I'll write whatever I want, dammit

Happy Diwali

Kellen and I had a couple of beers after an extremely hard day at work. Four beers each, really. Those big Kingfishers in those over-size bottles, along with a nice dinner - for pennies. Then we stopped at the other bar - the one we usually go to - and had a couple smaller Kingfishers (the normal size ones). There was a guy there, American, mid twenties - who told us about how cheap and easy and young and sweet Indian whores are (but nothing compared to Singapore or Ho Chi Minh...) We got the idea that it would be a nice gesture to buy some food for the dozens of starving beggars at the end of the block, but the beggars weren’t there and the shop was closed (although they did let us use the restroom).

We went a few blocks down the street into a much more dilapidated part of town and turned into an alley. There were young men shooting off fireworks - not out of celebration, it seemed - more out of anger and misery. We continued down the alley, drawing a posse as we went. Only a couple of them seemed dangerous, most of them curious as to why we would go there, and also (it appeared) eager to show us what life in the real world was really like. They smiled and talked to us - intelligent, rational people. Really good people living a life that most of us - thankfully - will never see. In about a quarter of a mile of walking, we saw thousands of people living in conditions that we couldn’t have imagined twenty minutes earlier. A couple of cops rode by us on a moped and smiled at us like we were crazy.

After about four or five turns into smaller and more dilapidated alleys, a very kind man stopped us and asked us where we were from and why we were there. As we stood in raw sewage and looked down at dozens of terminally starving old women and children, he begged us to turn around and go back to where we came from. A very old woman, who couldn’t weigh more than 70 pounds, lying in a filthy blanket in the sewage, coughed up blood and some of it got on my foot. There were some young kids roasting rats over a garbage fire and fighting over the bones. We took the kind man’s advice. I had my camera and I would have taken some pictures, but I didn’t - out of respect. Now I am sitting in my luxury hotel room. Room service just knocked and asked if I would like my sheets turned down for the evening.

I lost about $3,000 in my IRA last week. I guess it’s all about perspective.

Happy Diwali everyone.

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