So I was traveling in the north east of India with Stubbs back in 2005, and I was just standing around in the market watching some ladies buy oranges when a guy with a big old camera came up to me and asked if he could take my picture. I obliged him and he took a couple snapshots. I thought nothing of it.
A few days later Stubbs and I made our way back down to Siliguri and went to the train station and bought a couple of tickets to Bodhgaya or somewhere holy. As we were standing on the platform a local guy comes up to me and begins shoving a newspaper in my face. I tried to pushed him away, but he kept trying to stick the newspaper right in front of my face. Right at the point when I was beginning to get a little annoyed he suddenly yelled, “You,” while excitedly pointing to a picture in the paper.
He was right. It was me.
There my face was sitting as a decoration in a feature article in the local Nepali newspaper. I looked around the platform. There must have been thirty people reading the paper. Everybody began looking at me and hitting there friends to induce them to do the same. I rode an uncomfortable ride on the train with everyone looking up from the paper to me and then back to the paper. I was a star.
But I did not know if I was famous or infamous. I had no idea what the article said. I brought this matter to the attention to a Nepali kid who I befriended. I pointed to the picture and asked him what it said. He translated the photo caption something like:
“This is a photo of a uniquely handsome American.”
What it really said, I have not yet discovered. It has been almost three years now since this article was published and my parents are still really curious about what it says. So if anyone out there can read a little Nepali and wants to help solve this little mystery, get in touch and I will email you some better copies of these photos. Thanks!