XIV: Working Man

You wait two years for a job to pop along – then three arrive more or less at once. First was becoming Charlie’s guide, the second was a top Goa DJ & now I’ve just done a spot of table-waiting. Its been an interesting journey to the world of food delivery. After my fall I just stayed put, letting my wounds – & chiefly my foot – heal. The concussion was weird for a few days, but has finally gone, despite being occasionally topped up by banging my head on the door frame of my cottage. I’m simply too tall for India. So, I’ve just been hanging around my restaurant, lounging in hammocks or on the comfy matresses by the low tables, watching the ferry to & fro over the Tunghabadra. The view is gorgeous, with the ghats of Hampi sprawling for a quarter mile across the silky waves. Ther’es this possee of folk staying here who all seem to have had a knock to the head, as they are just as lazy as me – reading smoking & making jewellery. There’s four Austrian birds & a gaggle of young Israelis buzzin’ about on tbikes. There’s this young brahman caste lad (the elite) from Bangalore with karated-up forearms. There’s this wild nineteen-year-old French bird who has boys following her like lost puppies, & so on.

To eat I’ve sometimes ventured out of my idyll to a small, popular street restaurant round the corner. It is run by two brothers – Faruk & Ismael Hussein – the latter being called Smiley. In fact, hes like the Indian version of me, grinning constantly. He keeps saying we are same-same-but-different. Anyhows, every time I’ve tried to pay they keep saying pay next life. After a few days I came to the conclusion they meant it. So tonight, when Smiley was away at his local village getting ‘jiggy jiggy’ from his wife, with Faruk suddenly inundated with Israelis, I stepped into the brink & waited my ass off. Great fun. I noted down the orders I took – the total value was 735 rupees – this is what you get for just over a tenner;

A special thali (loads of bits n pieces)
Veg rice
3 daal frys
3 chappati
2 aloo gobi
6 rice
2 malai koftas
1 chi
3 mineral water bottles
3 cokes
2 plain nan
3 maslala dosa
2 sprite
2 chicken fried rice

I leave Hampi on Saturday & enjoyed doing it so much I’m gonna help the boys over the coming days. There’s a chance Charlie is gonna come with me. We made up at New Year – even bumping into Fim who we lived with at Patnem. There was a New Year party on at the tipi place & I had a great time jamming around a fire until a minute after midnight, when the local police turned up & bamboo massaged the owner. The next day we just got piss’d up at my restaurant dancing to the Happy Mondays & stuff, to the disillusionment of the locals. So, me & Charlie back on the road – should be fun. The plan is to go to a city called Visakapatnam, the so-called Goa of the East Coast. I’ve a few sonnets to write in the area, then 14 sonnets in Orissa (the Orissiad) which im gonna hit Indiana Jones style – there’s supposed to be mad tribes & that out there. After a few weeks of touring this Indian backwater, I’ll hit Calcutta, where a few sonnets later I’ll have finish’d the Indiad.


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