My personal Brexit commenced last week with a move to rural India.
I’m living in a refurbished 1960s hotel compound in Bihar, one of the poorest states in India, and the most prone to flooding. Flying in to Patna airport, what my brain first registered as a large expanse of sand was actually the silty brown water of the overflowing Ganges. The town I’ve moved to, Rajgir, is on somewhat higher ground and abuts some striking mesa-like mountains dotted with caves where the Buddha lectured. The locals have been friendly and welcoming so far and I’m sure they will be even more so once I learn some Hindi beyond “yes,” “no,” “hello” and “thanks.” Until then, I’m that guy.
Once my stomach settles I’ll get started on my backlog of journalism assignments. This year, keep an eye out for more of my Magical Thinking columns in The Baffler and some new outlets, including other national magazines and indie efforts like Ken Silverstein’s new Washington Babylon website. Next year, according to the publisher, you can expect to see my Silicon Valley book on store shelves. Lastly, I hope to take advantage of my new social and geographical isolation and see a work of fiction to completion. I have a story in mind.
There aren’t many distractions here, which should help. The internet cuts out as often as the electricity—although not on the same schedule—and alcohol has been banned by the state government. But don’t let that put you off from a visit, especially if you already happen to be traveling in the region. Give me a heads-up and I will give you a short list of items I require.
If you won’t visit, at least sign up for my mailing list.