Tuesday, June 28, 2005


taj, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

our first view of the taj mahal, blurry but i like the setting including the surreality of the hot air balloon being inflated off to the left.


desert, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

when you wake up in the desert the minah birds have been eating bugs off your camel all night and there are tiny tracks in the sand and in their fur and little poops down their sides. when you stop for lunch and a herd of goats pass through and add their dung to your camels, little birds and chipmunks come out of seemingly dead and dusty bushes to fight over each little poo ball and scuttle back into the brush with it.

street life

street, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

we didnt take and post enough pictures of regular street life though it was what we were surrounded by and affected by so often. it turns into one of those almost quantum physics situations, though, and maybe the hardest part of being in india for so long for me, personally. the act of being there and observing your surroundings changes them. being white stands out so much that it disrupts the stream of life around you. i'm not a journalist and am uncomfortable with taking someones picture without their permission for the most part. here's one, though, taken from a bus window, i think, in rajasthan. pretty typical little street scene.

mr peanut gets a hug

mr peanut gets a hug, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

and this, being hugged by a very nice musician friend of rohan's, is mr. peanut. mr peanut is one of the unofficial winery dogs. he's not fed by the bungalow staff, though he might be by the workmen in shacks out back. he shows up, generally at night, and runs with the officially sanctioned puppies and dogs through the fields after helping himself to whatever is left in their bowls (if theres no one there to chase him off.) rajeev does not approve of mr peanut and swats him off the comfy chairs on the patio he likes to sneak up and nap on. i think rajeev thought that andy and i (ok, i) fed mr peanut and encouraged him hanging around, but i swear it's not so. he looked healthy enough that i could resist feeding him, but he had such a great personality that neither of us could resist playing with him. we'd go for an evening walk and there'd be a rustle and flash of ginger fur in the vineyards and hurray, mr peanut would join us for our stroll, always polite and gentlemanly as a funny little stray dog could be. the night of the opening party, or rather the next morning before dark as the party stretched out, someone left the downstairs lobby door open and in ran mr peanut to join the festivities. he danced with guests, politely had a cracker or two when it was offered, charmed the hell out of everyone (except for rajeev, who just shook his head low in resignation and admitted temporary defeat to 'that little doggy') and made his guest appearance before disappearing into the night.


scooterpigs, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

i didn't add a counter to this site until we got back - our connection speed was so bad we just got our business done, tried to keep this updated and reread emails from home 5 or 10 times each... i'm pretty suprised to find so many hits when we've been back so long and never even added most of our final stories and pics. so... i'm adding some here and there now that we're readjusted (mostly) to our lives in SF. it's almost easy to feel as though India was a dream though i know that we're both changed by our trip.
this picture was taken in Bundi. every day we'd leave our hotel and step around a pile of little piggies and puppies napping together, playing, snuffling, and drinking the incredibly foul black water constantly running through the ditch. they get much bigger and less pretty - grown up they are astoundingly ugly, all coarse black hair and jutting hipbones, generally missing an ear and eating garbage or highly suspicious piles from the pavement. supposedly their ears are clipped to varying degrees by the very low caste people who claim them as their own to identify them. in another town a hotelier with a powerful voice and personality told us that their meals were vegetarian but if we asked ahead of time he'd have his cooks prepare us chicken if we wanted. we said that vegetarian was fine but he kept insisting, sure that americans needed meat and even offered pork. it was late and we'd been on trains for hours and i didn't really think when i said something, trying to reassure him lightheartedly that we were fine without meat, about having seen some pigs out on the street that i'd prefer not to eat anyway. i honestly was just trying to joke our way out of the conversation and into our beds and was so sorry when, offended, he drew himself up and responded that those street pigs were not for eating, that indians ate 'pretty pink shiny pigs just like americans.' i felt pretty bad about that until later when i realized that other indians had told me that they WERE eaten - and anyway, i'm pretty sure most of the pigs i've seen in america aren't exactly pink and shiny, either. oh well.


whatdoesitsay??!!, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

found on the ground in an abandoned fort in Bundi, my favorite town on our travels

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


i miss rohan. and raja. and dylan. and parrots on bamboo scaffolding. and pariah dogs on every corner.

Monday, June 13, 2005


buzzard, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

desert life is harsh.


camel, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

i think andy rode this one

palace critter

critter, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

can anyone tell me who this creature is? i know there must be a story....