24 February 2006
OK some play by play Indian madness...Rolled into Gokarna on the west coast this evening after a crazy mad stressful travel day. Overnight train into Mangalore then the afternoon local express heading up the coast. Getting on the carriage in this bottleneck press of sweaty small Indian torsoes and limbs, my mandolin case handle broke and reaching down to grab it, my glasses got knocked off and down into the abyss below the platform as the press of bodies lurched up and forwards. Scrambling back upright to establish my presence I try to step up and someone has my slipper pinned to the step so I stumble on the train figuring its gone as well. Somehow it stayed on the step and after searching along (and underneath) the train carriage I ended up jumping off to wait for the train to leave to get my lenses. My friend stayed on with a ticket for two and I figured I'd just take a miserable 6 hour bus ride up...but I got a harrowing turbo rickshaw ride (oncoming traffic? what oncoming traffic?) and caught the train at the next stop....now safe and sound near the beach in Gokarna awaiting a supposedly unreal Hindu festival to start on the new moon.