Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Wheel of Ferris

Ferris is the man who spins the wheel. Walking down the main road in Mussoorie, on our way to Happy Valley, we passed through a pseudo antique carnival. Popcorn salt cotton candy greasy smells and the cable cars –
A rusty cave as the mouth from where the cable cars descend, rifles to shoot a wall of balloons no bigger than a poster, small metal cars with chipping paint that only the smallest of three-year-olds could fit in, and ferris!
Ferris is a man who stands atop the spinning metal wheel – no more than twenty-two feet high, yellow paint rusting away dangling small benches swaying. What does Ferris do aside from balancing at the top? Suddenly he lets his feet slide down the side of the frame and creates a force to propel the entire circle round. Ferris hops off onto the ground, letting the giant wheel spin spin on spin on… yellow rust wheeling around in the passing fog.

So we saw a manual ferris wheel. Manual.

Happy Valley is a Tibetan community. As we approached the village we ran into more and more Tibetan faces, and once there we were completely immersed in an entirely different looking people. We spun prayer wheels in a Buddhist temple – the dragons painted on walls exploded with color and snarled at us. Tibetan flags rained from houses, all with green tin roofs. Every house green tin roof green tin roof. Ate beef for the first time in India in a small restaurant with no paint on the walls. Well, white and gray paint – chipping. Might as well have been no paint. The menu was a slip of paper. The less the place looks like it has open arms for tourists, the better the food – but we all know this, don’t we?

Strode past a soccer field – mud. Mud and wet. The entire center of the field one big gaping puddle; dull muddied water. A lively game was going on with quite a collection of spectators.

It was nice walking into this area – much more quiet and peaceful than the bustle of Mussoorie tourism. Less harsh stares, as well. Less honking.

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