mcleod grunge

Back in Dharamsala/McLeod Ganj for the first time in years, and can only say that it has somehow managed to get more crowded (it’s gone vertical) filthier in town (though the garbage pick up seems to work overtime, and the huge hillsides full of aqua bottles have gone). The drivers are all certifiable. Dinner at the hotel tibet, once the fancy place in town was barely do-able as the toilets reeked right up the stair well to the top floor. But the jewel in this muddy lotus is of course being able to attend the teachings HH the Dalai Lama gave last week to a huge group of Taiwanese, Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese. Very organized bunch, with flags and roating schedules for who sits in the temple. Loads of Indian tourists as usual, but must say I find most of them very devotional and are thrilled to see HHDL live. It’s quite touching how un-artificial their sense of veneration is. HHDL was in pretty good form, recovered from his bout of exhaustion but all the attendants keeping a watchful eye that he doesn’t overdo it, regular medical check ups are pretty much in order for the next few months. haven’t really done too much photographydsc_9149.jpgand these shots are pretty much classic. but for those who haven’t been, well this is what one set of views look like (from the balcony of the Ashoka guest house.mcleodpan1.jpgThe mixture of languages and people that now inhabit the Dharmasala circuit is mindboggling, there are tuvans in Thai fishermen pants, Latvians talking to Icelanders, half Tibetan-and- anything-else kids running around. Just about anything. It’s a cool world in that way – I flew in from singapore next to a Polish Bolivian (swedish national) who spoke English like an office worker from London, and on the flight up chatted with a Latvian-American photographer – not to mention the tall, radiant Finnish-Bengali girl at Delhi airport we both chatted up (relax, she was married and off to a meditation retreat). Well now that there are more of us mix ups, being Turkish Indonesian doesn’t feel so strange anymore. Anyhow India has always had a history of tribes floating through. How it copes with modernity in the future is anyone’s guess, but there ae plenty of entrepreneurs who try. In delhi just outside the monastery guest house where I stay, there is a an electric car dealership – not quite the sleek look GM is looking for, but in Delhi’s crowded streets and parking spot battles these make sense. But I won’t buy one just yet.img_0295.jpgimg_0294.jpgnothing like straight talk I say. More later!

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