spending another air con squeeze, this time watching "naach" which probably is the worst hindi movie i've ever saw, which is a surprise since it was filmed by ram gopal varma. felt like i was watching a vogue magazine ad for 3 hours. don't see it. no plot, no characters, terrible music. just a woman with perfect body doing yoga postures in the rain while the big b's talentless son looks on saying 5 words. of course we missed the "timings" of when we could buy a ticket to agra. i just could not stay another day in mumbai, and before we knew it, we were swept off our feet by a strong and insistent muslim man. here's how it went:
"you can get your teeket for agra now, but you will be sitting in the toilet. do you want to sit in the toilet?" "um, no." "then you can break up your trip by going to indore first." "uh, ok." "how long have you been in bombay?" "about ten days." "ten days in mumbai?! this will drive you crazy! you must break up your trip-go to indore. much to see!" "uh....cool."
so we ended up paying 3 times the value for ghetto bus-we were "touted", willingly. i actually wanted to bus to an unknown place cause i'd grown sick of bombay and wanted something more. so we ventured out to the northern state of madhya pradesh. it took over 17 hours to get here and we're only half way to agra in the next state of uttar pradesh. we're in the north and needed a new lonely planet cause we only know the south. our "friend"had helped us find one at NO bargain price. we had an upper bunker on a "sponge" as the driver called it with a ceiling so low we had to ride the entire trip horizontally. and no bathroom. 17 hours with no bathroom and only 2 stops! and that was real bad news cause we desperately had to relieve ourselves in the bag our new lonely planet came in, which proved to be really interesting. did not spill a drop, tied a firm knot, and waited for a good place to drop it down like an overfilled waterballoon. unfortunately the next desperate time wasn't so nice. i had to use plastic chai cups, getting piss all over myself and our sponge. lucky for us our bottle of doc bronners peppermint liquid soap simeltaneously exploded and we spent the next 13 hours lying in peppermint urine. yummy!
j in a classic 3 stooges move pulled down our curtain rod while climbing down from the upper berth leavfing me explosed to the rest of the man bus like an amsterdam hooker.
after 15 hours we get off for lentil puri and chai, when 2 young boys start wacking at my head cause my orange bandana was on fire!!! it burned the most exquisite perfect circle.
aside from these mishaps, it was quite a beautiful journey and we watched the sunrise with beautiful prayer music playing in the background. madhya pradesh is in the mountains and very very beautiful. the heat of mumbai was behind us. lots of farms and bulls and cows. each and every cow was clad in a gorgeous tall colorful head dress, reminiscent of carmen miranda--cow-man miranda! and they paint perfect polka dots on some cows, while others get the striped treatment.
we spent the rest of the day recovering cause there is no way to sleep on a bus that is driving on unpaved roads-your body tossing all over the place like popcorn. yet i still felt like i was in a bollywood film because indian film score music accompanied us the entire journey, blasted as loud as they do at the cinema.
we hired a rickshaw tour guide to show us the sites of indore in the morning, which include a jain temple, kanch mandir, that is fully mirrored with pictures of sinners being tortured in the afterlife, and the ganapati temple, which contains the worlds largest ganesha-bright orange in color and over 30 feet high!!!
our next bus will leave tonight at 7pm to agra-it's a "video air con bus," which means they blast hindi videos the entire duration. that's just fine with me. we are supposed to reach agra by tomorrow-friday-at 7am in the morning. i'm sure i'll have plenty of stories about that one. you have to want to see the taj mahal very badly cause it's supposed to be the worst tourist place with the worst pan handler/touters/grifters in india, and they hiked up the price for tourists to 1000 rupies!(10rps for indians). and yes, i do want to see it that bad, but we plan to split as fast as possible when we figure out the next stop. i'm pressing for jaipur in rajasthan. more later....