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August 3, 2008 / calebdresser


In perfect, unaccented English: All of the officers speak English to one another, but I am not an officer. I speak Hindi to everyone. It would be an affront for me to address an officer in English.

At an army checkpoint near sunset.

Bus driver: Hello.

Guard: Hello. Any foreigners on board?

Bus driver: Yes, we have three.

Guard: What are they? What kind?

Bus driver: All three are men, only men.

Guard. Ok, ok, just drive through.

Over beers in Leh: A foreign tourist was killed in a grenade attack at Gulmarg, a day and a half to the northwest, so you’d practically be a walking target. Listen, dude, the terrorist was aiming for a policeman and missed. Nothing to worry about, just keep your head down and steer clear of cops. Who’d you hear that from? Well, we hear there have been running gun battles in Srinagar, two days west. Dozens dead. Rumors? Exaggerations? Shells have been falling along the LOC with Pakistan, covering fire for infiltrators. No, no, the road is open, and the houseboats of Dal Lake are not to be missed because of a couple terrorists. You’re crazy, man – they kidnap Westerners there for ransom! From what I’ve heard, your better off…

At the ticket counter:

Tourist: I’ll take ticket to Goa – I really need to get laid.

Ticket seller: Yes yes, Goa is very good for sexual tourism. Twelve year old boys, fifteen year old girls, you can even-

Tourist: Actually, I wasn’t planning on paying for it.

Ticket seller: Ah. Well. Yes. There is also that.



Leave a Comment
  1. Becky / Aug 4 2008 11:46 am

    Thank you for capturing these moments!

  2. Amy / Aug 16 2008 12:04 pm

    Wow. I don’t really know how to respond to that last anecdote, though I’m sure such people exist in the US and just can’t be so blatant about their intentions.

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