Lord God of Abraham.. I know I am here.. my sinuses are running like crazy and I am already starting the hacking croupy cough.. ‘Delhi Belly’ may yet await me.. I am home in India..
Julius Caesar is reported to have said.. “All of Gaul is divided into three parts” .. or at least when I took Latin in High School in Royal Oak, Michigan in the autumn of 1950.. it was thus quoted..
BOBBA SEZ.. ALL OF INDIA IS DIVIDED INTO TWO (2) PARTS.. THOSE WHO JAY WALK IN TRAFFIC AND THOSE WHO DO NOT JAYWALK IN TRAFFIC..
Got it ‘Zilla.. Bobba falls into the category of a JAYWALKER..
Since coming to India in October of 1990.. the 31st to be precise.. Halloween night.. I have partaken of this EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND LEGALLY FORBIDDEN ACTIVITY..
WHY.. ‘Because.. Just Because’ .. ever say THAT to one of your children.. here is a tad more substance.. the city blocks here can be enormous.. one city block can be up to say 500 feet in length or longer.. and if you are in the middle of the block.. and your destination is directly across from you.. it takes the ability of a saint NOT to jaywalk straight across.. IF you decide to be ‘legal’.. you walk to the next corner.. and are faced with a subway in many cases.. so you walk down steps and across and up steps.. and the process will take you 10 to 15 minutes longer that the straight shot directly across from where you debate this craziness.. and it is crazy to jaywalk here.. if it is hot (90 degrees or over) you want to get across fast and walking properly exposes you to the heat more.. 90 degrees here feels like over 100 degrees there..
TO DISCOURAGE YOU THE AUTHORITIES.. in many cases.. have constructed metal wrought iron fences to physically BLOCK you from jaywalking.. and they succeed in these cases.. the vigorours professional jay walkers hop them and they are about 42 inches tall.. with spikes on the tops.. I do NOT do this.. I am an amateur..
OK.. the percentage of Indians who jaywalk would be from 10 to 20 percent.. MOST DO NOT JAYWALK..
Here is the deal based upon over twenty one (21) years of experience..
1. At night.. the black hole in the traffic will look like an opening.. IT USUALLY IS A CAR WITH NO LIGHTS.. beware..
2. IF you are out in the traffic stream and you forget where you are.. FREEZE.. DO NOT BLINK..DO NOT MOVE SO MUCH AS ONE MUSCLE.. the exceedingly skilled Indian drivers WILL AVOID YOU IF YOU DO NOT MOVE.. move and you may die dead..
3. Of the percentage who jay walk.. I would say 25 percent are FEMALES.. so here is the ticket.. you get the female jaywalker BETWEEN YOU AND THE TRAFFIC.. if the traffic is coming from your left.. she is between you and the traffic.. YOU MIRROR HER.. she goes.. you go.. she stops.. you stop.. I will even put one finger on her to detect any erratic movements.. in their bright colored saris the drivers see the females and WILL NOT RUN OVER ONE.. MOST OF THESE JAYWALING FEMALES ARE MIDDLE AGED SENIORS NOT KIDS.. the ‘chickie poohs’ ONLY Jaywalk with their boy friends.. seldom alone.. but the (admittedly few that Jaywalk) ELDER LADIES THAT GO OUT THERE INTO THE TRAFFIC DO IT WITH A “HIT ME IF YOU DARE YOU ‘SONOFABITCH’ DRIVER’ attitude.. I LOVE INDIA..
LACKING A FEMALE.. I will simply do the same with an Indian male.. he goes.. I go.. he stops.. I stop.. EVEN BETTER IS TO BE DOWN TRAFFIC STEAM with a group of several other jaywalkers upstream ‘blocking the traffic’ from you..
COMMON COURTESY DEMANDS THAT I ALWAYS SAY.. ‘DHANYA VAD’.. which is thank you in the Hindi language to my escorts.. who HAVEN’T A CLUE.. but smile back because I am smiling at them with SINCERE GRATITUDE FOR AGAIN HAVING JAYWALKED AND NOT LOST MY LIFE..
This NOW is Thursday the 8th of September.. 6PM and I have almost survived one full day here..
AND I DID A LOT OF JAYWALKING TODAY..
After breakfast with George Abraham from England.. six or seven omelettes.. a dozen or more pieces of burned black crispy toast.. a ton of butter and jam.. off I went.. I need about 5,000 calories a day when here to not look like a WWII Prison Camp detainee..
I set out for water.. Jain and Sons.. a local shop and my water source for 21 years was not yet open. I started to backtrack for a phone card.. folly.. I re-backtracked and ran into a government tourist office.. I got a map and directions to the U.S. Embassy.. went to the phone card office.. was told to sit and wait.. I did for 30 minutes.. was told to wait for 30 more mnutes.. I said (YOU read my lips).. and I left.. then I set out for the U.S. Embassy to register.. went there.. failed mission.. it cost me 120 rupees and over one hour and I totally failed.. will have to register on-line.. back to Connaught place.. went to Nath Brothers Pharmacy and got Electral Rehydraton Salts and hand sanitizer and facial cleanser.. then to the Oriental Food Market for one litre of cold water.. added Electral and regained my clarity.. found the cell phone store.. BIG DEAL TO GET A CELL PHONE AS A NON-RESIDENT.. need passport photo.. local references.. money.. a letter of recommendation.. long application.. nearly fainted from the heat and the exertion of walking so far so long.. got a second litre of water and added another package of Electral Rehydration Salts .. regained my clarity.. got back to Jain and Sons and bought a case of 12 each one litre bottles of water..got back to the YMCA AFTER my three and one half hour outing.. stripped down BAN (bare ass naked).. put in a dental mouth guard and attached my CPAP and I died.. Bobba Caps you’re such a clown.. What goes up MUST come down.. and slept like the dead for over three hours.. got up.. and I could not see clearly..
It took awhile before I finally realized that I’d washed my eye glasses with local water.. the tap water here is so complex that it resembles salt water.. I had washed and rinsed my glasses with it and had set them down to drain and dry as I napped.. when I got up there seemed to be a film in front of me.. then I realized the film was real and existed.. I then re-washed them and rinsed them with bottled water and I could see again clearly..
Then I got my letter of personal recommendation from THE MAN.. the manager of the YMCA.. friend of many years.. Sharma friend for 21 years will be my personal sponsor.. then in the late afternoon heat I walked to the phone card office and GOT A 200 MINUTE PHONE CARD.. got a thank you card to thank Rajinder for letting me use his cell phone to call Patti last night.. back to the YMCA again exhausted and hot and sweaty from the heat and the humidity.. back to the room to wash off with bottled water.. down here to write..
MORE TO FOLLOW.. THIS IS A START IN ‘A DAY IN THE LIFE OF BOBBA IN INDIA’..
Real time is now Friday Morning.. September 9th.. 5AM in New Delhi and GET THIS ALL OF YOU.. I JUST SLEPT SOUNDLY.. LIKE THE DEAD.. FOR OVER SIX (6) COUNT THEM HOURS.. FANTASTIC.. WONDERFUL.. BOBBA AND BOBBSEYS ALL RIDING THE ROCKET SLED ARE SLOWING DOWN JUST A TAD..
Dinner last night was to die for.. breakfast and dinner go with the my room and both are all-you-can-eat Buffets.. India Dal with tons of lentils and little liquid.. usually it is gallons of liquid with a few lentils spooned over nice Basmati India Rice.. more fresh tomato slices than we together could count.. let’s say a dozen tomatoes minimum.. crave them when here.. the veggies here are fresh out of the garden.. then chicken pieces stewed in a broth/gravy.. and India Nan.. then I ate at minimum of nine (9) desserts.. bread pudding with glaced (like in fruit cake) fruit pieces…
Up to be and at 9:33PM .. Thursday evening.. September the 8th.. I literally passed out in bed.. dental mouth guard in and CPAP in place.. and as I wrote above.. I died for over six hours..
This is it.. I’ll give you all a break here.. CAP
- SEP 8, 11 .. INDIA MEMORIES
- SEP 9, 11 .. NEW DELHI.. PART I