Where were we? I hardly recall. But I do remember that I owe you an account of my few but fateful days in Rishikesh, India. So here it is.
It was that strange Indian blend of chance and fate that introduced me to… crap, I don’t remember her name. Memory fades, as time and distance make India seem like a dream… Or perhaps this is the dream.
She was like a character from Shantaram, a sassy, educated Indian gal, chattering no-nonsense and businesslike with a wonderfully musical accent into her cell-phone.
“Yes, I know a place that has a dormitory, let me call them for you.”
And THAT’S how I found myself at the Last Chance Cafe. Which is a guest house.
Proprietor: Absent. In his stead, the place was run by two young Indian bachelors: Sunil, who shared the same dorm as me, and…
“What’s your name?”
Instead of answering, he pointed at a slab of wood lying across the reception desk. “Ramesh” was the inscription it bore, emblazoned grandly in permanent marker. On closer inspection, I realized said slab of wood was, in fact…
“…an electric guitar?”
“Yes, dude. I made it myself. I found the wood in the Ganga.”
“So you play a holy guitar?”
“I guess so.”
“That is so awesome.”
“We should jam sometime.”
I quickly settled in at the Last Chance Cafe, pleased to have found a place that had it all: Cheap and comfortable accommodations, a great atmosphere, free internet access, and, most importantly, a name that sounded as if it had come from a Western.
“I thought you said it was dangeroud to stay at the Beatles Ashram at night, because of the elephants.” I accused Ramesh.
“Yes, but there were many of us, and we built a fire and stayed up all night jamming.”
One thing you should know about the Beatles’ Ashram: It’s beautiful. Go there and see it. Visiting it was probably the closest I came to a spiritual experience.
Then came that fateful eve, upon which I was to meet my downfall.
“Are you from Haifa?” were the words that sealed my doom, and a seemingly harmless invitation to dinner.
Some of you know the details of what happened next, to some extent or other. If you don’t, feel free to ask, but bear in mind that this is a sensitive issue, upon which I cannot very much expand. Take what you can get, is my advice.
Let us sum up by saying I made a bad judgement call, which resulted in some monetary loss, and left me awkwardly stranded in Israel.
“I was where I wanted to be. I had a good thing going. And then I fucked it all up. I mean, I really made it crash and burn. We’re talking major league screw up.”
“Don’t take this the wrong way, but that story is hilarious,” Eliran stated blandly.
“I know, right? I just wish more people saw it that way.”
We were sitting at Max Brenner, on Rothchild Avenue in Tel Aviv. “It might have been a little overpriced, but it’s still a good story.”
“You know,” he said, “I like it when things go wrong.”
I can really relate to that on a theoretical level, but when it actually happens, it’s not very fun, and I told him as much.
“Still, I concluded, “I try to stand by my beliefs. Blessings in disguise and whatnot.”
“Speaking of which,” he interjected, “I’m planning to rent a place in Tel Aviv next year, and would be honored if you would join me as my roommate.”
“By then, you will be a certified fitness trainer, and I a yoga teacher. We could be the most awesome roommates ever. I’m in.”
“What’s more exciting,” I wrote in my notebook that afternoon; “going to school, or traveling the world?”
The answer is this: I don’t know. No one knows. At best, we know what sounds better. And I admit, I’m not done chasing after things that sound really cool. I may never be. That’s why I’m here, in the Bahamas, doing a month-long Yoga teacher course on Paradise Island. But do you know something? Even after I made what may have been the greatest mistake of my life, I’m amazed at all I still have: Amazing friends, the best family in the world, and the ability , with their help, to pick myself back up and keep on goin. I am so fortuenate, that even though I screwed up, the whole world is still spread out before me.
I can’t explore it all, of course. For now, I plan to content myself with returning to Israel to prepare for the upcoming school year, during which I plan to move to Tel Aviv and study musicology and linguistics. And do you know what?