Sunday, September 19, 2004

the story of a package

miguel hair, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

This is a photo of an illustration of a person who reminds me of a famous person who reminds me of a friend aka SuperSize Sonny Bono aka Miguel Nelson. However, this is the story of a package, not HIS package, just your average old package.

In keeping with a device oft used by Indian newspapers, the photo does not relate to the story one iota. You see a compelling photo, usually with some half dressed attractive person, and begin to search for the story. The story below is about potholes. The story to the left is about schoolchildren or the suicides of poor farmer.

August 28th, 2004 Nasik, India

Laurel and I are waiting fot our train from Nasik to Jalgaon to see the caves of Ajanta which are supposed to be spectaculary beautiful, especially during the monsoons when all the waterfalls are in full effect.

We just spent the last couple of days in Nasik designing a temporary tasting room that I'm pretty sure will look nothing like what we spent the last few days designing. A frustrating little project where there is too little time to do something interesting and too much time to just hack something together out of whatever is lying around. Laurel has her first bad case of food poisoning and was laid out for a day and a half. (Later Laurel's condition was diagnosed as dysentery which made her feel wicked tough and worldly) I started feeling a little achey and squidgy, but managed to make it through with just a few terrible farts.

We had a good night in Nasik with Adrian, Alika and Valerie from the winery. We put away wine and replaced it with some Cannon 10,000 Super Strong Beer. Super Strong Beer would be an alkies best friend with its alcohol content of 8% and a nice mellow flavor all for the price of a regular beer. At the end of the night we tried pan. Pan is a betel nut leaf filled with all sorts of flavors including limestone paste, fennel, coconut, rose petals in honey, betel nut, a bunch of other stuff and a maraschino cherry. You take the whole leaf packet and shove it in your mouth and start chewing. Flavor after flavor squirts down the back of your throat as your gag reflex tries to stop you from swallowing the whole package and asphixiating. The whole event lasts about 5-10 minutes and is supposed to very restorative for your digestive health. I don't recommend it when you are drunk. The pan might have been what pushed Laurel's gut over the edge.

Anyway, the package. So we are waiting for the train because we got to the station a little early. The driver at the winery drives his Mahindra SUV like a madman. One heavy foot on the gas, one hand working the meep meep horn. Gas more gas swerve and gun it. Mahindra took over a jeep factory here and the Mahindra SUV is pretty well put together unlike Rajeev's dad's Ford Excessive monster mo' fo' that makes me feel shame whenever I see it.

So we are waiting for our train and an earlier train pulls in to the station. We're standing near second class and people surge towards the doors as the people inside surge to get out. The two forces meet at the cramped doors and an epic battle ensues. Children and packages are volleyed over the heads of the crowd. Old ladies gasp and swoon in the crush and the train eventually pulls out with people still pushing to get in. Stragglers run alongside grabbing the clothes of the people hanging in the doorways to try and pull themselves in.

In the meantime, in a quiet little door that leads to the freight section of the train, a man is casually lobbing packages about 6 feet onto the concrete. Laurel and I remark that we should take note for future packaging. Just then the baggage handler realizes that the last thing he has to unload is a motorcycle wrapped in burlap and pieces of foam. He climbs out of the car, eliminating my theory that maybe his feet can't touch the ground, and begins arranging the packages he has just defenestrated(detrainestrated?) It takes a moment to realize that he is stacking the packages to create a makeshift ramp. Sure enough, he gets up and pushes the motorcycle out of the car and whump whump whump down the levels of packages to safety.

and that is the story of a package as illustrated by a barbershop sign resembling supersize sonnybono in hair and mustache if nothing else.


Blogger primco said...

for visual reference: how to get on the bus...

2:57 AM  

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