by Nic Olson

My brain has been melting lately. I’ve been doing nothing for the past week, which would explain my semi-regular very-mediocre blog list as of late. Doctor’s orders: don’t do anything for a few weeks. Living with mom has really made that a reality. But I can’t say like she’s forcing me to do nothing. I’ve been pretty hard into it lately.
Lots of ESPN coverage of Wimbledon, so you know that’s not making me any smarter. Brad Gilbert is the Pierre McGuire of tennis. I just want someone to hire him so badly, so I can have a few months of peace before he gets fired as his employer realizes his true idiocy. And then there’s Mary Carillo. She has a voice that makes me shake with fear and want to curl up next to a pile of dead and decaying rabbits.

Lots of episodes of Lost, the hit television series. The show pretty accurately describes my life. It makes no sense, is bound in the past and present with no sense of time, and time travel makes sense. It’s also an awful mess of a show. A brain melter.

Lots of video games. PS3 on HD TV. Brainmelter at it’s finest. And most expensive.

But I’ve been reading. It was a poorly written book about a car driver in India, but a book nonetheless. And I’ve been studying Hindi. So my brain isn’t fully melted. But right now it is soft like a wedding night with Mary Carillo.

I’ve been struggling with all those ‘meaning of life’ questions. Where, why, what, especially. And these questions are not very approachable when my brain is half-melted from my past week of living, and half-melted from the culture shock that maybe hit me like a well struck Slazenger. So I figured that I would spare you my usual trying to figure out the world crap, and tell a story of my recent travels. It’s not much of a story, but I’ve thought about it everyday since it happened.

I was in Cochin, Kerala, India. I was staying in a nearby town called Irinjalakuda (it doesn’t prounce phonetically, so don’t even try) and went to Cochin by train with a new friend that I was staying with. We went to Cochin to see the sights, as it is a classic tourist town. We took a boat ride, went to a shopping centre, ate some eats, drank some tea. We were only there for a few hours, because there was a city wide half-strike, meaning that the majority of the city was closed down, excluding a few buses, autos, and some shops, because of some political party that was angry for some reason and decided to make the world more difficult for everyone. We headed back to the train station for our hour long journey back home. We were early for the train’s departure, so we sat in some empty seats on the northbound train waiting for the engine to start hauling the thousands.
A little girl came up to me. She couldn’t speak English but was wearing rags, and with the tears in her eyes and with an outstretched hand, I knew what she was looking for. I had no cash with me. My friend had cash with him, as he bought he and I a deep fried banana and shoed her away at the same time. Before I thought of giving her the fried banana that he bought me, she was shooed away to the next train compartment. The fried banana was delicious.
We arrived back at his place, spent the night and another day at his place before I took off again alone. I took the same train to Cochin again, and spent the day and the night there on my way to another tourist town. I stayed in a hotel nearby the train station, because my train departed around 6am. I spent a night eating expensive fresh seafood, watching Indian busboys fight over customers and taking the bus with Malasian army men. I woke up around 5am, went to the train station to wait for my three hour train ride to begin. I sat on a bench near the outer wall of the station, reading the newspaper, drinking a tea. I looked up from my newspaper when I heard someone approaching me. It was a little girl. She looked at me. I looked at her, making a motion for my wallet. She looked at me harder and began to giggle quietly. She was the same little girl that I saw a few days before. I remembered because of her eyes. Full of tears and dancing with colour. She remembered me too. I gave her a few rupee notes for her unbelievable smile and her huge eyes. And for the fact that she was shooed away She laughed again and ran to her friend, waiting nearby. I waved her and her friend over, gave her friend some rupees, and they ran away laughing, staying within sight, so they could keep looking at me and giggling. I smiled. And couldn’t think of anything else for the rest of my trip. And still can’t.
I don’t know what this means at all. But I liked it.