VII: A Brief note about Headphones

As the sand they pick’d up on Varkala beach slowly corrodes the insides of my left earphone, making it buzz real loud on the bass, I ponder on the earphones I have already toss’d by the Indian roadside. Seven pairs in fact, & the last lot lasted me a whole week. They are so naff! I am currently sitting in a dark & dodgy internet room in the Tamil Nadu city of Madurai & am a little – a lot – stoned after sharing a spliff with Prakesh, the owner. Just roll’d into town with a German geeze (of course I mention’d the war – I’m saving the 5-1 for the right moment) & a Dutch couple I met in Varkala. It was a struggle to leave that place, believe me, but when there’s some adventurin’ to be done put mi name down Fergal Sharpley!

Yesterday I left Varkala, one song & two bags of weed to the good, & took a 3 & 1/2 hour train ride to Kanyakamari, the very southern tip of India herself (xxi). In one sweep of the horizon you can see the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean & the Arabian sea, all meeting in a choppy, liquid mass, the Tazmanian Devil waves coming in from all directions. The sunset was crazy, a lucid ball of red that just sat on the clear horizon & was slowly swallow’d by the sea. To celebrate we hit the brandy, chilled on the hotel balcony & the Dutch guy got his guitar & we jammed – note: a Dutch couple that don’t smoke weed!

Paresh, the owner has just said ‘please kindly bring some more of that – it’s nice’. I think he’s referring to the weed & not that fart I did about two minutes ago. ‘I don’t have any more on me’ I said, so he’s nicked my lighter instead. Honestly, you get harangued from every side, everyone after yer rupees. The slow counts are the best, it takes a minute to get yer small change & then another for your notes – they are so slow & indifferent about your change, hoping you will go away or perhaps die of boredom. There are many, many more… my favorite is if you sit in a cafe & ask for something they don’t sell, they’ll just pop next door, buy it & sell it to you for five rupees more – a rupee a meter!

Madurai
14/2/02

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