The Israeliyada in India and other random conflictsTue, May 23, 2006 - 6:53 AM
In every restraurant, guesthouse, and roadside clotheshop are my fellow countreyman - the Israelites. Please inspect the attached picture closely. Those of you that dont speak hebrew - the sign says "Sami Burekas''. Burekas being that little pastry hotpocket the hebrews love so much. In Kasol, there are 2 Sami burekas, and a myriad of other places all promising to serve the BEST hummus in town. In a nearby village, Tosh, there is yet another Sami Burekas. Just in case we began to feel a little bit worried. Seeing a Sami Burekas here is akin to seeing the "Jahnun Shel Eema", an israeli pastry shop found on just about every other street, sometimes 2 or more to a street, in tel aviv.
....and that about sums up Kasol. Every place I walk into, I see hordes of Israelis, the loud, the obnoxious, the demanding, the very very many. I think I have seen a total of about 3 tourists in town. In fact, Someone told me that there is actually a 'lonely planet' tourbook warning under the section "dangers and Annoyances' about quantity (and I assume behavior) of the israelites.
Dont get me wrong, I love my fellowcountrymen...but in this quantity it can be a little...overwhelming.
Over the last week ive found myself seperating away...to go hang out by the (amazing) river, take in the scenic views, and breathe in the trees. the nature here is beautiful...
still im finding myself all but running from my tenative home, to get away from this vibe around me and it can get rather lonely.
What prompted me to stay was the promise of visiting the nearby villages. Everyone hops on a bus, rides down the road, and then climbes up the various mountains to visit these amazing little villages. Everything is mountaintops and colored houses, and looks just like what I imagine switzerland to be.
Yesterday I visited the little village of Tosh. Its all rather surreal. Its all little kids running amuck, women lifting crates of hay over their head with babies blanketstrapped to their back, men sherping up heavy crates of assorted items up the hill.
Yet I think the surrealness of it is where I run into difficulty. I sit up on my mountaintop, playing cards with my fellow israelis, or talking about where we ate the last good banufi, and they, the 'townspeople, go about their other reality. Sometimes I have to remind myself that really its quite ordinary to them, what they are doing, and im the only one wondering why it all seems like this faraway painting I cant touch.
I find myself wanting to somehow get close, but im not sure to what. Yesterday I sat down and talked with one of the restaurant owners ""Vicky" (thats a boy's name in india). So the conversation gets to its usuall run of the mill line of questioning Name, Age, occupation...and then about stops. Its always the same...its really quite frustrating.
I think its because im at that point where Im realizing that yes there are less then 2 months left in this trip and theres that nagging feeling that im giving up too easily on really experiencing the 'real' india and coming away with that superspecial thing i was supposed to get, and its times like these I remind myself about all im learning along the way and still im not sure its enough.
Anyways thats whats running thru my head right now.
Til next time,
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re oh lalalala
...all good things come to end (and with every end a new beginning). We parted ways when I left his town. bittersweetly.