Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Odds and Ends
There are so many sharp memories of things that happen during the course of the day that I feel like a man carrying too many important balls in my arms and someone just keeps adding more and so I start dropping them. The time I have to write them down is too short and the internet access is poor. Between charging outrageous fees at the so called five star hotel for time on, this power fluctuation and outages makes it difficult with dropped connections and the ten minutes it takes for the hotel's systems to come back up. So here a few scattered incidents of the past few days:
We were driving through a large village and suddenly all the cars pulled over and turned off their engines. We could then hear the strains of music coming toward us with a drum leading the way for the horn players. Sally said "oh, a parade take a picture" but I am too uncomfortable taking pictures a close range (they were now along side the car) because I respect people's privacy. My photographs of Indians before this had been with my telephoto lens.
Suddenly we saw a man in tears with a cloth draped over his head, being led by others. Then we saw the funeral litter. The deceased was stretched out and covered in a great pile of marigolds followed by throngs of weeping mourners. This was all along side our little car with our open windows.
The Giant Fruit Bats
I like to stand out on our hotel room balcony after my end of the day shower and listen to the street sounds before Sally get back from work. One day at 5:30 just at the beginning of the gloaming, I saw a bird flapping slowly but oddly towards me. My first though was of a night heron. Slow flapping and a very short tail. It flew over my head and then I saw another, and another in along ragged line streaming in from the distance. They reached the Singapore cherry trees outside my balcony and in a sudden and creepy twist fell to the treetops and crawled over the surface, flipping themselves upside down and then easing into the tree's canopy. Giant fruit eating bats! Wingspan of perhaps 24 inches. I saw about fifty come in. Occasionally one would crawl back up out of the tree as if coming up for air and with a lazy flap, fly to the next tree.