Tim Dee’s gorgeous book – about gulls, and human waste, and interdependence, and evolution – is making self think about India.
She’s back in Old Delhi, the night market. She has a guide, but everything is just TOO. MUCH. The people, the open vats of food, the crowding, the muddy gutters, the smells.
She couldn’t resist buying food (Someone told her cooked food was okay): she tried some samosas, wrapped in an old newspaper. Delicious!
When she had finished, she looked vainly around for a garbage can. She clutched that oily piece of newspaper in her hand, alley after alley after alley. Finally, she asked her guide where she could dispose of her trash. The guide pointed straight down.
Self was confused. “Where?” she asked, looking at her feet.
“Just throw it,” the guide said. Meaning: anywhere. Throw it anywhere. Right here if you want.
Self looked around, and saw that other people were doing just as the guide suggested: eating and then dropping the containers on the street as they walked, never breaking stride.
She truly felt as if she was in a nightmare. The idea of eating something and then just dropping the wrapping or container ON THE GROUND while walking around. Oh God. She almost heaved.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.