Friday, 20 January 2012

to and from the town of Gokarna

On the road to town jungle blossoms honey the air with their jungle perfume.  A sun-blackened, twig-thin man carries a load of groceries on his head hauling them from town to one of the beach cafes.  As he paces steadily uphill with his load, his eyes go to my face as I pick my way downhill over the rocks. "Hello Momma!" He beams a smile at me.  And I beam back.

In Gokarna town, The Shree Shakti Restaurant is full.  At one table a single man sits.  Opposite him there is an empty space.  "May I sit?" I ask.  "Avec plaisir," he responds.
Seated, I take in this person as he eats his masala dosa.
A pale pink Puma cap, delicate pearl and garnet earrings, a brazenly red bra--straps and bodice top peek-a-booing from under a hot pink stretch tank top, Rory, as he introduces himself, is a transvestite.
His midriff is bare.  A tight, short, peach-colored skirt reveals a pair of long hairless legs.  Purple bracelet on one wrist, imitation pearls around the other.
"I'm from Ireland," he says.  "And I'm a transvestite, in case you haven't noticed."
Rory's eyes are pale blue and smiling.  His black hair curls around the edges of his Puma cap.  Behind his left ear a slightly faded fragipani flower wilts.  Tucked into the center of his/her nominal bosum, a pale pink rose blossoms out of his flaming red bra.
"Fragipani is my favorite scent," I say.
"Here you go my dear," he says. He hands me a second blossom lying on the table.
"I love Thailand most, he says.  "They're so comfortable with lady boys there.  And the lady boys are so feminine and lovely.  Often if I just go up to one she'll take me under her wing.  I just love it."
Rory is maybe forty years old with a think Irish accent.
We sit opposite each other, eat our dosa and pass the afternoon.

Pacing myself as I carefully choose my steps in the loose rock on my way back down to the beach, a group of 8 Indian men pass me.  the last cavorts in what looks like Monty Python's "Bureau of Silly Walks" antics.
"Special jogging I do," he tells me laughing.  I start to laugh too.  He exaggerates his already bizarre jog, laughs some more and catches up to his group. 

I continue down to the beach to catch sunset.

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