Pelo mundo...

Tenho amigos que são almas livres pelo mundo, sempre viajando, vivendo. E eles vão coletando impressões, experiências, deixando seus pedacinhos por onde passam. Tem o Márcio um amigo de pouco convívio e muitas afinidades, que foi desde Nicarágua, Espanha, Honduras e Bolívia estudando a música, as pessoas e a relação entre essas duas. E também tem meu amigo nada "american way of life", Andy, my sweet butterfly, que por agora está na India, e manda seu boletim toda a semana. Achei uma delícia de lê-lo e divido-o com vocês.
May 10, 2008
Im sitting on a narrow street at my favorite lassi place just around the corner from my hotel in Varanasi. A lassi is like a smoothie made from plain yoghurt, sugar and ice. The lassi guy throws everything into a metal bowl and mixes it with this big wooden whisk type thing. The best lassis come in a clay cup. Even though they knock most of the dust off of the cup you can still taste the clay the first time you put it to your lips. When you are done you just throw the cup down on the street. Sometimes kids will come through looking for cups that arent too broken so they can collect them and have fun smashing them later. If the lassi guy is really cool he'll top the lassi off with a slice of the solid cream that forms on the the top of the yoghurt tray. I always ask for less sugar in mine so that you can taste the sourness of the yoghurt just before that little bit of sweetness on the end rounds it all off. Mmm - mmm, delicious. Its perfect in the afternoons when its way too hot to eat any food but you know you're going to be hungry later if you dont eat anything. I like these streets directly behind the ghats. This is the old part of town where the streets are very narrow. Sometimes theres not even enough room for two people to pass each other without turning sideways. The small shops and residences that line these streets stand a half meter or so above the street itself and have stone or concrete benches that are great for sitting and lounging. The spot I sit on to enjoy my lassi is the perfect place to watch the never ending stream of people, cows, motorcycles and bicycles passing by. The main burning ghat is only about 30 meters away and funeral processions pass by here pretty regularly too. The street here is narrow enough I always draw my knees in when I hear them coming, partly out of respect and partly so they dont have to worry about tripping over me on their way through. But in a nation of 1.3 billion people where death is so much a part of life these kinds of considerations are rare and and the funeral processions pass by without much more fanfare than just another passing (live) body. The motorcycles still jockey for the slightest few feet of passing room to get around them and the boys in the street wont pause their makeshift cricket matches for a single second longer than necessary once they pass by.
Theres a chant they recite as they parade a dead body down the street. I havent asked if the funeral processions are made up of untouchables or if they are made up of the family members of the deceased themselves. Im pretty sure its family members because you hear a big range in how much genuine emotion the funeral party is putting into the chant. Sometimes the chant isnt much more than a grudging mumble. Sometimes its more of a solemn and dutiful refrain. But once a boisterous funeral procession came through singing their chant with so much bouncing, joyful gusto the children on either side of the street came out of their houses to add their happy shouting voices to the group as they passed. It looked like they were having alot of fun with it and I imagined the man they were carrying on their shoulders must have been a dearly loved relative. It seemed like they were doing their best to send him off the way he would have wanted. There are 4 other mini business' set up here on the same street as the lassi place, all of them right next to each other. To the left of Batti's (the lassi guy's) shop is a necessities store. He sells water, crackers, cigarettes, candles, etc. To the left of him is a barber shop, barely wide enough for the barber to squeeze around his customer when he's got a man in the chair. Enough though I havent been to this one I usually get a shave about once a week. They still use a straight-edge here with shaving creme they apply with a brush. When they are done they put a couple of different lotions on you, massage your face and scalp, slap you around a bit and then take the cloth around your neck off with a "voila!" type of flourish. Total cost - usually about 25 cents US. To the left of him is the paan guy. When you order a paan the paan guy takes a piece of banana leaf, slathers it with this white paste and then another darker color paste. Then he puts this thing that looks like a dark purple gummy bear in it and throws crushed betel nut on the top. The whole thing is topped off with a sprinkle of what looks like shredded coconut. He folds it and hands it to you as one little package. You're supposed to put the whole thing in your mouth and chew it really slowly. Eventually you work up this paste you're supposed to hold in your mouth until you've got too much of it and have to spit it out. It comes out as one long stream of dark sewage colored water. I gave it a try the other day. Actually it tasted pretty good. Kinda sweet. But even 10 minutes after spitting the whole thing out I was still spitting brown water. And the cheek I had been holding it in was all torn up on the inside. It was like I had been holding onto a mouthful of rusty tacks. I dont know what it is they are putting in the paan but I cant imagine what its doing to the inside of the mouths of these guys here. They chew the stuff like its candy. Yikes! Blah, blah, blah, Im just chatting now...
May 13, 2008 A quick story from the "Its So India-" file: Its So India-
I was on my way out of Varanasi a couple of days ago when I came across a noisy funeral procession carrying a body down to the river. Even though they were keeping the chant going the group had stopped at a small intersection and the men in front were having an impassioned arguement about which alley to take to get down to the river. There was alot of animated arm waving and finger pointing going on and every time someone made a large movement the corpse on the stretcher at their shoulders would flop from one side to the other. The whole issue could have been resolved in a matter of seconds if they had just stopped argueing long enough to listen to the local man off to the side trying to give them directions. But before I could pass the arguement had settled enough for the group to proceed. - albeit in the wrong direction. Im sure they got there eventually but it still makes me laugh to picture this funeral procession confusedly wandering around the streets of Varanasi completely lost with this hapless corpse flopping around on top. -jeez!
document.getElementById("MsgContainer").innerHTML='\x3cdiv\x3e\u00a0May 10, 2008\x3c\x2fdiv\x3e \x3cdiv\x3e\u00a0\u00a0Im sitting on\u00a0a narrow\u00a0street at my favorite lassi place just around the corner from my hotel in Varanasi.\u00a0 A lassi is like a smoothie made from plain yoghurt, sugar and ice.\u00a0 The lassi guy throws everything into a metal bowl and mixes it with this big wooden whisk type thing.\u00a0 The best lassis come in a clay cup.\u00a0 Even though they knock most of the dust off of the cup you can still taste the clay the first time you put it to your lips.\u00a0 When you are done you just throw the cup down on the street.\u00a0 Sometimes kids will come through looking for cups that arent too broken so they can collect them and have fun\u00a0smashing them later.\u00a0 If the lassi guy is really cool he\x27ll top the lassi off with a slice of the solid cream that forms on the the top of the yoghurt tray.\u00a0 I always ask for less sugar in mine so that you can taste the sourness of the yoghurt just before that little\x0d\x0a bit of sweetness on the end rounds it all off.\u00a0 Mmm - mmm, delicious.\u00a0 Its perfect in the afternoons when its way too hot to eat any food but you know you\x27re going to be hungry later if you dont eat anything.\x3cbr\x3e\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 I like these streets directly behind the ghats.\u00a0 This is the old part of town where the streets are very narrow.\u00a0 Sometimes theres not even enough room for two people to pass each other without turning sideways.\u00a0 The small shops and residences that line these streets stand a half meter or so above the street itself\u00a0and have stone or concrete benches that are great for sitting and lounging.\u00a0 The spot I sit on to enjoy my lassi is the perfect place to watch the never ending stream of people, cows, motorcycles and bicycles passing by.\u00a0 The main burning ghat is only about 30 meters away and funeral processions pass by here pretty regularly too.\u00a0 The street here is narrow enough I always draw my\x0d\x0a knees\u00a0in when I hear them coming, partly out of respect and partly so they dont have to worry about tripping over me on their way through.\u00a0 But in a nation of 1.3 billion people where death is so much a part of life\u00a0these kinds of considerations are rare and and the funeral processions pass by without much more fanfare than just another passing \x28live\x29 body.\u00a0 The motorcycles still jockey for the slightest few feet of passing room to get around them and the boys in the street wont pause their makeshift cricket matches for a single second longer than necessary once they pass by.\u00a0 \x3c\x2fdiv\x3e \x3cdiv\x3e\u00a0\u00a0 Theres a chant they recite as they parade a dead body down the street.\u00a0 I havent asked if the funeral processions are made up of untouchables or if they are made up of the family members of the deceased\u00a0themselves.\u00a0 Im pretty sure its family members because you hear a big range in how much\u00a0genuine emotion\u00a0the funeral party is\x0d\x0a putting into the chant.\u00a0 Sometimes the chant isnt much more than a grudging mumble.\u00a0 Sometimes its more of a solemn and dutiful refrain. \u00a0 But once a boisterous funeral procession came through singing their chant with so much bouncing, joyful gusto the children on either side of the street came out of their houses to add their happy shouting voices to the group as they passed.\u00a0 It looked like they were having alot of fun with it and\u00a0I imagined the\u00a0man they were carrying on their shoulders must have been a dearly loved relative.\u00a0 It seemed like they were doing their best to send him off the way he would have wanted.\x3cbr\x3e\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 There are 4 other mini business\x27 set up here on the same street as the lassi place, all of them right next to each other.\u00a0 To the left of Batti\x27s \x28the lassi guy\x27s\x29 shop is a necessities store.\u00a0 He sells water, crackers, cigarettes, candles, etc.\u00a0 To the left of him is a barber shop, barely\x0d\x0a wide enough for the barber to squeeze around his customer when he\x27s got a man in the chair.\u00a0 Enough though I havent been to this one I usually get a shave about once a week.\u00a0 They still use a straight-edge here with shaving creme they apply with a brush.\u00a0 When they are done they put a couple of different lotions on you, massage your face and scalp, slap you around a bit and then take the cloth around your neck off with a \x26quot\x3bvoila\x21\x26quot\x3b type of flourish.\u00a0 Total cost - usually about 25 cents US.\u00a0 To the left of him is the paan guy.\u00a0 When you order a paan the paan guy takes a piece of banana leaf, slathers it with this white paste and then another darker color paste.\u00a0 Then he puts this thing that looks like a dark purple gummy bear in it and throws crushed betel nut on the top.\u00a0 The whole thing is topped off with a sprinkle of what looks like shredded coconut.\u00a0 He folds it and hands it to you as one little package.\u00a0 You\x27re supposed\x0d\x0a to put the whole thing in your mouth and chew it really slowly.\u00a0 Eventually you work up this paste you\x27re supposed to hold in your mouth until you\x27ve got too much of it and have to spit it out.\u00a0 It comes out as one long stream of dark sewage colored water.\u00a0 I gave it a try the other day.\u00a0 Actually it tasted pretty good.\u00a0 Kinda sweet.\u00a0 But even 10 minutes after spitting the whole thing out I was still spitting brown water.\u00a0 And the cheek I had been holding it in was all torn up on the inside.\u00a0 It was like I had been holding onto a mouthful of rusty tacks.\u00a0 I dont know what it is they are putting in the paan but I cant imagine what its doing to the inside of the mouths of these guys here.\u00a0 They chew the stuff like its candy.\u00a0 Yikes\x21\x3cbr\x3e\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Blah, blah, blah, Im just chatting now...\x3cbr\x3e\x3c\x2fdiv\x3e \x3cdiv\x3e\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 \x3cbr\x3e\u00a0\u00a0 May 13, 2008\x3cbr\x3e\u00a0\u00a0 A quick story from the \x26quot\x3bIts So India-\x26quot\x3b\x0d\x0a file\x3a\x3cbr\x3e\u00a0\u00a0 Its So India-\x3cbr\x3e\x3c\x2fdiv\x3e \x3cdiv\x3e\u00a0\u00a0 I was on my way out of Varanasi a couple of days ago when I came across a noisy funeral procession carrying a body down to the river.\u00a0 Even though they were keeping the chant going the group had stopped at a small intersection and the men in front were having an impassioned arguement about which alley to take to get down to the river.\u00a0 There was alot of animated arm waving and finger pointing going on and every time someone made a large movement the corpse on the stretcher at their shoulders would flop from one side to the other.\u00a0 The whole issue could have been resolved in a matter of seconds if they had just stopped argueing long enough to listen to the local man off to the side\u00a0trying to give them directions.\u00a0 But before I could pass the arguement had settled enough for the group to proceed.\u00a0 - albeit in the wrong direction.\u00a0 Im sure they got there eventually but it still\x0d\x0a makes me laugh to picture this funeral procession confusedly wandering around the streets of Varanasi completely lost with this hapless corpse flopping around on top.\u00a0 -jeez

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