I don’t have diarrhea. I figure that’s the most important thing that friends and family are wondering about. I do already have a pant-load of stories that will take hours to document but first things first, I’m diarrhea free.
Almost 24 hours after departing Saint Louis, I arrived in Bombay, India which is now technically called Mumbai. I actually didn’t realize Bombay was Mumbai until I looked up ‘Mumbai’ on wikipedia 3 days before I left. All sorts of vivid imaginations about Bombay started running through my head and I was curious to see what great sights I might see after immediately stepping of the plane. I envisioned magic rugs carrying aladdin and his monkey through a cityscape of jewel-encrusted domes and precarious tent-topped dwellings while sitars wailed on in the streets below. When we finally drove out into the city the next morning, all I could see was brown. Everything here is brown. The dogs. The people. The buildings. Brown, brown, brown. The sky is like a kind of blue but with heavy brown/grey haze coating the sky. The city is basically a dirty, poo colored fudge brownie with a whip cream topping of polluted air. India is by far the dirtiest country I have seen yet. Phnom Phen (Cambodia) seems like a beaming light of metropolis wizadry comparatively.
So, the first day out spent in the middle of the poo brownie was spent around a slum church that reaches out to eunuchs. Not proper eunuchs mind you, more like transsexuals pre-surgery. Twig with berries. Tree with ornaments. Penis with testicles. These eunuchs were dressed as women though — complete with makeup, sari’s, long hair, piercings, etc. and trying to pass off to everyone present that they were in fact, women. It wasn’t convincing though when a balding indian eunuch that resembled Abe Vigoda in a dress, strolled past my wandering camera lens sporting 2-day old stubble. A few minutes later, a young drum brigade in matching yellow soccer jerseys began drumming away, welcoming the americans to the church that Joyce Meyer Ministries helped fund. Following the drum brigade was a dancing flock of Abe Vigoda’s moving somewhat rhythmically to the drums. By rhythmically I mean somewhat seizure-ish in nature and bumping into each other every 5-6 steps. They were such divas. And freaks. They are made fun of and harassed by the Indian culture as a whole and basically outcasts of the culture. And this strange form of living is not always by choice either, they are sometimes forced into this lifestyle by abusive family members. What impacted me is that these strange outcasts of the indian population, who are the butt end of many jokes throughout the community are treated with dignity and respect in this church, no matter if they are christian or not. Makes you second think cracking a joke at some eunuch->freak->person’s expense.
After documenting this church dedication we came back to the largest hotel in India and skanked around with some naked asians in the spa room; many twigs with berries. We sweated balls in the sauna before performing cannonballs in the large in-ground hot tub that could hold probably 40 men. (This is a funny story that I must tell in person to anyone who asks).
The first full day in India was finished off with a mass buffet of indian food of which I ate very little followed by the most tired shower I have ever taken. I popped a double dose ambien and promptly fell asleep dreaming of St. Louis life back home, with the occasional cameo of an abe vigoda tranny…