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Going insane

By on September 19, 2013 in India with No Comments

Naguar to Phalodi

The days are merging into one long dream. I feel like we’re in the desert (well technically we are in the desert) and there’s a mirage in the distance called the Finish Line.  We drive and drive but that mirage, our oasis of safety and comfort, stays as far away as it always has until we start to wonder if we are imagining it.  We wonder if we’re destined to repeat this day, over and over, like groundhog day.  We pull ourselves hand over hand across the sand, our last drop of water teasing its way down our throats yet our destination grows no closer.  I’m sure we stopped and had chai and played bouncy balls with the kids, I’m sure we passed a truck piled high with giant rocks with nothing tying them on, I’m sure we saw mile upon mile of shoes discarded on the road. Hundreds, thousands of shoes. I’m sure we searched and searched for air at gas station after station not having it and our nerves wearing thin worrying about a flat tire in the middle of the night. I’m sure we had to place rocks under the rickshaw tires when we stopped on a hill, because the handbrake is broken. And I’m very sure that in one of my customary side-of-the-road toilet stops I dropped my sarong right in The Nastiest Prickles Known To Man and had to spend an hour removing them with pliers. But I can’t remember when, or where. Our hearts are in our throats with every crank that doesn’t start, every hiccup, every rattle. Just one more day Little Pi-tuk, one more day. Why would that rickshaw mechanic know anything about rickshaws? Of course you’re going to make it to Jaisalmer.  We assign human-like qualities to it.  We hate it and we love it.  One moment it’s the plucky little engine that could.  The next we despise it, we want to do cruel things to it, but we know that to do so would only make it angry, more spiteful, and refuse to start.  It’s our lifeline but we resent it. We pretend it’s our friend but we can’t wait until the day we never see it again.

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But yet, we reach Phalodi, our last stop before Jaisalmer, if it exists.  We are pathetically grateful at finding a hotel. We feel love for the kid on a motorcycle that leads us there out of the goodness of his heart, through winding streets that cause the GPS app to flash maniacally and spin in circles. We don’t mind that the restaurant doesn’t serve naan (no naan at an Indian restaurant?) or that the power keeps cutting out. We just want to finish. We will finish.

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One more day.

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