Freedom tower

December, 2011

Stopped in new york to do some interviews and hang out with the bros icing bros. Took this after round 1 while checking out the Freedom Tower.

Signal man

November 2011

I stood in the last car and this conductor guy was in the next doorway up. The train home was the “superfast” express, and while there was still daylight he would hold green flags out the door as we cruised through small stations. On the platforms, there would be a guy answering his signal with a green flag of his own. After it got dark, the conductor switched to a blinking green LED flashlight, and all i saw from the station platforms was blinking green response. Tried to figure out the purpose of the signal and all i could come up with was that it’s the fail safe method of confirming that all the cars are still attached to the train.

Daman beach

November 2011

This place has potential… maybe in 2111…

Thums up break

November 2011

Posted up on the beach to talk to some locals. These local chieftains wandered over and whipped out a community bottle of nectar. Was talking to a crazy old guy who said that his visa had just come through and that he would be leaving for the US in february. Not sure how much of that story was the crazy talking.

Entering Daman’s big fort

November 2011

Two forts in Daman- this is the larger of the two. Served as a last stronghold for the portuguese in 1961. The whole city was one of their last outposts and wikipedia tells me that the reason they have such a disproportionately large airstrip is because the portuguese needed a way to get supplies past india’s naval blockade.Some old poet apparently lived in that house visible through the gate on the left (“Bocage”?). These days, the fort is pretty easy to invade and the local government chief has usurped the old portuguese government house for personal use.

The conquerors

November 2011

Found an old monument to the portguese who died during various skirmishes with local armies over the years. For some reason, the locals had elected to spruce it up with christmas lights and build a semi-circle of white columns around the site. Couldn’t tell what the point of it all is, or if there even is one.

The liberators

November 2011

The indians took care to erect a larger and more ornate memorial 10 meters away from that of the portuguese.

Bom Jesus church, Daman

November 2011

The Portuguese took their religion very seriously and no exceptions were made in the Daman fort. One thing about catholic churches in India is that there’s an element of violence/gore that characterizes the imagery in statues, paintings, and even the speech of the priests that just isn’t present back in the US. It’s like the Indians go to a scarier version of mass than we do. My guess is that the priests have had to dial things up a notch in order to compete with the colorful and extremely loud spectacles that are hindu/jainism for the attention of potential converts. The muslims in mumbai seem to have done something similar with the neon lights/music pumping from their mosques all night.

 

 

Bus to Daman

November 2011

Eventually found the bus to Daman and joined a crowd of people and one stack of kindling on this rust bucket.

Vapi city

November 2011

Vapi is a funky place and i wonder about its history. The density of small shops selling textiles/random crap seemed to be higher here than even Mumbai, but i don’t think i saw a single building taller than 4 stories in the entire city. Also, the air is extremely heavy and the environment seems to be heavily polluted in every possible way. Wandered a long way and had to ask several people for directions to the Daman bus station.