well, despite being utterly shit at writing my journal, I have somehow managed, using Microshit's Paint program, to resize some photos and upload them for you viewing pleasure! (extra swearwords just for Uncle Jim!). You can see them at http://billysalisbury.bebo.com
Incidentally, if you haven't joined Bebo.com, go and do it so I can get weekly updates of your new photos and stuff. I could move my journal there as well, but that's just too much like hassle... Anyway, shall I attempt to write a journal entry? Mmmm, we'll see....
So, me and Ester, my new girlfriend/true love/soul mate, have spent the last week being sick as dogs. I have had my intestine invaded by parasitic bugs from Mars. I have been taking drugs to kill them for a week now, but if anything it has just made them angry. When they get angry, they display their annoyance by producing deadly toxic gases that smell of rotten eggs and expelling them through my bumhole. As you can imagine, this can be rather upsetting, not just to me, but to anyone within a 10 metre radius of my butt. Ester has had a really bad cold, which has now evolved into a full chest infecion, requiring a small pharmacy of drugs administered through the mouth and nostrils on a regular basis. We have been in darjeeling for a week and so far we haven't seen a mountain. We spend much of the time shivering in our bed and dreaming of tropical beaches. But not to worry, pretty soon I'll be back in tropical england where I can warm up and recover! Anyway, I'm not complaining, I have a bed, 2 large duvets, and a beautiful spanish babe to keep me warm! :)
So, amusing stories..... Hummmmm.... Hmmmmm..... Nope. I've just finished reading a book on buddhism. Unfortuanely I chose a book written by a complete sceptic of buddhism who has painted a picture of buddah as a pessamistic, obsessive, manic depressive ego maniac whose main message was "give up, there's no point, commit spiritual suicide!". At one point in the book, whilst trying to convince me of the existence of God, he made an analogy where he talked about the "seemingly absurd possiblility" of man one day, centuries from now, building a large torpedo powered by exploding rockets that might be able to pierce the earth's atmosphere and actually land on another planet!!! At first I thought he was being sarcastic, then I realised the book was written in 1938!! My god things change fast these days!
Right, Tirupathi. Tirupathi was pretty mad. We met a family on the train, who apart from being completely insane and trying to give us their children, entertained us for the entire journey. Actually, I think it may have been more the other way around. Anyway, they had been displaced by the Tsunami, and were living temporarily in Chennai. They were now very poor, explained the teenage cousin, whilst sending text messages on her mobile phone and eating ice cream simoultaneously, so they were going to Tirupathi to see the living God and ask him to sort them out with some more cash. The "Living God" is a black statue of some god or another, which apparantly, according to sources long since forgotten, is actually a living avatar of God himself. 100,000 people a day, not just Hindus, make the pilgrimage to Tirupathi every day to see him. This is not surprising, as apparantly he actually grants wishes, no matter how fanastic, for the small price of some gooey sugar balls, your hair, and an 8 hour queue. So anway, our new friends were on their way to see him and ask for cash in return for their hair... well actually the hair of their men and children; the women, despite their claims to the contrary, had no intenion of cutting off their long black tressess! After a few more hours of travel during which we danced, laughed, and sang Britney Spears, we arrived in Tirupathi station and said our goodbyes.
In the station we got our first glimpse of the baldies. They were everywhere! Whole families of skinheads sitting around on their bags waiting for the train home. "This better be worth it!" you could hear them thinking as they imagined their reception back at work and school. In India people take a lot of pride in their hair. Most indian men cannot pass a mirror without pulling out a plastic comb and spending a good 5 minutes restyling their John Travolta or McFly hairdo. And the women usually have perfect long black hair that often hangs right down to their waists. So it's a pretty big sacrifice to give it to God. Not that God doesn't appreciate it. He's very greatful in fact, to the tune of 6 billion rupees a year (trust me, it's a lot), making Tirupathi the richest temple in India. Not that they spend all the money on prostitutes and smack of course. If they are telling the truth, the money all goes back into servicing the 100,000 pilgrims a day, and whatever's left goes to fund orphanages, help the poor etc. We met some guys on the train out of Tirupathi who told us an interesting story about the reason behind all the donaions of hair and money that people make to the God. Apparantly this God stole a large sum of cash from another God at some point in history, and all we are doing is paying the interest on his capital. Sounds fair. :) They were absolutely flabbergasted to hear that I had been to the temple and not actually queued the 8 hours to see the Living God. "This is a very big mistake" said one gravely, shaking his head. I think they decided we were a bit mad after that and left us alone.
So, enough for one day I think! I finally managed to tell something resembling a story!!! hooray!!! ok, maybe more later.... :)