Worldwide Pants


This blog entry about the events of Thursday, October 28, 2004 was originally posted on October 30, 2004.

DAY 376:  Bedridden again, this time in Delhi to rest my leg from the bacterial infection I contracted from a weird insect bite (and the mild “operation” I had to get it cleaned out), I sat in my room as the penicillin did its thing.  For me it was a time to catch up on world news with CNN International and BBC World, with its always catchy break filler background music (RealMedia file) so jazzy that I think I even heard it in a club once.

After seeing the same reports over and over again — Arafat has a tummy ache and is going to Paris; Cambodia swears in a ballet dancer as its new king; violence on the Thai/Malay border; and those missing weapons showing up in Iraq right before the election — I flipped around the other stations the way guys normally do; faster than two channels per second, unless there’s a hot chick, which warrants at least a once second glance.  Eventually I tired from nothing good being on (even in India) and watched Will Ferrell in Anchorman again from the bootleg I got in Beijing.  The movie gets funnier every time I watch it — finally a movie that understands the intrinsic comic value in the phrase “pants store”!

I THINK IT WAS AGAINST DOCTOR’S ORDERS, but by afternoon I couldn’t stand being in bed all day and went for a low-impact walk to the Connaught Place district (picture above) of town (fifteen minutes by foot from where I was in Pahar Ganj) to see what was there and to find a replacement sleepsheet since I had lost mine.  Connaught Places was the central area of more Western stores in Delhi (unlike the more “authentic” vending stalls of Pahar Ganj), all situated around a rotunda surrounded by another rotunda surrounded by another — sort of like Main Street Suburbia, USA meets the layout of a big international airport.  There were plenty of restaurants, bookstores, music stores and of course, a pants store.  A sports equipment store led me to a bed sheet store, where I settled on a plan single bed sheet instead of a real “sleepsheet” which she said I’d most likely not find. 

After a taste of the Indian ice cream flavor Zafrani Badaam Pista at the Friendly’s-like Nirula’s, I head back to the hotel to rest up again in front of the TV.  The news headlines were the same.  Later, I checked back at the doctor’s clinic to get an assessment of my leg.  Dr. Gupta said everything was going well.  He redressed my wound (showing me the big puncture in my leg he made to clean it out, which was much deeper than I thought) and got me more antibiotics and told me to take two of them and call him in the morning.

FOR FOOD I WENT TO THE ROOFTOP CAFE of the nearby Vivek Hotel, for a change of pace and simply because unlike my hotel, they actually served Indian food.  It was there I encountered a new type of traveler I had heard was rampant in these parts:  the aggressive hippie-type.

A mixed couple — male Indian, female French blonde — who had married when she was thirteen and he was twenty-something, sat a table nearby.  As eager as I was to meet new people I soon discovered I was happy that they struck up a conversation with someone else:  an innocent enough Spanish couple on vacation in India.  The conversation started normal, but the strongly-opinionated Indian man (with his young wife backing him up) just kept on getting more and more vocal about the flaws of modern European society and the poverty of India, and eventually started attacking the Spanish couple for simply being who they were.  The Spanish guy (who was better with English than his girlfriend) kept a level head, agreed with some points, disagreed with some, but the aggressive hippie-types wouldn’t stop preaching their opinions.  The Indian guy didn’t even know the Spanish couple really, and suddenly he was saying that there’s no way they could be in love 100% because they live in European society, yahta yahta yahta, and that he himself had been to every corner of Spain and knew better than the Spaniard.  I could tell the Spanish guy was just getting aggravated — he and his girlfriend just wanted to eat and possibly meet a new person — but the whole thing escalated out of his control.  The hippie guy tried to convince them that they weren’t in fact “happy” like they said they were because they weren’t complete or something like that.  He went on and on about society’s problems, much like this paragraph getting too long.

“Okay,” said the Spaniard to the aggressive hippie Indian guy.  “Then what is the solution?”

“People have to share more.”

“If you think it’s that simple, you’re crazy,” he said in his Spanish accent.  “You’re a crazy man.”  Eventually they hurried with their food, got up and left.

BACK IN MY ROOM with my new bed sheet I got from the place next to the pants store, I wrote on my computer, I watched more TV, all with my leg up as the doctor ordered.  The news headlines were the same so I flipped around to the Indian music videos and the back-to-back episodes of HBO’s Sex and the City.

I went to sleep but then woke up in the middle of the night for some reason.  I turned on the news and the new surprise Osama Bin Laden video had just been aired, featuring the Nine Eleven terrorist addressing the American people right before the election.  Wow, real life is turning into a suspense movie again, I thought.  This is like when Cobra Commander used to address the world in the G.I.Joe cartoon.

The video, which showed Osama’s upper body at a podium, left Americans to contemplate a new question before Election Day 2004:  Has Osama Bin Laden been to the pants store in the past two years?

The world may never know.

Next entry: Gandhi Park

Previous entry: American Leftovers and Indian Flair

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Comments for “Worldwide Pants”

  • There, I’m all caught up.  Sorry, this one isn’t so educational; I’ll make up for it in the next history lesson.

    I’m off to a little place called the Taj Mahal in the morning, 7 hrs. away by bus in Agra…  Blog you from there!


    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/29  at  08:57 PM

  • Man, that is definitely going to leave a mark.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/29  at  09:49 PM

  • Leg pick = yuck :(  That looks like it hurts like a x)’#%$0#

    Posted by Liz  on  10/29  at  10:25 PM

  • thats one nasty hole in your leg…ewww…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/30  at  03:24 AM

  • Whew! I’m all caught up as well.  Ditto on the leg pic, Liz!  Happy Hallowe’en everyone!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/30  at  04:36 AM

  • woohoo! Leg pic! Gore galore but no puss..

    Be well, Happy Hallows and hope that flesh wound closes up fast for your bus ride to the Taj!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/30  at  06:40 AM

  • GREETINGS FROM AGRA…  My hotel’s rooftop restaurant looks out to the Taj…  Don’t feel jealous, what’s between the roof and the Taj looks like a demilitarized zone. 

    Anyway, I’m off to most likely get scammed by someone now…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/30  at  08:46 AM

  • I haven’t read the entire entry yet, but dude, I LIKE the leg pic - I was hoping I’d get to see one!

    Happy Halloween - since it really is Halloween now… I’ll catch up tomorrow during football.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/30  at  08:59 AM


    Hope my leg picture is gory enough for the ocassion.

    BTW, today I learned that in dealing with touts and scammers, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/30  at  12:40 PM

  • Any idea how deep the hole in your leg is??

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/30  at  04:57 PM

  • NOELLE:  It truly is a hole in my leg.  It’s about a 1/4” puncture, all the way down to the muscle tissue.  I swear, Dr. Gupta pour half a bottle of hydrogen peroxide during one of the wound dressing sessions before it started fizzing up.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/31  at  08:30 AM

  • GREETINGS FROM JAIPUR!  Yup, I’m still behind, but I think I’m finally in a place where it’ll be easy to play catch-up.

    DUAINE:  I’ve looked all over that German Indiana Jones site and saw nothing about Pangkot Palace other than Sri Lanka and a British soundstage.  Someone eluded to somewhere in Rajastan (possibly Jaipur), so you better come up with a clue before I pass it by if it’s here…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/31  at  08:32 AM

  • PANKOT PALACE = Amber Fort near Jaipur…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/31  at  12:45 PM

  • Holy shizz dood! You can hide contrabands in that thing!!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/31  at  02:26 PM

  • LOVEPENNY:  Yeah, I think I can smuggle Thanksgiving turkeys in that thing…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/31  at  02:53 PM

  • ewww, gross on the leg picture. that looks wickedly painful. speaking of wicked and painful, if you find a bootleg of the new “SAW” movie, get it. it is like “Se7en”. really good movie.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/31  at  04:23 PM

  • There’s the money shot! We all knew it was comming…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/31  at  06:30 PM

  • ....and somehow it’s even worse than I imagined!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/31  at  06:54 PM

  • “After Macau, I went with Scotty to India where we travelled very extensively looking for possible locations. We covered a lot of ground - India is a big country - and we found most everything we wanted except a gorge to string the rope bridge across. But the locations were widely spread apart and I was concerned about the rivers which had to be clean enough to allow the actors to swim in them for some scenes. I collected water samples out of each area and sent them back to England for analysis.

    “It was always in the back of my mind to shoot part of the movie in Sri Lanka. Other movies, including Bo Derek in Tarzan, had been shot there and I knew that the rivers were probably cleaner. We travelled from India to Sri Lanka and were pleasantly surprised. I had been concerned that as a location it might prove to be too lush, but virtually every kind of location we needed was there with the single exception of a suitable maharajah’s palace. So our original assessment from this trip was that we would spend three days shooting at the palace in Jaipoor, India and then proceed from there to Sri Lanka to shoot everything else. But it didn’t work out that way in the end. . . “

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/31  at  07:37 PM

  • ROBERT WATTS / DUAINE:  Uh, “palace” is too general a word; I’m in Rajastan.  (S’ok, MARKYT gave me the answer.)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/01  at  03:08 AM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

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Next entry:
Gandhi Park

Previous entry:
American Leftovers and Indian Flair


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