So I’m hanging out by the pool at Cavala Hotel in Baga, and the following, very weird exchange takes place between me and this Indian girl from Delhi (she’s in a weird hybrid one-piece/two-piece bikini with a glass of Long Island Iced Tea in her hand…probably her 5th one):

Girl: Where are you from?

Me: New York City.

Girl: Do you drink?

Me: On occasion.

Girl: Want my Long Island?

Me: I really don’t want 5 different liquors in my blood at 4 in the afternoon.

Girl: Oh what are you, a bartender?

Me: Yep, actually. It’s good money.

Girl: Make me a drink.

Me: Now?

Girl: Yes.

Me: Off the top of my head, you mean?

Girl: Yes.

Me: Ok…I usually first ask my customers: “What’s your favorite color?”

Girl: Don’t turn me on.

Me: …What?

Girl: I’ll make it hard for you then. Make me a pink drink. I hate pink.

Me: Why do you want me to make a drink in a color you hate?

Girl: Because I want to see if you could make me a drink that makes me want to go to bed with you.

Me: …Isn’t that your boyfriend over there?

Girl (shaking her head): Please don’t do this to me. I’m in a committed relationship I’m trying my best not to screw up.

Me (loudly): Uhm…Do you hate George Bush?

This is my fail-safe conversation-changer in India as it’s every Indian’s favorite thing to discuss with Americans: how much they hate George Bush. As expected, the girl wanders off drunkenly as her friends excitedly gather around and present their litany of complaints about my former president. I then excuse myself to the beach; I never see them again.



After 2 and a half days in Goa, I packed up and headed to Bangalore via a 12 hour sleeper bus.

Thinking I’ve been through the worst of sleeper buses after 50.5 hours on a Vietnamese sleeper bus and 16 hours in the bus from Udaipur to Mumbai where water was dripping on my face the whole time, I find out on this bus that I would be sleeping side by side with some 35 year old dude. He was cool, but the surprise of sharing my berth with an Indian uncle without prior notice…was not.



So halfway through the ride, when everybody was asleep, a gaggle of Indian police officers stormed the bus yelling with flashlights. They soon pointed at my bag which was secured with locks and screamed: “WHY? WHY?!” and I replied: “Because of THIEF! THIEF! …Bai-sab!!!” And they kept yelling back “WHY? WHY?”

As I removed the locks, something popped in my head telling me he could be actually yelling “WINE?! WINE?” After all, I was in traveling through one of India’s enforced “dry states.” So I blurted out: “No WINE! WINE! I don’t drink.”

As soon as I said that, the officers calmly replied: “Ok. No problem” and left the bus without bothering to check inside my bag. I went back to sleep.



And here I am about to hit up Bangalore.



- At time of posting in Bangalore, India, it was 24 °C - Humidity: 74% | Wind Speed: 11km/hr | Cloud Cover: overcast


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August 2010