Yesterday I was offered opium. Among other things.

I didn’t want any, though, so I politely refused.

Being an obvious tourist is such a strange thing. People class you in with so many other people, and with a certain kind of interest in a place.

So yesterday I was offered a whole panoply of drugs, from the mildest all the way up to opium. Freakin’ opium. I was just looking up a stairway curiously, as it looked so precarious, and this man popped out and tried to sell me drugs.

I also discovered that very nice people sometimes lie their asses off, and that I may be able to get a dialup connection at the house after all… I’ll try find out for sure tomorrow.

But not everyone is so scary. Yesterday I was seated in front of a little shop looking through a guide book, trying to find a reference to a nice little cafe, and a nice Aussie girl walked up and informed me that there was a nice little cafe just down the street. It wasn’t the one I wanted, but it was nice, out of the wind. There was good banana bread there, and the coffee was okay, and I got to shock some more Koreans by speaking to them in Korean without any introduction. White guy speaking Korean? They hardly expected that. There are so many Koreans around here, actually, in Dharamsala and in India in general. At any tourist site you will see young students in pairs or groups, wandering with books emblazoned in Hangeul with “INDO”, the Korean word for India.

Last night was freaking cold, but in the morning I got the sawdust burner going and also found a nice little space heater that sort of works in a closet, and discovered a window I hadn’t found was wide open in the next room. I think tonight shall be quite toasty warm indeed, which is nice.

I’ve done some good writing and managed to work out some important things for my book, meaning that I’m now in McLeod Ganj, the touristy part of town, treated myself to an international call (to Korea) and will proceed on to dinner and a stop at the local bar to see if anything good to drink, or anyone good to talk to, is to be found. Hope so!

This evening, walking into town, by the way, I passed through a crowd of monkeys. It was as fascinating as the rainy mountain road, the fog on the mountains all around. Beautiful, freaking lovely, but too rainy to take any pictures. I am now happy that Myoung-Jae talked me into buying my Gore-tex jacket; my legs were a little wet, but everything overed by the jacket was bone dry. Good call, Myoung.

Tomorrow, I plan on plotting a significant part of my novel, figuring out some more of how the different stories interweave, and then a trip into town for a back massage, dinner, and maybe a movie. I’ll also try buy some food for cooking back at the house, see how well I do trying to pass a couple of days without going on, just writing writing writing, see if I can win myself some slacker points for the weekend.

For all the Koreans seeing this page, please convert the page into Korean encoding and have a look at this post again! غ ! It’s Korean new year’s (as well as Chinese and that of anyone else who follows the lunar calendar in East Asia), so Happy New Year!

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