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The Incredible Sensation of Being There [Jan. 22nd, 2008|08:22 pm]
[mood |awake]

This morning I got up at 7 and loaded the bike for my first day on the road alone. Turns out it's actually easier than traveling with others, at least from a technical point of view, because I don't have to worry about where anyone else is. Navigation remains hard, because there aren't always signs, and they aren't always in English. I missed National Highway 210 somehow, and ended up on a backroad for most of the way. It was dirt a lot of the time; I'm getting better at riding that. Eventually, after much asking, someone pointed the way back to the main highway, and I ended up in Trichy after doing exactly the same number of kilometers marked on the map for the main road -- albeit over crappier surfaces.

I travelled 250km in seven hours today. This is normal here. The top speed of my Bajaj is 100kph, and it's one of the fastest things on the road. Obviously, I rarely get to go that fast.

The helmet radio system we were using has an input for music. I've been listening to ediT and The White Stripes. Sometimes, I had to rock out. Sometimes, I threw the horns with my clutch hand.

Alone on the road, flying through the countryside in light traffic, roaring through the plains and paddies and forests to the sound of rock'n'roll. Sunlight glinting off blue metal and the sparkly stickers of Ganesh on my helmet. The air was often full of butterflies, huge black and orange things that fluttered across the road. I felt the myth, I felt the idea of freedom which is the secret ideal of the road trip, especially on a motorcycle. I felt that same thrill as when I first looked up at the destination board in a Euopean train station, railpass in hand. Sure, it's been done before, but this time it's *my* dream, and I'm in it.


Butterfly goo blossomed on my faceplate.

India is like that.