Friday, July 20, 2012

no guts, no navy cross

for a guy named after that aspect of god which is the destroyer who dances in flames, shiva is remarkably cool and deliberate.  he's a figure in the mysore scene who changes currency, rents scooters, finds apartments, and probably hooks people up with weed.  his business card lists "hard to find items" among the services he provides.  there was a kerfuffle with the place i had lined up and i had to scramble to find a place when i got here.  shiva, cool as a cucumber, hooked me up.  i told him what i wanted: cheap, to myself, a little out of the way.  within 15 minutes i was looking at a place that i took.  it's a room in a two-bedroom flat upstairs from the house of one mr. sharada, a gentleman who runs a silver shop out of his home.  my room is quite small, and it has its own bathroom.  the bathroom has a western toilet, but no showerhead.  instead there is a spigot coming out of the wall with a bucket underneath.  to bathe i fill the bucket up with hot water, pour some over myself, soap and shampoo up, and then rinse by pouring the bucket over myself.  it's actually quite nice.  the bucket also serves as a my washing machine.  after practice i put my clothes in the bucket with some laundry detergent and hot water and leave them there for an hour or so.  then i dump the water and refill it again to rinse.  the whole flat was coated with a serious patina of dust that i'm still working to get cleared up.  pretty serious ant problem, plus the first time i looked in the toilet bowl there was floating the corpse of a most impressive cockroach.  when i flushed a salamander was propelled out from the inner rim.  i fished him out and threw him onto a tree outside.  ahimsa for salamanders, but fuck the ants.  them i kill wholesale with bug spray.

so why so spartan?  i mean, i am paying about 185 bucks for six weeks of rent but i could afford a little more  and get housecleaning, laundry and wi-fi somewhere else.  i feel like roughing it some is part of the experience.  nowadays one can come here and live in comfort and connectedness with back home such that it could be like never having left home.  but then why leave home?  to me, coming here, leaving home is part of the sacrifice that helps growth.  i think of the pioneers who came here back in the day, who barely could use a telephone.  granted, here i am blogging, talking to my wife on the phone, and, come to think of it, going to see batman today but i guess despite all that i'm trying to get some of the original flavor of the place.  one must pick one's battles and know one's limitations and all that.  so my battle is with not necessarily the most comfortable or clean living conditions.  it is my third day here and so far i am happy.  i'm very much looking forward to getting practice underway.

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