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Our siesta was interrupted by a now-familiar but nonetheless hideous hacking, indicative of yet another case of PARS.
As we said in our last missive, this entire region is famous for the marijuana that grows everywhere and the locals and visitors who smoke in unimaginable quantities in the name of Lord Shiva (and whatever else). They pack their ceremonial chillums (hollow conical pipes) with a combo of hash and tobacco, chant a little and chuff like there's no tomorrow. This is conspicuous charas (hash) consumption - for a new twist on tipping, the other night our teenage waiter handed me a hunk of the stuff and suggested it might finish off the meal perfectly, gesturing to the other diners who had all apparently seen the light of this post-prandial puff. I mean these guys SMOKE, morning noon and night in every imaginable locale and after some time, they inevitably contract the dread Parvati Acute Respiratory Syndrome (PARS).
Twenty-four-year-old Amichai is the 19th foreign tourist to have gone missing in Kullu (mostly from Parvati valley) since 1992. That’s an unsettling statistic for a tourist haven that is called the ‘Valley of Gods’, whose valleys and ridges offer a favourite setting for trekkers and tourists. Apart from the list of missing foreigners, official government records say 57 foreigners have died in the region between 1998 and 2009. Most of these deaths are attributed to accidents or drug overdose. But there have been murders too. Like that of Martin Young, a British national who died in a murderous assault in 2000. Similarly, Alessandra Verdi’s death in 2001 was described as murder. The Italian tourist’s body was recovered from the Parvati river bank.
[...] Parvati is famed for its charas. Every year connoisseurs from around the world, although interestingly enough a disproportionate amount of Italians, descend to the valley in Autumn as the harvests are completed. One of the most revered parts of the valley is Malana, listed as one of the founders of democracy with a long established parliament.
Over the last few years more than a dozen travellers have “disappeared” whilst “trekking” in the region, with some these confirmed as murders. Travellers have been known to try and buy a kilo for a couple of thousand dollars cash up front – five years of salary for a day´s work. Both the Lonely Planet and the Rough Guide have highlighted the dangers of travelling in this area.
Through pressure, most notably Israeli mothers have forced the police to take action which has included climbing some steep slopes and burning a few crops. However, the police will not kill this golden goose, a lot of baksheesh can be made from travellers leaving town carrying more than they should.
Originally posted by Maddogkull
Krav Maga will help with close quarters fighting, or street defence. It’s not going to stop a bullet coming at your head. We would need some sort of weapons to fight off people coming in. There are a lot of messed up people in India. With a population of a billion people you know there must be a lot and I mean a lot of messed up people. Who wouldn’t say they would come to our "village" and shoot us all for fun?