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Tamarra’s Travel Diary

Monday, 12 Feb 2007

Location: Varkala, India

MapI am not sure why I was soooo worried I am really loving India. India is FRENETIC! It is so alive! It is totally different from minute to minute! Night is totally different to day! Since I last wrote I have been to many places! I have thought a lot about how I want to approach this blog. I could tell you about the hundreds of incredible, colourful, Hindu temples I have seen and each of the cities I have been to but instead I will just give you an idea of what I have been experiencing! I have been told I have definitely arrived in the easier part of India and that the North is much harder but so far so good. India is an assult on all your senses! From the moment you step off the plane you hearing HONKING! Non stop honking! Many buses have two different horns. A high pitched annoying one, and a fog horn like a truck has! They use these both quite liberally! Of course the language is different but communicating in India is fantastic because so many people speak english. Of course not all proficiently but enough to get me where I need to go! The colours of India are also incredible. The women are all dressed in beautiful sari's. EVERYONE in the south without exception! This may be different in the North or in big cities but so far that is what I have observed! The women are beautiful and the colours are amazing! The children are gorgeous and once again I have the feeling of wanting to take one home with me! The streets are filled with bikes, cows, chickens, goats, people, more people and more people. I wake up early and stroll the street and see many people gathered around Chai stalls and fruit juice stands! The fruit juice is incredible. I try to have at least one if not two a day! DELICIOUS! There are women selling fruits and vegetables and men selling fabric of every colour. There is so much to look at. Everywhere you turn there is something incredible! Garbage! Some places are better than others. However, yes there is a lot of garbage around. Then they burn it right there in a pile on the sidewalk. The stench is terrrible because they burn everything (plastic bottles, cans, waste etc.). Speaking of sidewalks on the rare occassion that there is one they seem to be filled with bikes and stalls so you are forced to walk on the road, which is a health hazard at the best of times!! This can be scary dodging all sorts of things. Of course the food is a whole other story especially for me PPE (Princess Picky Eater, phrase coined by Tara, but so appropriate). India is a bit of a struggle because I am not a fan of curry, or dahl, or cummin, etc. etc. However, not trying new foods would be neglectful, so regularly I dip into something new, of course rarely do I like it! I guess that is clear because I have now lost 40lbs! Yep you read right! 40 down hopefully about 20 or so more to go! In the south things are quite close together so my mode of transport thus far has been the public bus. I find them efficient and regular. Of course there is only one lane for traffic so things don't move fast but they do move. Buses/trains are the main source of transportation for the Indian's. There are significanlty less cars privately owned here. I like the bus it is often a good time to interact with the locals. At least 25 times a day I get asked, What country are you from? How old are you? What is your name? There is a lot of begging as well! A LOT!! It is hard to say no, especially to the children. Often I will buy them food but not give them money! I meet students regularly and they always ask for a school pen! I have given out some of the ones I have brought with. On a whole I find the Indian people to be happy, and kind! I am currently in the most touristy beach resort town ever! I am only staying for two days as this is not the real India and there is much to see! I am loving the high cliffs and the palm trees and the international cuisine but I am not sure whn I will ever get to return to India so I feel the need to keep moving! Hope you are all well! Happy Valentines! Love, T