Running out on Western civilisation….Again….dispatch # 9

The US was great. After no TV and mobile for nearly two months. I can see why people regularly lose their heads there. I couldn’t wait to get out.
What? They let her in? I thought they were fussy these days? They let me in alright. Not before I had a quiet rabble-rouse in the queue for fingerprinting and mugshot, though. Treated us like criminals, they did.
And the good bits? Seeing a lady dressed head to toe in the American flag, including her luggage, made me laugh (and shake my head in disbelief!). And Guy Davies, an old school blues musician, live, was amazing.
Didn’t we see her in London there? A bad hallucination perhaps? No hallucination.  Was en route to India again. My planning skills need a little work.
Why on earth? (We knew she really was an old hippie at heart!) India really seems full of possibility. Despite the incongruity of it’s filthy streets, and how fastidious people are about their own personal hygiene.
And what route this time? I followed in some of Michael Palin’s Himalaya footsteps (by chance), through Kalka and the hill stations of Shimla and Dharamsala.
Tsk, tsk. She’s at it again. Hobnobbing with celebs (yawn). I didn’t actually meet Michael (more’s the pity). But I did see the Dalai Lama on my 30th birthday, in Dharamsala.
So much for being a good Catholic girl then? I went for a spin on the prayer wheels at the Buddhist temple most days. When in Rome…..
Nothing like a bit of multiculturalism eh? We were in Amritsar for the Hindu festival of Holi. The locals celebrate by throwing coloured powder at each other (and at as many unsuspecting tourists as possible).
Nothing better to do with their time? Well, there’s always the closing of the border between India and Pakistan . A very ceremonial spectacle (taken very seriously by the border guards involved), a bit like being at a football match.
Sound like it’s all go, then? I do miss the peace of Dharamsala; sitting on the balcony in my favourite cafe, listening to the Dalai Lama chant prayers in the temple below.
That’s it. We’ve lost her for sure now (hooray!!!)

Written 24/06/05