Monday, March 8, 2010

friends across the world

For all of you that read my blog religiously I thank you very much, traveling alone is hard and having an outlet like this blog is helpful in releasing my thoughts and observations to those that are interested.

In the guest house there are many different nationalities. There are Saudi's, Palestinians, Sudanese, Iranian, German, French, Korean, Nigerian etc.

I have made many friends from different countries and I am expanding my network exponentially everyday. My goal was to find a job in India but what I stumbled upon was much more valuable.

In the guest house I had a nice crew of friends. There was me the Canadian then there was 1 Iranian, 1 Sudanese, 2 Saudi's, 1 German and 1 Palestinian, 1 Moroccan, 1 Swede

I had only met one Iranian before I met 2 in the guest house. My knowledge of the Iranian people was zero all I knew was what I saw on the news and from what I read in the papers and online. It was amazing to be able to hang out with an Iranian guy for 2 weeks here in Mumbai. He changed my perception on Iran and I find myself compelled to travel to his wonderful country.

Amir the guy from Iran has so many crazy stories but I thought I would tell one story that shows how crazy this guy is.

In Iran if you want to leave the country before your 35 you have to go to the Army for 2 years. Amir told me that all you do in the army is stand for 2 years straight. He was compelled to find a loop hole in the system. His girlfriend was taking psychology at the time. She told Amir to act like he was a schizophrenic person. Amir for 2 weeks went to evaluation centers where people evaluated him to see if he was mentally fit. After 2 weeks they deemed him mentally unfit and he was released from the military.

Amir loves basketball and he is a little bull. We played I told him that I would beat him 11-0 and that I would give him 10 000 rupees if he scored a point. I beat him 11-0 but he showed some competency on the court. He was a lefty and would just attack the basket like a wild bull.

My friend from Sudan his name is Mustafa. I liked to call him Moose and it caught on with everyone in the guest house. Moose is a great guy and the friendliest guy I have ever met. He isn’t the smartest, but he makes that up with his kindness and relaxed vibe. He showed me the soccer game and we played almost every night together. The kids at the soccer match really liked him and looked up to him. Moose has been living in the dorm of the guest house for almost a year. He knows everyone around and taught me how to baksheesh. He works for a pharmaceutical company but I don’t know what he does.

The Saudi guys are very interesting characters. They are the most hospitable people I have ever encountered in my life. They are very generous and very respectful; I was totally amazed by everything they did.

The Saudi guys, Khallis and Azziz, would make lunch for me at an Arabic hotel close to the guest house. They would make the rice and prepare the meat as well as the soup and the amazing sauces. It was an amazing experience to have home cooked Arabic food prepared by friends. They are in a weird business and I hope this doesn’t offend anyone. Saudi Arabia from what I understand with discussions with Khallid is that there are not that many low class citizens in Saudi because of the wealth. The wealthy want drivers, cleaners and the government wants labor workers. What Khallid and Azziz do is they send Indians and Nepali's to Saudi to work. They are a broker for sending people to Saudi. Aside from that these 2 guys pray 2 times a day everyday which I think is amazing.

The German guy named Flo was super chill. He lived in a village in MP which is 1 state south of Mumbai. He lived for 14 months in a town teaching English. He can speak fluent Hindi and he loves speaking to every person he sees. It’s funny because everyone lights up when he speaks back and they want to talk forever to him. He hasn’t cut his hair in 10 years, and he hardly shaves. He bought a bike in Hampi and came all the way up to Mumbai sleeping in the woods and camping. He would actually drink 50 chais (teas) a day he was addicted!

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