XII: Admiral Akbar

How r ye doing mi old landlubbers? Just got off the ol’ boat from the Andamans & ahm tryin’ to shake off me sealegs – wobblin’ about all over the place I be.’ Just when I thought it was gonna be a pleasant voyage across the Bay of Bengal, who would arrive at the quayside? That’s right, the dudes with the liquid acid. I didn’t take theirs tho’, I took a drop (licked from the top of my hand) of Steve from Buxton’s & had a jolly trippy time exploring my ship, the MV Akbar. The Westerners were apartheided from the Indians & we had a huge bunk class amidst the pipes that threaded thro’ the bowels of the ship. It was painted Kendal green & with all the ropes & rigging seem’d like a giant Jungle Jims.

Day two of the voyage started off mellow, reading in my hammock as it swung to the ships swaying, so I thought I’d try a bit of the opium again. The voyage was slowly turning into one massive mash-up as the only option from hanging out in the cramp’d & claustrophobic deck was getting wreck’d – a choice most people made. After sharing some opium with this guy, he whipt out a bottle of ketamine (100 rupees any Indian chemist) & cooked it up right there in the bunk. I tried a line & this turn’d out to be rather erroneous as I had my first chundering whitey of the tour…

I recover’d from the mess my mind was in & had a much smaller line of Ketamine which turn’d out to be wiser as I then had a floaty few hours watching the ship scythe through the midnight sea. About 3 AM this morning the boat stopp’d & I saw we were at the mouth of the Hugli River. Around me ships-lit-up-like-space-stations were oozing thro’ the murky blackness of the night. Come dawn a pilot came to guide us upriver (which took the best part of the day), waving to the bathers on the banks as we pass’d.

So we came to Calcutta, a city virtually sweating humidity, a kind of permanent light mist hanging in the air. Tonight I find myself in a ‘posse’ with four cute Australian girls & two Austrian guys (one nice, one Nazi), taking over a corridor in a hotel. It feels strange again to be dwelling amidst the sensory assault of a crazy Indian city after the serene seclusion of Andaman. But I’m here now & I won’t see another beach til Bombay, so I’d better get used to it…

12/03/2002
Kolkata

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