While grammatically incorrect, this correctly describes my last hours in India. With no other option to get to the Indian/Bhutanese border from Guwahati, Manoush and I rolled out of town this morning to Springsteen’s Born to Run on my iPod. He asked for a famous US singer.
We set out early and I don’t think he smokes pot in the AM. But I was a little concerned when he asked me where we were going and how to get there. I pulled it up on Google Maps and away we went.
My last few days in India have been great. The heat dropped a tad and I got to spend a whole day in Guwahati not rushed or driving.
I finally started feeling a tad connected with the people that worked at the hotel, some street vendors and of course Manoush.
After seeking out the only coffee shop in town, I expertly found an internet cafe using my handy Indian smartphone to print out my Bhutan documents. Google would not let me log on from another computer and wanted to send me a text to unlock. Fatal flaw in their system. Frantic moments ensued as I had asked the owner of the cafe to use his computer, bypassing waiting for students. After 10 frustrating minutes and feeling pressured, I forwarded the documents from gmail on my smart phone to my yahoo account and felt vindicated. Fuck Google. Greedy pricks anyway.
I decided to walk around town since it was less than 90 and sauntered over to a restaurant recommended by the Bible. Lonely Planet India. I sampled the BBQ fish (more like a herring) and yes, the fried pidgeon. It was early and I knew I would pay for it so I slid over to the bar across the street for a beer, some cheap whiskey and my own private viewing of The X Factor on the bar TV. I was mesmerized. Simon is such a dick I want to punch him! Haha.
Anyway I got to walk home in the early evening finally getting a real Indian evening with the traffic and madness. I was the only westerner in all my days in Guwahati and this was no different. The smells. The sounds. The looks. But mostly indifference.
However I got a chance to really look and see how people interact. I mean there is soooo much shit for sale. Everything from fruit and toenail clippers to cars and jewelry. Every single place on the street sells stuff. It’s like people are passing money around in the great dance of needs and wants for them and their kids. Shoe repairs. Knife sharpening. Tailors. Sari makers. And a food stand every other door.
There was an article online about how small vendors and skilled workers are getting hammered by the new economy. They use to have to restuff beds every year with cotton to maintain comfort for example. So this new raging tech economy is going to push some people down even more. And not just because there is no app for good street food, it’s because the rising Consumptive class is driving costs up while many of the services are provided to the poor, by the poor. Trickle down economics my Ass. Economists and politicians always seem to focus on the income and revenue side but rarely the cost side. This is where the little guy gets hammered again. It flies right in the face of Ghandis argument of production by the masses instead of mass production. And that’s what happens with the aggregation of resources into the hands of a few in EVERY economy. New or old. And that, I believe, is the saviour for communities. A local economy based focus. Limiting mass accumulation in some form. Or least has the conversation within communities. Just a thought.
So thank you India and here comes Bhutan!
And Manoush DOES smoke a spliff in the morning. FYI.