fatman Find the clues!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Before You Can Say 'Larry Puglisi'...

Their chants can be heard streets away as the tune that is familiar, yet out-of-place, dash across the cobblestones like puppies released from an animal testing lab. It feels like listening to a commercial jingle in a foreign language. Or an Ice House song being sung in Sanskrit in a Third World karaoke bar. The mind does a quick double take of the mantra and goes into a quick football huddle with itself before it spits out the inevitable conclusion: Hare Krishnas are singing in the streets of Tallinn.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

The Krishnas are here? Already? Though I find it a lot easier to accept the cancerous spread of the MacDonald's fast food empire as it ravenously devours the scenery of Tiananmen Square or Moscow's Krasnaya Ploshchad I guess I just wasn't expecting to encounter the fifth largest army in the world. Here of all places.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Not that I knew much about Estonia before I got here. It was just a grey spot in the 'Geography' section in the glob of mucus that serves as my brain. Although I would later find out that I was not the only person who was ignorant of the place. The immediate neighbours (Latvia, Lithuania, Finland) had, of course, heard of the place. Other people who had planned to travel through Eastern Europe with aid of atlas and sextet had a vague idea of where Estonia was, generally as the last stop off point before crossing the Russian border.

Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Jules thought that Estonia was a type of sandwich before arriving here. He confessed that the only reason he knew there was an 'Estonia' was because he happened to meet some Estonians in Melbourne. Rob who also worked at the Backpackers had very little knowledge of the place. His journey basically consisted of grabbing a bicycle and cycling all the way from Austria to India and back. He dropped into Tallinn to grab a bottle of water and had never left.

The Hare Krishnas round the corner. There are four of them, looking snazzy in their saffron dhotis. Evidently there weren't too many takers for the words of A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in Tallinn. Still, early days I say. I gaze as the four Krishnas chant and dance, the music of their beliefs bouncing off the walls of old buildings in the Town Square, awakening their souls with the cadence of their steps.

Dum maro dum,


Blogger sassyassy said...

You know, I think Estonia might just be the perfect place to ship all the psycho dates I have had lately. I am going to have to go back in your archives and find out why exactly You are there.

You have such an interesting viewpoint (dare I say you are living in an alternate universe from mine?).

What do you think Rorschach ink blot test would do to the Hare Krisnas?

1:05 am  
Blogger Fatman said...

How I got to be in Estonia was pretty simple. Decided to go on the Trans-Siberian Railway via Vladivostok,
took a wrong turn at Albuquerque (should've turned left)ended up in St.Petersburg and had to leave Russia before the visa expired. So, a typical story really.

As for the Rorschach blot test...I'd like to think the Hare Krishnas would find something funky in the inky blackness. Maybe a new recepe for lentils.

1:43 am  
Anonymous Wombat said...

Lol Everyone has a good Hare Krishna story don’t they Fatman?
Here’s mine
See I was told that the Hare Krishna’s hold Sunday hoedowns that attract up to 300 people (and not just for the free food)!
To some, “Hare Krishna” conjures up an image of guys with shaved heads in sheets dancing around bus stations like Jerry Lewis on junk. Personally, I see them as a cult of religious enthusiasts who would potentially like the sport of kickboxing. That’s why I go to their headquarters; to see if they share my love of the sport.
I’m asked to remove my shoes (I hope I get them back). Of the five people currently inside the Krishna temple is the Hare Krishna handyman. He is in the process of fixing a door, while the rest of the Krishna’s are in the kitchen, whipping up some Krishna goulash. The Krishna handyman is dressed, and appears to look, just like any other leftover hippie from Woodstock
With time to kill before the Krishna hoedown begins, I contemplate my future in the Hare Krishna’s over a few pints of Heineken. Because the Krishna’s frown on drinking, drugs and non-procreation sex, these could be my final sips of secular heaven.
When I return, it’s a full-blown Krishna jamboree. The place is packed with Krishna’s dancing around, playing drums, tambourines, cymbals and various other instruments. Some people are lying face down on the floor with their arms stretched out, perhaps trying to find the source of that ever lingering pee smell. The more important Hare Krishna’s are gathered around a microphone leading a monotone chant.
Let’s recap so far: High potential for hot babes, free food and live music!
“Hare Lama. Hare Krishna. Hare Lama. Hare Krishna.”
I make my way over, perch myself between two robed Krishna’s and start chanting with a brand of enthusiasm that can only be described as “religious zeal.” For flavour, I add some scatting.
“Hare Lame, Do-ba-dee! Hare Krishna, Do-ba-dee-doooooo!”
There’s nothing like the sensation of having a Hare Krishna frown at you.
Sprinkled among the true believers are a few scattered twitchy homeless guys. They’ve all mastered putting on the Krishna face for the free meal. Also sporting a gaze of extreme serenity are a few hot hippie chicks, and I catch some of the robed Krishna’s taking the opportunity to check them out (for procreation purposes only, of course).
Afterwards, I take a moment to ask a robed Hare Krishna if I could immediately move into their clubhouse.
“Would it be alright to live here in the temple? I really hate my roommate! He’s such a dick!” I’m flatly denied. Nothing says “rejection” like being rejected by a religious cult.

8:27 pm  
Blogger Fatman said...

I've yet to encounter my first Hare Krishna kickboxer. You want a kickboxing story? OK.

This was my friend Micah's story. Or rather, his friend Banner's.

Micah and Banner, along with a whole bunch of their friends, decided to go to this weekend rave in the mountains somewhere. Banner was a typical skater, hip hop dude. Nice guy. Banner decides to munch on a handful of acid before they all hop into the car. By the time they get to their destination four hours later he is tripping out fully, on a planet in another hemisphere of his brain. Utterly ooooouuuuutttttt of it. The gang, in their glowy clothing and second-hand shirts head towards the music. Unbeknownst to them Banner went the other way.....

Day 1. Banner in wandering through this forest, part-real, part-imaginary. Sounds are too loud, Colours too bright, the trees are talking to him in Swahili. In the distance a music festival is taking place. But where? Where?

Day 2. Banner is still running around this mysterious landscape that is heavenly and nightmareish at the same time. He's getting awfully thirsty. He stumbles out of the forest and sees a road. And there in the distance...a car? He's saved! The man stops driving the car a few miles away. He gets out. Puts on the music. Starts dancing by himself. Banner runs up to him and gasps, 'You...you've got to help me man. I'm thirsty. I don't know where I am...trees talking to me in Swahili...'
The other guy just looks at him. Dances a bit more. Then gets in the car and drives off, leaving Banner stranded.

Day 3. The Rave is at an end. The rest of the group (Micah et al) stand around the car scratching their heads. Where's Banner? Just then, like a poorly-written film, Banner emerges from the forest, wild-eyed and dehydrated. 'Food.' he says simply.

Banner pushes past everyone and scoffs on the only things left in the car- half eaten Snickers bars, lollies, some biscuits. 'Where have you been man?' they ask. Silence.

The whole trip back (ooh. Bad choice of words) Banner remains absolutely silent, still recovering from his ordeal. It is like travelling with Marcel Marceau or a mannequin. When they arrive in front of his place Banner leaves the car wordlessly, without even a backward glance at his friends.

They don't hear from him for a day. Two days. A week. A month. When someone eventually runs into him it is a Hare Krishna version of Banner. 'Where have you been Banner? Everyone has been worried sick.' Banner smiles nervously and informs him that he has discarded his old name.

9:32 pm  
Anonymous Wombat said...

Tell your friend to not go out into the woods alone! You can’t trust the Swahili, It lies… you might enjoy this; I feel we have a very similar take on things…..
In my pursuit of spirituality in these craaaaaazy times, I’ve decided to reject conventional religions and, instead, steer towards the path of becoming a religious cult member. While there are many downsides to cult life (like the wacky uniforms, strict moral codes, and complete mind control), there are a few upsides, as well. Namely: free food and attractive women. Say what you want about the Moonies, the Branch Davidians and those Heaven’s Gaters, but they were all well fed and successfully reproducing.
My first attempt at joining a religious cult is a large, major “Science-based” organization that is notorious for suing publications that print unflattering stories about their cult-like affairs. To give you a clue (but in NO WAY name the organization), the founder also wrote the sci-fi book [CENSORED], and one of its more famous members starred in both [CENSORED] 1 AND 2.
For my sci-fi religious indoctrination, I’m wearing the “funny” T-shirt that says “Alcatraz Psycho Ward Outpatient.” Upon entering the large, Science-based religion headquarters, the first thing I notice is the enormous amount of books, cassettes, videos and colouring books for sale. The place looks not unlike a well-kept gift shop. My first step in joining the large Science-based religion (created by the man who wrote [CENSORED]) is attending their weekly Sunday service and group evaluation.
Joining me at the service are two workers from the Science-based headquarters and a guy who is asleep. A man in a white shirt and tie is conducting a religious ritual-of-tomorrow from the pulpit. As a large bust of the man who wrote [CENSORED] looks down at me, I try and decipher the sermon.
“With your two hands, measure your head,” he requests. “Now, measure your mouth. Now measure your feet.”
This goes on and on. Then he starts on something that sounds like a cross between a nursery rhyme and a voodoo curse.
“Imagine you own your body. [pause] Now, imagine someone else owns your body. [pause] Now, imagine a demon owns your body. [pause] Now, imagine you own your body. [pause] Now, imagine someone else owns your body.”
This also goes on for a good half-hour. I think he’s trying to hyp-no-tize me (and the sleeping guy). At the conclusion of the service, we’re told that any one of us can become a Science-based religious minister; it merely takes buying a book that cost $100.
Since I’m still not sold on calling the man who wrote [CENSORED] “God,” “Lord” or “Almighty Master,” I attempt to fill out a free 200-question personality test. Perhaps this test will help determine what kind of free food I’d like to eat, or which Science-based female will find me attractive.
Q: Are you a slow eater?
Q: Do people enjoy your company?
Q: Do others push you around?
Q: Are you in favour of colour bar and class distinction?
Q: Would you use corporal punishment on a child aged ten, if it refused to obey you?
This is tricky. I manage to answers all these with “yes” with the exception of the one about people enjoying my company. Then I answer the rest of the 200 questions in a record three minutes.
When finished, a man with an accent scientifically feeds my 200-question personality test into a computer (for scientific, computer-like results). While waiting to hear how screwed-up they’re going to tell me I am, I browse through several Science-based religious brochures (not free mind you) containing nicely dressed, smiling, well-groomed people looking really confident thanks to their allegiance to the Science-based religion founded by the man who wrote [CENSORED].
The man with the accent returns. I’m herded into an office to get the scientific low-down on my personality. On the wall is a large poster, displaying the hierarchy of the Science-based religion. At the very top is a large cruise ship in the Love Boat genre.
“What’s the boat all about?” I ask the man with the accent. I’m told it’s the most supreme form of ministry, and reserved for those who have advanced in the Science-based cult-like religion. (They get to be religious on the Love Boat in the Caribbean! Yes!)
“Does the boat have a really good spread?” I ask.
“The buffet is incredible!” he adds with delight.
BINGO! An incredible buffet! I’m beginning to like this cult-esque space religion already.
“Are there a lot of hot babes involved in [Science-based cult religion]?” I ask.
The man with the accent thinks for a moment, smiles, then answers, “That shouldn’t be the reason for joining [Science-based cult].”
“So, there ARE a lot of hot babes!” I press further.
The man with the accent looks uneasy.
“There’s some attractive women, but it isn’t appropriate for me to say so.”
BINGO! A cult with hot babes! I’m almost ready to sign up.
Our moment of religious, Science-based cult cruise ship fantasizing is short-lived. The man with the accent presents my 200-question personality test. I see a flat line across the very bottom of the Unacceptable State region.
“The test shows that you’ve had a major trauma in your life. Why don’t you tell me what it was?” he pries.
“I was once abducted into a cult,” I explain.
Accent man nods knowingly before telling me I need to sign up for some of Science-based cult’s many courses, any of which will improve my life. He also tries to sell me a copy of the Science-based cult’s perennial book, which, without giving away the title, rhymes with [CENSORED].
I pull my checkbook out of my pocket, put it back and then pull it out again. Before signing a check over to the Science-based cult/religion, I tell the man with the accent how the founder of the Science-based cult once told fellow sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov, “If you really want to make money, start your own religion.” Before I can sign my check, the man with the accent says I’m no longer invited to join their Science-based religion and I’m asked to leave the Science-based cult’s headquarters. Bah!

My hunt for enlightenment contiues...

10:53 pm  
Blogger Fatman said...

I too have sacrificed a lot of goats and drank the blood of virgins off altars in my pursuit of enlightenment. Not particularly because I want to find inner peace or score with babes but just because I like hurting animals and drinking pints of AB negative.

I think we all need to spend some time on the path of spirituality. It helps if you believe in books where the main character, supposedly of celestrial origin with incredible powers to bring back the dead, tell you how you should live your life. But for those of us, I suppose like you and I Wombat, who question these teachings, we have to find an alternate path.

And my what options we have. There's this "Science" based religion invented by an alleged con artist-cum-writer (who would move most of his assets on a cruise ship to avoid a horde of FBI agents, creditors and process servors), religions which abuse children, religions that want everyone to commit mass suicide on a particular day by drinking grape-flavored Kool-Aid laced with potassium cyanide. And many, many more besides. These cults are all happy to invite folks of all ages and races just so long as you're not gay.

I think, if Aleister Crowley has taught us anything, its this: Start your own religion. That way you get to have the best drugs and sleep with heaps of women without having to worry about some tentacled God slapping the shit out of you at the point of death. Unless you're into that sort of thing.

3:24 am  
Anonymous Wombat said...

So who's up for Wombatology, or even Fatology? Any takers?

7:19 pm  
Blogger sassyassy said...

I really enjoyed Wombat's story on *censored* organized "religion". I had a creepy experience with them. Ewwwwwwwwwwww!

I think it would be awesome for Wombatology or Fatmanology to become a cult phenomenon.

12:36 am  
Anonymous Wombat said...

Wow here this Fatman? We already have a woman interested in our cult? all we need is food... (131166) and beer! And we are on our way! I knew my search for spirituality would soon end.

4:41 pm  
Blogger Fatman said...

Sassyassy- Personally I've got nothing against this religion/cult. Years ago I took a FREE I.Q. TEST from them because I thought it'd be funny (I failed. Apparently I'm as dumb as an amoeba) and I flicked through Dianetics when I was in a heavily drug-induced state. Do they believe in some seriously weird shit involving intergalactic battles? Do the antics of one of their midgets(Jumping on couches when declaring his love for Katie Holmes, sulking profusely when they mocked him on South Park, etc) annoy a lot of people? Yes. But as long as these people aren't hurting anyone I couldn't care less.

ps- The only commandment for Fatology would be: 'If in doubt- eat it'

Wombat- I think Sassyassy is interested in our cult in a "Let's give a group of pyromaniacs and some morons with mild retardation a box of lighters and send them into a munitions factory"-way.

9:17 pm  
Anonymous Wombat said...

Hey Fatman ill take what i can get. Speaking of which how is the beautiful Miss Kitty?

12:53 am  
Blogger sassyassy said...

Dammit, Fatman, you have my number after such a short acquaintance.

But I would enjoy the show!

2:20 am  
Blogger Fatman said...

Wombat- The lovely Miss Kitty is fine. Or so I'm told. I think she's off to participate in some riots today where protesters have been throwing urine-filled balloons at the police.

Sassyassy- Burning things is fun.

7:09 pm  
Anonymous Kittie said...

The lovely Miss Kittie is fine. And would appreciate not being spoke about on here. Thanks.

1:27 am  

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