You get tired, you know? You get tired of everything. Tired of India. Traveling. Of overnight buses. Trains. Samosas. Haggling at every turn. Calling bullshit day after day. You get tired. You deserve to be treated like someone who knows better, you think, because you do, in fact, know better. None of this is new to you. You know that a kilo of bananas cost 20 rupees, not 40; that a coconut costs ten rupees, not 25. You know this. But still, every day–a challenge. And it wears on you. It does. Really.
I’m not fucking kidding.
So I decided to stay in Pushkar for just one more day before I go to Jaisalmer (my hotel has a pool, and the room costs two bucks a night), and Mirt, my Slovenian travel partner who I met at the bus stand, decided to go to Agra. We said goodbye today as he left to catch a bus to Jaipur.
Mirt: His name rhymes with ‘leer’ plus a ‘t’. But it’s a Slavic language, Slovenian is, so the ‘t’ sound is pretty hard. Not quite ‘Meer-tuh’ but close. Mirt. Say it with me.
No, not quite. One more time.
No. Not that time, either.
It doesn’t matter.
Mirt is 19 and full of energy and bounces around the subcontinent like it’s going out of style, which maybe it is. Mirt is a philosophy student to-be, and he and I spent an evening debating determinism and its consequences for morality while getting drunk on cheap Indian whiskey. I won the argument, for the record, but it didn’t matter. Mirt is a mini-me, an incarnation of my former self: strong-headed to a fault, unyielding in the face of proof to the contrary. Mirt is a clever bastard, and dispatching with determinism involved forays into the philosophy of mind and crazy shit like defining consciousness, which I hadn’t anticipated being on the agenda.
So Mirt was all right, is what I’m getting at.
But Mirt was 19. Is 19. And Mirt doesn’t get tired like I do. Or, if he does, he hides it better than I do. And now Mirt’s gone to Agra, and tomorrow I’m going to get on a bus to Jodhpur–and do you know what I really, really don’t want to do?
Get on a bus to Jodhpur.
But do you know what?
I’m going to do it anyway.