Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oh and By The Way, When I was in northern India, in the Himalayas, this past summer, they were praying for Obama

I can't believe I never told the stories in my blog about how the people I met in remote areas of India this summer were really attuned to the U.S. election. They hoped Obama would win. I was in the Himalayas, northern India, in Jammu and Kashmir, in a particular area where Muslims and Buddhists coexist peacefully. I had always wanted to go there, and I got there as if by magic. That story is well-documented in my earlier posts. I rode in cabs through desert terrains, and a driver would swing his head around to me and ask about Obama, and add hopefully, that he hoped Obama would win. This happened in some of the most remote places on earth.

Once in a jewelry store in Leh, Ladakh, India,near the border of Pakistan and China, I bought a ring, lapus lazuli, for a few dollars more than I should have, ten instead of five, rupees being my downfall. I joked with the store owner, I liked him: you charged me too much. He spoke a little English. He was kind, and funny, as kind and funny as any businessman can be. My daughter and I returned the next day, we struck a bargain, I exchanged one ring for another, he was very nice and very cool. We had a rapport. We laughed together. I told him he should come visit me in the U.S. sometime. He laughed a stoned, shoulder-shaking laugh and said "Are you kidding?! They would never let me into the U.S! I am a Muslim, I am Pakistani! With a name like mine, I could never get a visa into America.!"

And then he winked. Well, maybe someday. Maybe someday when America is ok again.

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