The next morning I awake to stardom
The Hotel Staff mill around to tell me that there is a photo of me in the paper and that I was on three different TV stations. They hand me the paper where I am disappointed to see that I have been hopelessly misquoted:
I revel in the fame. Everyone wants a piece of me, but I am careful not to get over exposed. Even so, the fame is fleeting and fifteen minutes later I have been forgotten.
The same cannot be said for Gordon. Although for some reason or other he was not in the paper or on the TV, he has been treated like a star since we first arrived in India. Everyone stops and stares at him. They approach him, touch him, speak to him. They ask to have their photo taken with him.
I am beginning to find it irritating, mainly because I am completely ignored. The reason for the attraction seems to be his hair. There are no blondes in India. I want to tell them that all it takes is a bottle, an applicator and some bleach, but I keep control of the inner bitch.
At the Camel Fair one person who asks for a photograph with him, asks if he is Tom Cruise. I still control my inner bitch, for which I deserve a medal. At a restaurant, the owner comes over and sits with us. He talks to Gordon for the entire duration of our meal and totally ignores me. At the end of the meal he turns to me and says “Andrew, it is obvious that you are a simple man. Gordon however is stylish and handsome and looks good every day. You are just simple”
He then hands me the check and waits expectantly for a tip.
I expect he is still waiting.
All of this adoration focused on Gordon, while totally inexplicable as far as I can see, is harmless and innocent. But at the hotel it is taken a little further.
A waiter is clearly infatuated with Gordon. Whatever the waiter is doing, his eyes never leave Gordon.
When we cross the courtyard of the hotel he runs across to speak to him. He asks for his room number, which Gordon gives him (really!). All the time I am with Gordon but the waiter completely ignores me.
The inner bitch is really fighting to be the outer bitch
Later that afternoon there is a knock on the door. Gordon answers it and it is the waiter. He complains to Gordon that he has been three times but there is always a “Do Not disturb” sign on the door. The sign is still there, but the waiter can’t wait.
He asks if he can come in.
Gordon pointedly looks at the Do not Disturb sign and says that I am taking a nap.
“Oh, so it is a good time for me to come in” replies the waiter.
He is not very subtle about what he wants, but does he really expect it to happen while I am sleeping on the bed!
This is not doing any good for my self confidence. I am beginning to feel that I don’t exist.
Speaking of rats, as we were, we had heard of a Rat Temple in a town nearby. Apparently there is a small sect of people who believe they are reincarnated as rats, and this is their temple. Rats are encouraged to stay in the temple and are never harmed.
We are warned that if we visit the temple the rats will be everywhere, and if they climb up our legs we must never brush them off as we would be harming the people who have been reincarnated. We think we can deal with it, but at this point we don’t know that we have to take off our shoes before entering the temple.
And what is more disturbing is that we actually have to pay to go into the temple. Paying to go into a rat infested building is an entirely new concept to us, but if we flew half way round the world to see camels wrapped in Christmas decorations, why shouldn’t we do this.
As we approach the temple, it is much like any other
The doors offer the first clue as to what we will find inside.
Rats are everywhere
They are on the railings
or being fed
We thought the experience would be hard to deal with, but it isn’t. Is that because they are quite small and look suspiciously like mice
Would a temple called the Mouse Temple have quite the draw of the Rat Temple?
And if they really are reincarnated people, I look forward to returning and finding the waiter here.