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13 November 2005

the swarms of dragonflies farewell

today i would be traveling two hours south to pondicherry. i woke up early so that i could return to the rocks. unfortunately they were already overwhelmed with other visitors and so i explorered further only briefly before bidding the swarms of dragonflies farewell. i had some breakfast and then checked out of the siva guesthouse. as i walked out into the street with my pack, i looked warily from side to side... there was someone in particular who i was trying to avoid.

yesterday i willingly walked into a shop to check out the merchandise. i've been playing up the new zealand angle whenever monetary transactions are involved, especially after the initial nationality shifts yielded several 'we double the price for americans' comments. during the conversation with the shopkeeper yesterday, the new zealand angle grew from acute to obtuse to a full 360 degrees of deceit after several minutes of probing questions. it was magnificent [stop asking these questions.]. i perused the merchandise for fifteen minutes while delicately stacking one block of deception upon the next until i'd build a giant teetering tower of kiwi trickery. after i'd selected the items i wished to purchase (taking care to first feign a conversion into new zealand dollars) and the shopkeeper had swiped my credit card, he calmly reached over to my tower and pushed gently on the bottom block.

'could i see your passport please?'

[oh shit. uhh...]

'i don't have it with me... it's back at my hotel [which, incidentally, was about a one minute walk from the shop.]'

'no problem. just bring it to me later.'

close call. he went on to explain that the indian government requested confirmation of identification for certain purchases but i wasn't paying much attention to his explanation. i was far too busy steadying my great tower of deceit and trying to plan how i'd sneak out of town with a shred of dignity the next day. as i walked out of the shop, i remembered how i'd wrongly accused afrosh of lying to me.

fortunately, i made it down to the bus stand and out of town cleanly today. i spent two hours standing in the aisle of the bus while two frail women sat crunched up in the fetal position on the floor below me. so bizarre. when the bus arrived in pondicherry, i was delighted to note the absence of the rickshaw henchmen.

i checked into the ram guesthouse and then was out on the streets to explore soon after. i walked down to the beach and was absolutely dumbfounded to find trash bins at regular intervals along the promenade... but not just any trash bins... these trash bins were being held by giant white bunnies! i got a great vibe from pondy immediately and spent the next several hours walking up and down the beach before heading to dinner.

posted by paul on Sun 13 Nov 2005 at 00:00:00 est (-05:00)

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