Tag: marijuana

High times

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‘Hey, come over tonight Violet. The guy who’s bought my house is stopping by, you should meet him.’

I’ve been dreading meeting my new neighbour, conjuring up all these stories in my head. What if he’s obnoxious, noisy, has loud sex or is ugly.

I didn’t want to go.

But in the spirit of being a good citizen, and also a little curious, I said yes.

‘Okay thanks. I won’t stay long though, I have a deadline.’

Deadlines are always my excuse to get out of something.

Mom, is there anything for dinner?
Oops I have a deadline.

Let’s go on a date.
Oops I have a deadline.

Are we ever gonna have sex again Violet.
Oops I have a deadline.

Anyway, I had a shower, threw on some clothes, a little lipstick and popped over with a bottle of wine in hand.

It was noisy inside. My soon to be neighbour had brought his friends with him.

‘Which one is he?’ I gestured to my current neighbour.

‘In the garden. He’s the one in pink.’

I went outside.

‘So we can plant here,’ I heard him saying.

‘If we take out these bushes we can have a large crop.’

‘Check the light, woohoo, bumper crop coming our way.’

‘Hiya,’ I said, in my neighbourly way. ‘Nice to meet you, I’m Violet.’

‘Oh hi Violet, heard so much about you, we’re going to be next door, well I am, I’ve bought the house, but hey, these are my friends, they spend a lot of time with me.’

I leaned in to shake everyone’s hands. Four guys. One girl. All gorgeous and beautifully dressed.

And very friendly.

And very gay.

No prospective lovers for me in this lot.

But they were really cool and I was glad I’d come over, cleaned up, made a bit of an effort.

We sat down. These things are always a little awkward in the beginning.

‘So you’re into gardening,’ I said, thinking of the conversation I’d overheard. ‘That’s cool. We can swap veggies over the wall.’

They were all super enthusiastic.

‘Yay fantastic brilliant excellent, darling.’

‘We have good soil,’ I carried on. ‘My vegetables kind of take care of themselves, like there are bodies buried in the garden or something.’

They all looked pleased as punch.

‘What do you grow Violet?’

‘Bit of everything. Tomatoes, spinach, strawberries. Giant aubergines. You?’

‘We grow marijuana. We farm it.’

Oh.

Right.

You know when you make a total fool of yourself?

I made a total fool of myself.

I launched into every little dagga story I’ve ever had including cookies that I ate once by mistake, other cookies that my housekeeper had eaten by mistake, the joint I took on a hike and hid in my socks and then lost my socks, and oh god I called it dagga and nobody calls it dagga anymore, it’s weed, it’s cannabis, it’s marijuana, Violet why don’t you just shut up sometimes, they grow fucking marijuana they don’t need your silly stories from a hundred years ago.

‘Are you gonna have a meth lab too?’ I asked.

‘Maybe,’ they laughed.

I laughed too.

Hahahahahahahahaha.

They asked me what I did.

‘I write about sex,’ I told them. ‘Sometimes I also have it.’

‘Like an escort agency? You’re a hooker? A sex worker?’

Oh god, this was not going well.

No no, but sex and sex toys and men and women and I was blabbering like crazy again.

They were looking at me.  Quizzically.

‘Oops I have a deadline,’ I said.

I left.

They grow marijuana.
They may have a meth lab.
They think I’m a hooker.
I used the words dagga.
I made a total fool of myself.

I’m gonna miss my old neighbours.

Still. It’s gonna be great.

New people in the hood.

Marijuana.

Maybe a little meth.

We’re gonna get high.

Welcome!

Thank god I’ve met my deadlines.

Critical in Kashmir

It is possible that I am a terrible person but I’m just gonna have a go at Kashmir. Like a bitchy one. I mean, it is picture perfect with a mystical lake, snow capped mountains, fairy tale castles, ancient mosques, fields of saffron, cardamom tea, romantic houseboats, all that stuff, blah blah beautiful.

But I’m gonna bitch about it anyway.

Because everyone you meet in Kashmir has a sob story.

And sob stories get tiresome.

Kashmir is a controlled state. India owns it. Pakistan wants it. And Kashmir would kinda like to keep it for themselves. It’s a state in limbo. And still at war.

And with war comes disdain.

Bloody Indians, say the Kashmiris.
Bloody Kashmiris, say the Indians.

And I don’t know what the Pakistanis say because they are not really allowed inside. Also, everyone calls them Paks.

As South Africans, we were kind of stuck in the middle.

And yet the Kashmiris were fabulous hosts. And there were several times when we almost tripped over yaks and fell headfirst into the lake because of the beauty. And the gorgeous men. Their beards, stature, strong hands, dark eyes, delicious sexiness and did I mention – strong hands?

They’re astonishing.

But also very bloody manipulative.

As Salam Alaykom, good morning, hello, they would say.

And then, without waiting for an answer…

My son missed out on school. I really need to get him an education.
My daughter had to marry at sixteen. I want very much to help her.
I work three jobs and only sleep two hours a night.
Buy this ring, it’s the only way I can bless my wife.
My own carpets are threadbare…
I had to let go of my goat…

It felt like everything was about money. You almost had to pay for a hello. Or for directions. And if you buy one thing, it isn’t enough. You have to buy two. Three. Four.

Just one more Miss.  Please.  My child…

When you don’t buy anything, ooh Allah Yufaquk Yufaquk, shoulders slump and faces get sulky.

We felt a bit bullied. And bullshitted. And we’re both good travellers and know when to say no or fuck off, but the Kashmiris are master trader bullshitters.

We had been warned. But I gotta say, it kinda spoils the beauty. And the beauty is a little – OH GOD ALLAH SORRY STRIKE ME DOWN NOW – chocolate box beauty. The painted shikaras, the very quaint overly carpeted houseboats. It’s all gorgeous, but kinda, contrived.

Except for the macaroons!!! And the French pastry shop. The flower sellers weren’t bad either. And some of the moustaches were just perfect. There are gems that, when you do manage to wander around alone without being hassled, surprise and astonish. The rose gardens are magnificent, the early morning calls to prayer echo through the whole town and over the lake, and I loved the wild  barking of dogs as they prepare for their nightly roaming.

I did love it. I’m cynical and just a little unfair, I know that. And we were so well cared for. We were brought tea in bed, treated like queens and also offered marijuana and most importantly, husbands.

Many husbands!

Maybe we were too spoiled.

But maybe we were also just a little bit too controlled.

Whatever it was, Kashmir didn’t quite do it for me.

Sorry.

kash

Top ten:-
Dal Lake, old city of Srinagar, Khanqha Shah Hamdam Mosque, Kashmiri tea, Kashmiri moustaches, macaroons, honey, The Himalayas, shikaras and houseboys oops sorry I meant houseboats.

Bottom ten:-
Six security checks on arrival. Seven checks on departure. Phones blocked from arrival until departure. One million heavily armed Indian soldiers dressed in camouflage with branches still hanging from their heads. Baksheesh.

And where, oh where, are all the women? Because we saw very very few.

men

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