Day 23 (McLeod Ganj)

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Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Mcleod Ganj
July 27th 2011
Published: August 2nd 2011
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Had another fairly relaxed day today, spent most of my time reading and walking around the town. The real excitement of the day was in the evening.

Throughout the day a Tibetan guy called 'Lion Man' had been going around handing out fliers to his 'Traditional Tibetan and World Dance Show'. Somehow he managed to find me, Steve and Keenen all separately and we all decided to go. Caitlyn was leaving so we said goodbye and headed to the Drumstick Cafe where the show was to take place. We got a beer and sat down for what turned out to be one of the strangest performance i have ever seen.

It started off with Lion Man singing a few traditional Tibetan songs in traditional dress, then he moved on to do a few dances, the first two were the sort of dance i had expected, the third involved him spinning around on the spot for 5 minutes. After about half an hour of part 1 (the Tibetan dance part) he moved onto Part 2 (the 'world' dance part).

The 'World dance' section started with some 80's style slow instrumental music and Lion man acting as if he were on some kind of strange drug. He moved slowly around the stage and then started moving around the room, stopping occasionally to stare lovingly at a refrigerator or pretend to eat once of the pieces of plastic fruit that was hanging from the ceiling. Then he went into audience participation mode, this involved Lion Man going around to every member of the audience, stroking, hugging or giving sweaty lap dances to the men and women in the audience. One girl had all her hair shoved into his mouth. When he got to me he sat down next to me and raised mt leg, kicking it up and doen with his own, then he moved to sit next to Keenen, slowly pulling off his sock before stuffing it into his mouth.

After this song (which was repeated 3 times so he could get around everyone) he put on another random 80's instrumental, this one a little faster. This time he went round to every member of the audience individually and got them to dance with him on stage. Most received a 20 second slow dance but others were picked up, spun around, turned upside down and one older lady received all three. She looked about 50 but seemed to enjoy herself. Others seemed a little uncomfortable and a few refused to go on stage, i heard a few muttering about boundaries when they got back to their seats but in general people seemed to accept and enjoy the show. This time when it got to my turn i was taken to the stage, he pulled my fingers then took the ring off my right hand, put it on my left and dropped to one knee. Then he stood up and put his very sweaty head under the front of my t-shirt and took me for a walk around the room with me clinging to him, trying to walk properly with his head under my shirt. Once we got back to the stage he moved round to the back of my t-shirt and stuck his hands out in front of me so it looked like they were mine. He played with my beard and then started grabbing mt chest, finishing with a nipple cripple. I moved away from the stage, slightly unsure about what had just happened and telling him that the wedding was off. Steven got a romantic slow dance and Steve somehow ended up kissing him for about 10 seconds. It was, without a doubt, the strangest performance i have ever been to.

After the show we had a chat with Lion Man and the people who had also watched the show. A group of us decided to head for a nearby bar and we stayed there for about two hours, drinking, chatting and trying to figure out exactly what had just happened. A few Tibetan guys joined us for a while and we soon headed out for home. Then came the downer of the night.

As we were leaving the Tibetan guy we had been with called to us and accused one of the Israeli girls we were with of stealing his camera, she held up the camera, saying it was hers and he grabbed it, marching off and saying he was taking us to the police. When we got to the police they didn't seem to know what to do, there were 5 or 6 of them and they were just passing the camera around and not doing anything useful. I asked one of them to give me the camera so i could prove who it belonged to. I assumed when i looked through the camera i would find pictures typical of a tourist in India, but as i was flicking through i realised that the girl had lied, there was no way it was her camera. The pictures were all of the same few Tibetan people and there were no pictures of the girl or her traveling companions. I handed the camera to him with my apologies, moved away from the police and had a little go at the girl who had clearly been lying.

I knew my hotel would have been locked up by now but i had arranged to stay with Steve and Keenen, who had disappeared at some point. Before i could go home though i had to help an English woman who had been in the bar walk a wasted girl to the English woman room. It seems the girl was traveling solo and it was her birthday, she had drunk too much without thinking about how she was going to get home.

After what felt like a very long 20 minutes i was finally able to head back to the hotel. As i was going down the rough stone steps i tripped over somebody who had fallen asleep (and i think i may have broken my little toe). I got back to the room, played a game of chess with Keenen. Steve still hadn't got back, which was a little odd, but after an hour or so he arrived, mumbling something about having been woken by a few women and police officers who found him asleep on some steps. He quickly passed out and then me and Keenen went to bed too.

A very strange day, thinking of leaving for Manali soon.


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