The Earth Explodes

I was reading through some of my journals from India, and I stumbled upon an impression that I’d recorded that made me happy.

My first view of the Taj Mahal

The first time that I unexpectedly wandered into sight of the Taj Mahal in Agra, from a quiet spot across the river behind it, the first thought that my brain felt like pushing to the front of my consciousness was: “Wow, it looks just like it does in Commander Keen 2: The Earth Explodes (a computer game I used to play when I was maybe 5) when you see the pictures of the major earth landmarks that the Vorticon Mothership is targeting.”

A screenshot of the death ray machine that’s targeting the Statue of Liberty in Commander Keen (I couldn’t find one of the Taj online)

Sometimes I really wonder what the hell is going on down there in the depths of my mind.

Mr Cool

It might be a good idea to think twice before packing a ‘Mr. Cool’ shirt as one of the only five shirts that you decide to bring to India.

I don’t know what it is about it, but it seems to have some sort of mysterious power over Indian men that compels every single one of them who is capable of reading English to joyously shout “Mister Cool!” as they pass by.

Me and my Mr Cool shirt, in Korea though, not India.

One day I was out for a walk in Dharamsala with Joanna, a tall, blond Swedish girl that I’d been travelling with for a short time, and after about the ninth “Mister Cool!” that was shouted at me that day, one of the men passing by yelled out “Mister Cool… and Mister Hot!”

He paused a second, embarrassed by what he realized that he had just said, and then quickly corrected himself, continuously yelling “Mrs. Hot!” after us.

When we finally got home, Joanna noticed for the first time that my shirt said Mr. Cool on it.

We were walking home with a bottle of beer we’d bought that had been wrapped in a newspaper featuring a picture of the Dalai Lama – who we’d just been to see earlier that day.

“Oh, your shirt says Mr. Cool! That’s why they were all yelling that at you.”

No, I always get that actually. Something about me just happens to conjure the exact phrase “Mr. Cool” to the tongues of dozens of men that I pass every day. It’s just a coincidence that I happened to be wearing a shirt with those same words on it that particular day.