Tuesday July 10, 2001

Duladeo Temple in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India. I almost got mugged while I was taking this picture. The only thug to really threaten me the whole time I was in India.

I had ridden out of town to on a bike to shoot these isolated temples. Now that I think about it, the guy was kinda funny. He was like, "I'm a very bad man. I'm a very baaad man." and this little kid beside him goes, "Yes, he just get out of prison." I acted as bored as possible and he just stood there staring at me. I had about 4000 dollars worth of camera equipment. I was like, "Hey, get out of my way, I'm trying to take a picture." but he wouldn't move. "Give your money. Give me Rupees." was all he said.

I shot my pictures and started to leave and he started grabbing my arm and I was shooing him away and I started to get scared. I got on my bike but he grabbed the handlebars and said, "You buy keychain." I said no because I don't buy stuff off bad men and then he started to get desperate, like he was going to cry, fiending like a junky. The keychain was a little metal contraption that depicted some erotic temple carving. You twiddle the handles and people moved like puppets and a guy slides his little brass dick into the back end of a cocksucker. I haggled him down to 30 Rupees for 2 and rode away.

Those Khajuraho hawkers were some of the saddest motherfuckers I've ever seen -- like mugwumps from Naked Lunch. A tourist season that lasts 4 months and they need to sell enough postcards to live on for a whole year. They can't farm or get a job. Turning Khajuraho into a "World Heritage Site" has turned the economy inside out. Flying a bunch of fat white people in every day has rotted their society to the core. Towards the end of the season (and my visit was during a particularly slow season) they get so desperate that they could probably squeeze a couple Rupees out of a lifelong Bombay beggar. Bletch. The temples are cool though.