Thursday, August 24, 2006

Wandering in McLeod Ganj

(real-time post)

We're in McLeod Ganj now, in upper Dharamsala. Meg has gone home, and our second run at Delhi (better), the new SRK/AB Jr&Sr/Mukherjee/Zinta picture (scandalous), and the dangerous monkeys (dangerous) are all behind us. I have a head cold.

3:45pm. Ryan and Sam are napping, so I leave them a note and set off on an aimless journey through the montain town. We're up around 1500m here, and so far we've been sitting in a cloud for most of the time. It makes the temperature nice but it adds to the sense of isolation that lingers in this relaxed Tibetan refugee community. Or maybe it's just me.

I want to be alone so I've brought my mp3 player. I stick it on shuffle and it selects "This Place is a Prison" -- almost too ironic to let play, but it kind of fits my mood so I accept. I've never travelled for this long before. After a few weeks you get used to the transience, and the homelessness starts to feel like home.

I pass by shops and street hawkers, but no one bothers me with my headphones on (I haven't tried this trick before, but I like it). I reject two suggestions, Peter Elkas and Louis Armstrong, before accepting "Sit Down/Stand Up". I can't tell if I'm homesick or not. Maybe I'm just sick and a little ornery. Maybe I shouldn't listen to brooding music.

I'm enjoying the stroll but I just want to sit somewhere peaceful. I find a bench up a short road overlooking the valley as "Hyperballad" warms up. In the future, music devices will be able to read our minds and provide uncannily suitable music all of the time, not just in improbable bubbles of mathematical chance like this one.

I watch a building being built a hundred metres down the mountain. I realize that I'm starting to write this blog entry in my head, which is unsettling. I make a mental note to avoid making real-world decisions for the sole purpose of enhancing my blog, since I can always lie anyway.

I stop worrying about my soundtrack and allow a Matt Mays track and the Beatles' "Yer Blues" to play through. I take a few pictures, and remember that I have to call American Airlines again to get a straight answer about carrying-on two dozen rolls of exposed film.

No comments: