Take 2 means that the last time i wrote about India, it nvr got saved or published. Such is life on an internet connection where it took me 1/2 hr to finally pull up an email from Heza. Take 2 also means that it's my 2nd time in India, the 1st being in 1999.
To sum up:
train from BJ to HK. 24 hrs of stumbling through mandarin w/ a Japanese guy who liked talking about alcohol and cigarettes. Nice dude.
HK now feels like the back of my hand, in a very nice way.
Flight to Mumbai. Met a man, Vinit, and we connected really well. So much that at one pt he asked me my star sign. Turns out that his bday is just 1 day previous to mine. Oh, them libras! He also invited me to his cousins wedding in Chennai, which is in a few days. Yay, Indian wedding! Jain, i think.
We will catch a train dn w/ 50 or so of his family members. i will not even be permitted to pay for my own train fare. sheesh. Then i will hang out in south india for a while, which is a-ok w/ me.
The above fully justified my plan to not plan, when travelling. How can pass that up?
Another typical Indian experience: synchronicity. 9 yrs ago on my 1st day in Mumbai i met a man who showed me around town and we stayed in contact for a while. 9 yrs later, on my 1st day bk in this city of 14 million people, i bumped right into him! he didn't recognize me at 1st, it was funny. i will have dinner at his house tonight and meet his wife.
As for India itself, i am very very surprised that it doesn't feel much different. i expected it to be all refurbished like BJ, but it ain't. Also, i kinda forgot how hectic it'd be here. It's like BJ but with goats and monkeys thrown into the streets, and instead of Chinese folk who peek at you out of the corner of their eyes, there's Indians who follow you aroudn and ask, "where you from? What is your good name? you want hashish? "
On that note, i should mention that i was hoping to have some "special cigarettes," since they don't exist in BJ. Here in Mumbai, it's constantly offered by dudes who seem greasy enough that they couldn't possibly be working w/ the cops. But it doesn't feel right.
Then yesterday i was at this stormy, blustery littered beach where crowds of Indians were hanging out. i met a few young lads who didn't speak much English, and after a while they offered me some hash. But i laughed to myself , cause honestly i could hardly think of a less chilled place to hang out. Mumbai and me wouldn't work well in any altered state, that's for sure.