Encounter Outside South Park Street Cemetery (India Blog 25)
There is another part of this tale today. There is a big building across the street from that old South Park Street Cemetery. And I saw that it was the Assembly of God Church. It must be a quite rich outfit because they have a huge building.
It caught my eye, since I was raised up in the Assembly of God Church in a small town in North Missouri. The truth is that the outfit had done me a lot of damage, but I had the sense to get away from those religious nuts after a year or so at the university.
A couple of courses in Anthropology and Philosophy made me see the light.
It seems that they are doing some social welfare to encourage people to join them. They are giving out free boiled rice on the street. I saw them bring out a huge tub of just cooked rice, about one meter in diameter. Another tub had just been finished. There was a line of people there to get the free rice. Somehow, I did not make a picture of that huge barrel of rice, a cauldron of rice. Probably it was because of this guy beside me who suddenly started bugging the hell out of me.
I think that the guy was trying to be very clever, pretending to be a nice guy and different. I took it that he wanted to take me for a scam. Man! They are clever. At least, they think they are.
I had just come out of the gate of the cemetery. This guy was maybe thirty years old, I would guess. He started talking to me. My instinct when that happens is to guard my bag, my belongings, because it could be a scam. And I have a pretty good sense of whether someone is out to scam me. And I am pretty sure that this guy was.
When he started to talk to me, I started to walk a little faster to get away from him. Then he caught up with me and started talking to me again. I don’t think that he was just trying to be friendly. I sort of backed away from him.
He said: “Why are you so nervous? You act like I was going to harm you in some way. I am not that kind. I am a teacher.” And so on, like that.
Well, there was no way that I could know if he was a teacher or not.
Anyway, why should I trust a teacher?
I said: “No, I am not nervous.”
He started to say something like: “Why are you like that?”
I felt like saying: “Because sometimes Indians are so full of shit.”
Anyway, a person has to protect themselves in a foreign country on the street, when all his money and valuables are with him.
He asked me where I was from. I said: “Turkey.”
He said: “Oh, where is Turkey? What country is it close to?”
“Close to Greece,” I said.
“Oh, and what language do they speak?” he asked. “Is there a Turkey language.”
“Yes, Turkish,” I said.
Then he started calling me “the man from Turkey.”
He didn’t know where Turkey was and claimed to be a teacher.
Many people ask where one is staying. I always say that I don’t remember the name of the hotel. It might sound phony, but I am not going to tell people where I am staying. Anyway, he finally said: “Well, I have to go and beg. I have to go and beg.”
He is a teacher and he has to go and beg? His story was starting to be suspicious.
I walked on past the line of people for rice. They were scooping out cooked rice to the women in that line who had brought plastic bags to collect it.
The guy had gone away and then reappeared holding a plastic bag half full of boiled rice.
Then he says: “Well, I have to feed my kids with this. I have four children and my wife died of cervical cancer five years ago in 2015.” (It was now 2018). He counted it up and said: “Well, I will count 2019 too. That makes five years.” (Actually four, in fact.)
Was this a cock and bull story? Sounded mighty like it.
After sympathizing with him, I asked: “Why did you have so many kids?”
He said: “Oh, only two of them are mine.” And so on and so on.
It was sounding more like a cock and bull story all the time.
I said something and walked on, walking pretty fast.
After some distance, the guy suddenly appeared again.
He says: “Oh, could you just come and do us a small favour?”
By that time, I figured that it was time to get the hell out of there. They could take me somewhere and rob me. He told me that this South Park Street Cemetery was not good. There was a better old British cemetery that he wanted to show me.
By this time, it was obvious that the guy was bullshitting me all along.
I said: “Sorry, but I don’t have the time.”
I now recall that when he first met me, I was standing by the cemetery wall. I was not moving, waiting for him to leave.
He said: “Well, are you just going to stand there doing nothing?”
I said: “Yes, I am.”
I could have said: “Look, you son of a bitch. Its none of your fucking business what I do.”
But I am not abusing or putting people down if I can help it. I try not to be a bastard. But these types playing these games, could push one into it.
Anyway, I didn’t let the guy scam me with that cock and bull story. His wife died of cervical cancer and he has come here to get free rice for the kids.
Actually, I think that his wife was in that line and got the rice, because he appeared with the rice and did not stand in line for it. Where did he get it?
This fucking town is full of scammers.
Tomorrow I will walk to the Hooghly River.