Jax Manhoff (1/2)

(1/2) She sits in front of a red brick wall, kitty corner to a map covering the back wall. Jax sips her organic chai and wrings her tattooed hands. “I think I learned more from traveling than my education.” She sits under a white spotlight, the bill of her hat casts a shadow on the right side of her face, her left cheekbone twitches as she recounts her spontaneous trip to India in 1984. She was living in a brownstone apartment in Brooklyn, her friend Sue had applied for a grant to go to India, which she did not get. “One night we were sitting on the floor in my apartment and we just decided we were gonna go anyway.” Jax packed up her things and moved to Queens to live with her grandmother, rent free. She and Sue waited tables all summer, they saved their money and dreamed of their adventure but lacked an itinerary. They arrived in Delhi and winged it. Jax rode in a rickshaw to a restaurant while Sue held onto a stranger on a motorcycle. She cringes at the thought of a 20 year old woman today in India. “The world was different, I don’t think it would be as safe now to do what we did then.” She tells me about the time she hiked into the Himalaya’s accompanied by sherpa’s, they slept in tents and took kodachrome slides of Mt. Everest, they’d met a group of six guys and met them in Jaisalmer to ride camels and camp on sand dunes.Jax danced on dunes in the dead of night, she swayed to Bob Marley cooing out of her walkman. They smoked beedi’s and drank raksi, they slept under familiar constellations though they had become accustomed to unfamiliarity. #nonfiction #journalism #classassignment #person #interview #travel #india #journalism

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