Saturday, April 26, 2008

Assorted thoughts in Mussoorie

Everybody gets sick in Rishikesh. On my way to Mussoorie, I met three groups of western travellers, all leaving Rishkish, all nursing their sore tummies. I got sick too, from the family diner prepared for me with pride, by Monika, the daughter of the previous story. Bless her hearth, I couldn't tell her why I wasn't staying for tea.

A rickshaw is a bicycle-sized tricycle with a basket installed above the back wheels which seats two comfortably. They are taxis, essentially, but more fun. Earlier today, I paid 50 cents to ride to Mussoorie's Rope Way, 2 km away, up a slant. Rickshaws are blend of feeling for me. It is too cheap, I must be exploiting the merry old man. It is too expensive by local standards, I should be bargaining more. And riding the tricycle looks so much fun, I would rather be pedaling!

India doesn't believe in trash cans and it is messing with my Canadian sense of garbage ownership. When an Indian drops trash while in conversation with me, I wait until he is not looking and pick it up. I keep it until the next trash can, which is often the one in my hotel bathroom.

I am not nearly as daring as I think I am. Melanie pointed this out to me. At the 100-kinds-of-beers store, she proceeded along the entire rotation while I sheepishly stuck to my ten favorites. Here, I enter the restaurant determined to choose something at random, then select Mix Vegs. It is a meal not as boring as its name. In India, it might as well means mix vegetable with the house's own 50 special spices. It's never twice the same.

I dream to see Martin play a game on this basketball court in the hills.

The Ferris Wheel is amazing, the current picture doesn't show how. As discovered the next night, it has no engine. The two operators spin it by climbing on the structure and letting their weight pull it down. Once it is cruising, to keep it going they stand near the axis and walk on the traversal bars, chatting with each other, rolling cigarettes. I will post a picture of their acrobatics shortly.

I can get a Mont-Blanc here, who would have expected it? It is called a Slush with Softy. My five years of trying to instruct New England's creameries about this delicious combo failed like a New York poutine. Mussoorie must have heard of my arrival and practiced. It's delicious, and made out of filtered water.

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