I sincerely apologise for the blatant lack of effort I've been putting into this blog. I'm a douchepickle, I know, but please understand that at a topical level, Iran was very dull, polluted and generally uninviting. For these reasons I have been really struggling to put together an entry about why I did actually enjoy my time there so much. Was it drinking illegally homemade wine in a ski lift? Was it haggling over a carpet after a few too many tokes? Or was it hand drums in the desert? I'm not really sure yet, and that's why this post has absolutely nothing to do with Iran.
Rather, this is about India, and a fellow named Duncan.
Walking back to my beach hut at about 1am the other night, I came across a not-so-unusual gathering of hippies around a bonfire, setting up djembes and poy. Why not join them, I thought, there's bound to be someone worth talking to at this gathering. And indeed, after exhausting my interest in a pair of rather ambitious 19 year-old Swedish guys (working in an orphanage outside of Pune, India, but on vacation for a few days here in Goa), my conversation turned to the attention of Duncan.
The rudimentary details of travel conversation where gone through, valiantly seeking something that could ignite some alternate topic, and we found it, right at the question, "so where are you from?"
Duncan, as it was revealed, had once lived in The States, but had been somehow deported and stripped of his citizenship after being caught with some 30kg of marijuana. Hard to argue, "personal use" with that quantity or drugs, I'm sure. He had moved to Bombay at the time, and with nothing in his pockets, lived on the streets for the last 3 years...or so...he had kind of lost count.
Being given the gift of street-life and the meditative state is can sometimes bring in the everyday quest for a few rupees to survive on, Duncan's mind had spend numerous hours contemplating peaceful and soul-fulfilling topics like, "vendetta," "guerrilla militia," and "pornography racketeering". But as much as he was telling me about this, he was still remaining quite cryptic about the whole process. Fortunately, he was one of those people ruled by their ego...perhaps even a bit of a narcissist, and I took advantage of this to learn more.
From what I could discern (not that there was a language barrier...he speaks perfect English...I just found this all a little overwhelming) this is his plan:
After feeling a bit of regret for burning his Indian passport and only source of indisputable identification, Duncan decided to take it out of "The Man" but convincing a sizable force of armed militants to "pledge their lives to [him]" under the pretext that "it's for the good of mankind". He would then station these outside an unspecified embassy for which his has a list of relevant officials which may or may not be able to supply him with a diplomatic passport. Once he found the one with this capacity he would enter a game of blackmail, which is apparently much easier to do that I had ever imagined...in truth I was feeling a little enlightened, to encourage a trade for said passport.
I know that there was more to his plan after getting the passport...and I'm pretty sure it involved porn, but at this time I was still trying to process the feasibility of Duncan's plan in relation and/or contrast to just how crazy he was/was not. I walked home that night sorting the variable out in my head...but I needed to talk to him again to really get it going.
A few days later I headed into the jungle to a place called Banyan Tree. It's a hippie hideout managed by some old Italian expat who has apparently reached enlightenment. Mostly I just think he's baked out of his gourd all day on cheap local hash...but having been up there for 4 years I do have to give him some credit. I knew that Duncan was staying up near the tree, and trudged in, braving the wall of mosquitoes I walked into to meet with him.
After a kilometre or so of hiking I heard a distant, "hello, Kaare, come in!" and somewhere down the hill toward the river was Duncan, in his remarkably comfortable tree nook he had established for himself. This time there was a mud covered Swedish hippie with a didgeridoo made of PVC piping sitting around to join the conversation, and together we grilled Duncan on his plans:
Swedish Guy (Anton): So, do you carry that sleeping mat with you everywhere? Why don't you just leave it here where you sleep?
Ducan: Well, I'm a little bit worried about theft, but also it's rifle simulation. I know that there are dark times ahead, so i just need to get in the mindset of always carrying my rifle with me, you know?
Kaare: Is that an old keyboard in your backpack?
Duncan: Oh yeah man, it's just like how the old Samurais would train with wooden swords that they carried everywhere. I always keep a broken keyboard with me so that I can just meditate with it and be in the zone...so that when it's time I'll be able to just hack right in, yeah?
...and so on...
Duncan also shared a crumpled old picture of his computer setup at home in The US which involved some 15 monitors. Apparently, by doing a combination of LSD and MDMA, Duncan (who goes by the hanger, "Zero Cool" by the way) was able to attain the same state of mind as those who invented our modern ideas of hardware and software and just dive in to any part of the hacker's realm he desired. This, of course, was because it was college kids on LSD that invented computers. Of course.