By Mark Mordue

Australian award-winning journalist Mark Mordue invitations you on his international journey that levels from a Rolling Stones live performance in Istanbul to speaking with mullahs and junkies in Tehran, and from a cricket fit in Calcutta to an S&M bar in big apple, as well as many issues in among. Mordue chronicles his year-long worldwide trip along with his female friend, Lisa Nicol, exploring nations so much americans by no means see in addition to problems with international citizenship within the twenty first century. Written within the culture of literary journalism, Dastgah will take you to all types of areas, internationally . . . and within your self.

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DASTGAH FINAL PAGES 4/9/01 9:23 AM Page 18 DASTGAH I buy the wallet without hesitation. Who needs sandals? This is what I really want! I am then offered old padlocks, cheap sunglasses, a smoking pipe, horrible synthetic shirts, more sandals that would fit a child’s feet but not mine—‘for you sir, yes I think it is possible’— pictures of Bombay film stars, mixed nuts, ice cream, today’s newspaper in Hindi, scented candles and some old postage stamps in quick succession. The wallet is good, plenty, enough, nahee.

This boy is declaring his modern manhood, rock ’n’ roll style. These are, after all, the foothills to the Himalaya. But the terrain, the road and the density of traffic are still a shock to the safety system and the imagination. 34 DASTGAH FINAL PAGES 4/9/01 9:23 AM Page 35 NEPAL Most people’s homes—or the villages constituted of maybe a dozen shacks strung like pieces of rope on the edges of innumerable cliff faces—are made of old, raw wood and mud-brick with tin roofs weighed down by stones and bricks.

With her head down now—no part of her face visible at all. The flickers of wool being spun. I have seen my mountain woman and she wears the mountains in her skin and bone. A small chicken has wandered onto the warm stone pavement at her back. Girls are singing. It is time for me to look away and breathe. Wears a grey woollen jumper tied by the arms around his neck. Grey shirt, green army pants. Grey hair, grey blue eyes. Face like a pale, fat balloon. A self-satisfied man, around 50 years of age.

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