anywhere on the trip where there is as much genuine need as in India.
It was a fascinating journey.
In fact, it was nearly impossible to concentrate on my book, because there was
so much to look at, both inside the car and out. The only major downside
was the hard, rigid nature of the benches. After five hours or so of
feeling every buckle in the tracks, we were ready for the ride to be over.
At about 3 P.M. we arrived in Aurangabad.
Our first day in Aurangabad we hired
an auto-rickshaw driver to take us to the main local sites, including the caves
at Ellora, for 300 rupees. An auto-rickshaw is basically a motorcycle with
a cab built around it, so that there's a seat up front for the driver, a seat in
the back for two passengers, and a roof overhead. It's a pretty good way
to get around unless you're trying to get up a hill of any size - then you
remember that you're basically three people sitting on a motorcycle. Our
first stop for the day was the fortress of Daulatabad. Originally known as
the Hill of the Gods, it was built by a slightly insane 14th century Sultan,
who, upon deciding that the capital of the area should be in this spot and not
Delhi, forcibly marched the entire population of that city 1100 kilometers to
populate his new city. More than half of the people died on the march, and
17 years later, when it became glaringly obvious that he had left the northern
part of the territory undefended, he marched them all back.
The fortress itself is a masterpiece of military engineering. Surrounded
by natural barriers on three sides, it is encircled by five kilometers of stone
walls. Inside the walls, there were seven separate gates, built so that
invaders could not get a running start to ram any of them with elephants,
apparently the popular method of breaking down fortress doors in that day.
The doors themselves were studded with huge metal spikes, to provide the
elephants with what was no doubt a stunning headache if they attempted to break
them down. Some ingenious and rather cruel would-be invader hit on the
idea of placing a camel between the spikes and the elephant's head.
During the 400 years that Daulatabad
was used, no invader was able to get past the spiked gates, the pitch-black
tunnels, the boiling oil and hot coals, and the crocodile- and snake-infested
moat of his own volition. Alas, proving
that the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray at the hands of one
dirty rat, the only successful breach of the fort was achieved by simply bribing
After fighting off several extremely persistent souvenir vendors, we were back
in the rickshaw and on our way to the Ellora caves. As we were in
Aurangabad slightly before the beginning of the tourist rush, we were quite
popular. The caves at Ellora aren't natural caves, but man-made temples
cut into a massive granite hillside. The caves were built by generations
of Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain monks, who lived, worked, and worshipped in the
caves, slowly carving out elaborate statues, pillars, and meditation
rooms. The caves are not only a masterpiece of carving, but are a tribute
to the inter-religious harmony that prevailed there during the 400 years that
the caves were being constructed.
Although all of the caves at Ellora are stunning architectural feats, the Hindu
Kailasa Temple is the jewel in the crown. Carved to represent Mt. Kailasa,
the home of the god Shiva in the Himalayas, it is the largest monolithic
structure in the world, carved top-down from a single rock. It is twice
the size of the Parthenon in Athens, and contains the largest cantilevered rock
ceiling in the world. Dramatic sculptures fill the courtyard and the main
temple, which is in the center. It must have been quite a spectacular
sight when it was covered with white plaster and elaborately painted.
Imagine - standing on top of a single piece of rock, knowing your task is to
"release" a temple from it, by removing 200,000 tons of
The next day we took an extremely
bumpy bus ride to the caves at Ajanta, 166 kilometers from Auranagabad.
While the Ellora caves are a marvel of stone sculpture, the Ajanta caves are
famous because of the well-preserved paintings in the interiors of the
temples. Both Ellora and Ajunta are listed as World Heritage Sites by the
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
This ensures that these monuments will be maintained for generations to come.
The Ajunta caves are all Buddhist caves. The Buddhists tended towards a
more spare, less-ornate style than the Hindus, with the temples usually
dominated by a large statue of the Buddha in the back. The paintings at
Ajunta are remarkably well-preserved, due mainly to the closed nature of the
temples. The yearly monsoons had no access to these paintings, so unlike
Ellora, they are still visible. Restoration work is ongoing to repair
damage inflicted by the smoke from oil lamps when people inhabited the caves in
the last century. The paintings depict important scenes from the life of
the Buddha. The Buddha was an Indian prince named Sidhhartha Gautama who
lived from 563 to 483 BC. Disillusioned with the trappings of his royal
life, he shunned his material possessions, including his family and his royal
heritage, to embark on a spiritual quest. Reaching full enlightenment at
age 35, he urged his followers to abandon the caste system, central to Hinduism,
and seek the truth within themselves. Thus, Buddhism was born.
Buddhists believe that enlightenment may be attained by successfully following
the Noble Eight-Fold Path: right understanding, right intention, right speech,
right action, right livelihood, right effort, right awareness, and right
concentration. At Ajunta, our tour group included three Buddhist monks
from Thailand who were in India studying for several years. One of them
was wearing an Adidas baseball cap with his saffron robe, demonstrating that
the path to enlightenment doesn't exclude modern fashion.
During our stay in Aurangabad, Wiley
began to develop an alarming rash on the backs of his thighs. Over the
next week it spread rapidly, until it covered about 70% of his body. He
didn't feel bad, but the constant itching was driving him crazy. After
visiting three doctors, he finally got a proper diagnosis: he was having an
acute allergic reaction to the medicine we were taking for malaria
prevention. It took several days of "white man's medicine", as
Wiley calls it, to get the itching stopped. Long term, he can't take the
Larium anymore. We had some misgivings about taking this drug to begin
with, and had met more than one person who had chosen to risk getting malaria as
opposed to dealing with some of the side effects of the drug. We had taken
it in Peru with no problems, and hadn't had any of the side effects, which can
include nightmares and insomnia. The doctor said that Wiley's reaction had
built up slowly, and was now severe. Unfortunately, all of the malaria
drugs come from the same derivative (quinine), so there's nothing else he can
take. So in the coming weeks, he'll wear mosquito repellent and hope for
September 3 through September 6, 2000
Trading emails with Nilesh revealed
that the computer was going to need a new hard drive, and that would take
several more days. We decided rather than wait it out in Bombay, we'd
spend a few days in Nasik, a city halfway between Aurangabad and Bombay.
Nasik is a holy city to Hindus, and as such it contains more than 2000
temples. In addition, the river that flows through Nasik, the Godavari, is
believed to wash away sins, so many Hindus come there to bathe in the
water. Even if you can't make it there, a loved one can immerse your ashes
for you. I must say that it was somewhat difficult to watch the pilgrims
swimming in and drinking the water, which appeared pretty nasty to me.
Apparently, the water's also great for getting out ground-in dirt in clothes, as
the horde of women crouched on the steps leading to the river, scrubbing the
day's laundry, indicated.
We showed up at the bus station at
the advertised hour of 7:00 A.M. for the government tour of some of Nasik's
temples and holy spots. When we asked the station manager where the bus
for the tour boarded, he insisted that we come inside his office, sit down
beside him, and wait until he could hand us off to the tour director.
Foreign tourists are an oddity in Nasik - I think I saw three other white people
during the four days that we were there. Everywhere we went, we were
stared at intently, and everyone wanted to try out their three sentences of
English on us. One lovely woman approached us as we wandered around down
by the river, by the bathing ghats. She spoke English, and when she
started a conversation with us, a crowd quickly gathered, seemingly mesmerized
by words they couldn't understand. She seemed so pleased to see us, and
told us, "We have only seen you on TV,", meaning western people, I
Our tour group for the day was composed of all Indians, except for us. The
guide spoke only Marathi, one of the many languages spoken in this country and
the native tongue in this area, which made it difficult to understand when we
were supposed to get back on the bus and what we were supposed to do when we got
off of the bus, but we figured it out, with the help of our fellow
tourists. Some people erroneously assume that all Indians speak
English. Although it is the official language of government and business,
and most people speak some, you find that there are many regional languages
within India, almost as if people in different states in the U.S. spoke
different languages. It's still relatively easy to get around, because
most people speak at least a little English, and most restaurants can stir up an
English menu or two. About the only communication barrier we've run into
is with the taxi drivers. Most of them neither read or speak English, and
will tell you they understand where you want to go, even though they don't.
We visited six or seven temples in and around Nasik. All of the other
people on the tour were Hindu, and approached these sites with great reverence,
often bringing offerings to the gods. We dutifully removed our shoes and
shuffled through these holy places, gawking at the boldly painted idols and
wondering what it all meant. The high point of the day was visiting
Trimbakeshwar Temple, one of the holiest temples in India. It contains one
of the twelve naturally occurring linga, the symbol of Shiva the destroyer, in
India. Pilgrims flock to this temple, and the courtyard contained
crowd-control barriers like you might see in the loading areas of rides at
Disneyworld. We went inside this temple, and later read in the book that
it was supposed to be open only to Hindus, but no one stopped us. It was
fascinating to watch the people praying fervently on the floor, or crowding
around the linga to present their offerings to the priests. Outside the
temple we met a sadhu, one of the Hindu holy men who has devoted his life to
achieving enlightenment. These men typically own nothing more than a bowl
with which to accept food or money offerings, and the simple clothes on their
When we finally headed back to
Bombay, Nilesh and crew were having problems getting the computer ready.
They had installed the new hard drive, but they were having problems procuring
the necessary drivers that were unique to my machine. Since I didn't bring
the CD-ROM drive with me on the trip, or the floppy drive, things were that much
more complicated, because they didn't have any easy way to load up the
machine. We made a decision that we couldn't stay in Bombay any longer,
and that we were going south to the coast and the beach with or without the
computer. We had been talking to some little boys on the street one night,
and had seen them sniffling into a rag. At first I thought that they had
colds, but then I realized that they were inhaling, not blowing, into the
rag. They were sniffing glue, and their vacant stares told us that they
were addicted. None of them could have been over 10 years old. So we
decided that we had had enough of the big city and all of its problems, and we
went by Nilesh's office to give him them money we owed him, since we didn't want
to carry around that much money in cash with us. Wonder of wonders - he
had the machine ready, so we could take it with us to the beach. We agreed
to come back to Bombay, because by that time our friend Mac had shipped our
CD-ROM drive to us in order to help get the computer back together, so we needed
to come back to pick it up. But we boarded the train that night in good
spirits, computer in hand, and ready to enjoy some R&R at the beach.
here to continue in India with "Paradise Found"