Monday, 11 October 2010

Soggy ends.

Our soggy trip around India has now entered a new phase. We have travelled east from the coast and are now in a remote area of Tamil Nadu to start our three weeks of volunteer work for SCAD (Social Change and Development) which is an NGO doing amazing work. More of that to come but I feel the need to tie up the last phase in a big soggy bundle and put it in the wash.

Our Indian wandering existence came to an end (for the time being) in Varkala, which is a backpacker resort clinging to the clifftops in southern Kerala. It's quite a spectacular place to be with stacks of restaurants and guest houses perched precariously in a row looking out over the Lakshadweep sea.  I can report that the location is made even more dramatic by raging storms, high winds and pounding rain.

We had kind of run out of things to do on the trip south before work and so we ended up spending a week here killing time, reading, playing cards and eating superhuman quantities of food. We kind of went a bit stir crazy. We are not in India to sunbathe all day every day but being at a backpacker beach resort without any sun is a little bit depressing.

We got out of there in the nick of time before we garotted each other and standing at the train station slightly inland we couldn't believe how calm and peaceful it seemed. The penny dropped and Gemma realised that it was the sudden lack of a howling gale in our face 24/7. We had been in a strange headspace.

Our pick up town of Trivandrum proved to be a nice diversion and we went to the zoo, a Museum of ancient buddhist and Hindu sculptures (napier Museum) and had a cheap as chips (even cheaper than chips actually) lunch in the Indian Coffee House. Masala Dosas and lemon tea served by men in amazing uniforms. It's a chain of restaurants run by it's own employees and we will be attempting to find these as often as possible from now on.

I think the thing that pleased me most about the day in Trivandrum was my new tactic with Rickshaw drivers. I decided to adopt the tone of an extremely well to do, enthusiastic, colonial English gent.

"Morning my good man! Can you please take me to the zoo."

"Yes sir" head wobble

"How much will this cost?"

"Forty Rupees sir"

"Excellent price let's proceed"

It actually proved far easier to make myself understood and gave us a good laugh. This will be my default accent for transactions from now on.


  1. I look forward to hearing the accent upon your return. Pip pip, toodle-oo and whatnot.

  2. i can almost hear it already!