Wednesday, January 28, 2004


They show bootleg movies on video up and down the beach here at dinner time -- the Guru is a favorite -- so the other day Bindi, Miss Y and I set out for some repast and Pirates of the Caribbean, or what my friend Munkin likes to call the Black Pearl. I've been here long enough now that I thought the whole thing was about India:

-Bindi's rickshaw driver friend is the son of a fisherman and every night they (fishermen) go out in their boats and ring the horizon like a row of Xmas lights. "How cool it would be to go out with them and see what they do." I said. Bindi explained it'd be impossible -- women are invited out once a year for some ritual but otherwise are banned because they're bad luck (just as women are banned from the yoga shala during ladies holiday....God forbid we defile it). So there we are at the movie when some character protests bringing the pretty girl along: 'It's "frightful bad luck" to bring a woman on the ship, sir.'

-The cute boy in the movie wants to go after the pirates who stole his girl but isn't allowed to sail with the colonial Navy. "You're a blacksmith," he's reminded. In other words, wrong caste.

-There were naugty monkeys in the movie and many more here in India (they scare the *&^% out of me, as does Hanuman).

-Johnny Depp had to pay a creepy urchin to park his boat at the dock. Here in India it's a rupee or two to take a leak or, say, park your bike at the railway station.

-Pirates haggling over who gets what percentage of their plunder = every day here in Kovalam.

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