A Travellerspoint blog

India : Take 3 : Scene 1

Brilliant Projects, Bombay Trains, Baffling Ticket Systems and Bollywood Bastards

36 °C

Well here I am back in India for the third time, still trying to work out what it is that continues to drive me back here. I have to say though, it seems to get better every time...
So travelling wise, we got here without any mishaps and even got upgraded to extra leg room seats on the plane by some friendly ginger on the check in desk (see they are good for some things). Arriving in Mumbai (or Bombay whichever) at 6am, we checked into our pre-booked hotel which great air con and cushiony soft bed and had a nice little sleep. It was a far cry from the India I knew before where slept on rock hard mattresses in leaky damp rooms with noisy back alleys. Waking up a little later we ventured out for a walk and some lunch. The first place we came to we stopped in and realised it was actually a chinese. Jesus. Our first meal in India was chinese food. How cultured.
Afterwards, we returned to the hotel and were met by Nirmal Chandna, the Director of CORP India who we raised the money for. Due to the language barriers, I wasnt sure where he was planning on taking us as there are more than a few centres based in and around Mumbai but we were delighted that he took us to Sharanam Girls home in Dharavi Slum in the North of Mumbai. It was a 30 minute drive and ironically picturesque. Parts of Mumbai look like a building site but without any actual building work going on, and other parts run down and decrepit but the overall impression is of a densely populated post apocalyptic world. Run down apartment blocks and high rise buildings are taken over by weeks and vined plants, balconies and other outdoor spaces crammed with multicoloured garments drying in the 35degree heat.
We finally arrived at the girls home which was on the 4th floor of a shoddy building. Going up the elevator, we peered into other peoples homes and were even confronted by a goat just chilling in someones hallway. Nirmal took us through into the main room where we met around 40 girls between age 4 to age 20. Shy at first, they sat in a circle and rattled off their names and what they wanted to be when they grew up. Dominating was 'business woman' and medical type jobs.
Following this, Yvette and I were asked to give a talk on how we had come across CORP and how we raised the money etc which we did, the girls then performed singing and dancing for us which was great. After, they had lunch which we were to be guests of honour, however after having just scoffed load of chinese food, could barely stomach more than a dosa and some drinks. Later we simply sat and chatted with the girls and they showed us some videos they had made on youtube - they had a great computer room - and after that they wanted to paint us with henna which we of course allowed. I showed them pictures of my own henna designs and to my delight they even thought they were very good! A true compliment.
Towards the end of the day, we were presented with an array of home made beautiful thank you cards from each of the girls, all of them referring to us as 'Didi' meaning sister. Welcome to the CORP family.We then presented them with the clothes and facepaints and things we had collected, including some Manx goodies such as calendars and flags, and then posed for some pictures, which no doubt you will have seen ;)

Even after just 1 day I was sad to leave them all. Much improvement can be made at the centre, which I will be looking into on my return home. This project isnt over yet.

After a quick blast of air con in our hotel room, we walked down to the gateway of India to see the sunset. It was full of people, obviously a popular time of day, but still very beautiful. Afterwards we meandered around Mumbai until we actually found the street I stayed in 6 years previously. We even found a bar Alison and I had frequented (the Mondegar). It had the best air con so we stopped for a few beers then sampled some street 'toasties' on the way home. Think baby food, in a toastie, topped with hot sauce and cheese. mmmmm....
We also made a little friend on our walk. His name was Ravi and he was very confused about my boobs. Real or Fake? he kept asking. Cheeky devil..we met him again several times and each time he accompanied us back to our hotel. He didnt seem to want anything though so we deemed him harmless.

We didnt wake until 11am the following day, so had a wander before getting lunch in a cafe that inexplicably had 8 staff serving us. There were no other customers. Slightly intimidating we laughed it off whlist they watched on.
We then decided we should probably book some train tickets to our next destination - Pune, pronounced "Poona". What an inexplicable painstaking process this was. Victoria station is massive and after a severe amount of fannying we got where we wanted to be which was in a room full of intimidating men, all eyeballing the crap out of us.
We sorted out the train we needed but the woman said she wanted photocopies of our passports. We therefore had to leave the station, find a xerox place and go back through the whole damn thing again. The xerox place consisted of 2 men in a booth with 1 typewriter, 2 printers, and one dirty computer screen. "10minutes" the main said. I stood there wondering why the wait and soon discovered it was so that man number 2 could finish eating his lentil curry. He then made my copies.
The entire ticket buying process took around 2 hours and after that we decided a walk down marine drive would be a nice way to end the day. We walked all the way to Chowpatti beach, avoiding the stares and photograph requests from all the passerbys. One strange man worthy of comment was some obscene douchebag with wannabe dreams of becoming the next bollywood star. He was so eager to tell us about his upcoming success and that we should look for his ugly face on the billlboards next time we come to India. He would 'Sit on the thone of SHELOB!' and wear 'upside down hair!' and 'my flat can be your flat, and your flat can be my flat' - What the f**k? He was very hard to get rid of and kept trying to hug us and show us pictures od himself with various wigs. I didnt like him at all and wanted to get away from him. We made that clear and left promptly.
Chowpatty beach was how you would imagine a beach in Mumbai, full of people and rubbish. Needless to say we didnt stay long!
Back near the hotel we had a couple of beers in Leopolds and tried some more street food. Whilst waiting for toasties we met 2 identical twins who posed for a picture with yvette (the one time we actually ask someone else or a picture!) We then found a stall selling, to my horror, those rancid balls of ass-juice as mentioned in my blog entitled ' the weirdest things i've had in my mouth'. They werent half as bad this time, maybe they do them better in Mumbai :)

We set our alarms for 6:15am as our train to Pune was booked for 7am.

At 06:59am we both awoke and with sickening dread looked at the time and realised than 1 minute would not be enough time to pack our bags, walk to the station, find our platform and get on the train. Typical.
We purchased new tickets from the sweatiest man I've ever seen for an 08:40 train riding in 2AC class which means large reclining chairs in an air conditioned carriage. A rather boring journey was interrupted by the presence of what can only be described as an Indian wizard wielding a peacock feather brush which he proceeded to hit random people on the head with whilst muttering some sort of incantation. I think he wanted money also. I did not however want to be hit on the head, or give up my hard earned cash for the privilege. The only option it seemed, was to laugh hysterically which we did. The old man was not impressed by us at all. Some local folk appeared amused by our reaction though.
When we finally arrived in Pune, we were immediately accosted by twenty five thousand rickshaw drivers all shouting destinations and fares. We felt it fair to go with the first driver, a muslim man, who turned out to be the biggest wanker we have come across so far. We told him we already booked a hotl and he quoted a price for us to get there which we agreed to. The entire 10 minute journey he tried unsuccessfully to talk us into other hotels, then seemingly didnt know where our hotel was and got lost. By this point I was having to go through my breathing exercises to stop the rage boiling inside me. Unfortunately for him it didnt work out and I exploded when we got there and he tried to ask us for a greater price than agreed. What a f**king moron. It was a little slice of the India I experienced in my early twenties and I desperately wanted it to go away.
Thankfully it did. We checked into our room at Surya Villa then sat i a nearby cafe for lunch. We decided there to take a rickshaw to Aga Khan Palace which was a temporary residence of Mahatma Gandhi along with his wife and personal assistant. Both his wife and his beloved assistant died in the palace which is now a museum devoted to all three. We picked a cheeky looking driver offering a good price. He proceeded to talk utter bullshit the entire drive but maintained a cheesy grin and kept chuckling throughout so we were kept amused. The palace was lovely and peaceful and muted out the sounds of beeping horns and noisy traffic. We were also amazed to find that Gandhi's ashes were kept here. It was a privilege to stand there and I have to say it raised hairs on the back of my neck. I love this kind of thing. As we were taking in the graves, it began to rain. And in india, it really rains. We took shelter and waited until it pewtered out then ran back to cheesy rickshaw man.
During the drive back, our man inexplicably kept trying to take us shopping. When we were almost back, we were overtaken by a massive lorry (the bigger the vehicle the more right of way they have) which succeeded to absolutely soak me all down my left side. Our man just carried on chuckling in delight. Gotta love him.
We hit Prems, a lonely planet reccommended bar, where we had a few beers (and poos). After leaving there we made another little friend who we nicknamed Ravi 2 as we couldnt remember his real name. He was very sweet and jumped on a motorbike only to reappear minutes later with a red rose for us both. As is the way with Indian folk, you can meet some real assholes, but mostly they are good sweet people.
Back at the room, we showered then dropped in our local travel agent run by 2 good lookin' Indian boys who proceeded to invite us to party with them. If I wasn't so terrified of being drugged and raped, I would have been happy to go along. We walked to a lonely planet reccommendation for dinner, called Malaka Spice, wihch we realised was Malay themed, and had the best meal in the most glorious setting imaginable. I wont even bother to describe it as it could never justify how magnificent this was.
We stopped for litchi drinks on the way home which would become our saviour during the night when we were both accosted with that all too familiar stomach luch leading to the inevitable stark realisation that something bad was going to come out of us. First it was me and my ass, followed by Yvette barfing. Sleep was hard to come by that night as we were thrown into bouts of crippling cramps and toilet trips. No wonder we slept until 10am.
Eventually morning came. I had a shower which consisted of me sitting naked on a stool and pouring buckets of cold water over my head. Up and about, we found a net cafe to make a booking for another hotel and inexplicably had to provide our hotel address, passports, signatures and all sorts of ridiculous informatio just for 10mins of internet time. During this time Yvette turned tome with a pained look on her face which couldnt be misinterpreted. She had to go. Immediately. Poor wee lass.
We decided to stop at the German Bakery at the end of the street. It was badly bombed in the 80's I think so there was high security in effect which felt odd but understandable really. We were approached by a waiter who gave us our menus and asked what we wanted to order. Before the words were out of my mouth (I wanted a veggie sandwich) he abruptly asked 'veg or non-veg?'...i said i knew what i wanted and can i order a veggie club, he said yes and presumed Yvette wanted hummus. We were so perplexed by his manner that we simply agreed. He then made me order a drink that I had never heard of instead of the coke I wanted. When it came, unfortunately Yvette was sick again and we took the sarnies to go.
After a walk around the Osho mediation & yoga centre (asylum) famous as being the birthplace of yoga, we got our cheeky rickshaw man to take us to the train station. Desperately needing the toilet again, confusingly we could only find gents ones so we boarded our train and used the hole in the floor one, which drops out directly onto the tracks beneath. We'd booked onto a lower class so we could experience a real Indian train, and it was a bloody riot!
The seats, made for 2 people but meant for 3, were squashed but we were okay. That was until our palid white skin was spotted by a couple of street urchins who boarded the train and held out hungry grubby hands to us rich whiteskinned millionaires. I handed over Yvettes cucumber sandwiches. There you go lads.
People came and went during the course of our journey; there was 'Staring Asshole, Hidden Motive' whos gaze was unavoidable, there was a lovely couple, and Grandpa Gandhi who after curious glances, struck up conversation with good English. Inbetween all these people coming and going were the usual Chai-wallas - men heaving tanks of hot chai, shouting 'CHAI CHAI CHAI CHAI CHAI!' down the carriage...also blind men selling childrens toys...everything was being flogged, from samosas to minature airplanes, wallets to whole cucumbers. It was all very interesting. Oh and who could forget the little girls singing (unfortunately badly) for tips.
The entire journey however was condemned with the overwhelming stench of shit and piss fromthe nearby toilet, which even bothered the Indian folk, not just us posh westies!
Well I'm going to leave it there, that's enough writing for today...will continue this blog from home if not before..hope you enjoy :)

Posted by Lady-K 03:09 Archived in India Comments (0)

The Only Way Isn't Tenerife

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Well aside from losing €50, leaving behind a purse, and missing our flight home, the trip was a perfect success!

Everything went suspiciously smoothly on the way there – we boarded our flight from the Isle of Man to Manchester and there were no delays or mishaps, we then hung about in Manchester, I had a delicious bloody mary, then we were on the flight to Tenerife. We had the best seats ever. Right opposite the bogs and not even sitting on the same row, we were both squished in next to some delightful passengers. Laura was sat next to 2 morbidly obese, small bladdered alcoholic lesbians and I was next to a morbidly obese Peter Kay lookylikey with a penchant for showing off ALL of his holiday pictures from EVERY holiday of his, EVER. His legs filled up his entire leg space, and half of mine so I spent much of the flight standing in the aisle or perched on the arm rest into the aisle, avoiding Laura’s legs which stretched half way down the plane :P

When we got there, we were the first ones out of the airport (only having hand luggage) and plonked ourselves in a taxi to the hotel which was only around 20 minutes drive away. On our first glance, the hotel seemed really nice with a big pool area and lots of marble surfaces, however on further inspection, it seemed like everyone from Essex (minus those in Marbella) had relocated to this specific hotel; the boys had also shaved the sides of their heads and got their ears pierced, and the girls had all stuck on their best ridiculous clumpy heeled jelly shoes and high waisted pants, and they had all laid their towels on ALL the sunbeds, and retired to the bar to watch the latecomers sit on the floor and struggle to get comfortable. Laura and I managed a quick dip but with literally nowhere to sit, we gave up.

Playa De Las Americas is the armpit of Tenerife for any first timers planning on visiting. Just half an hours walk away you will find Los Cristianos (Lost Crusty Anus) which is still busy but much nicer and less Essexy. We went out for dinner in PDLA in the first restaurant we came across, which ended up being our favourite. I still have no idea what it was called but they did nice paella for me and lasagne for Laura.

So the first proper day was pretty poo weather wise but once we rolled out of bed, we booked all of our trips n crap for the rest of the week and went for a walk around PDLA...It looked great! I mean, if you like balding middleaged fat sunburned brits drinking €1 lager in every direction, and an array of kebab and fish and chip shops to choose from, then great! -.-
Nah, it wasnt that bad at all really 0_o
We went for a walkies around the resort to get our bearings and ended up in a... shop...that sold some....things that may or may not have been legal. After convincing the nice young gentleman shop owner that we werent undercover FBI agents, we made our purchase and left a little smellier than when we went in. We decided to walk to Lost Crusty Anus via the promenade, stopping on a number of occasions so I could ply myself with alcohol. We also stopped in a shop and bought some wooden penises (penii) and some tacky picture frames for Laura then made our way back to the flat for a balcony party. This basically consisted of me and Laura putting on the tunes, slurping a cider and smoking something green and stinky. After having already consumed a number of beers, said stinky green thing went straight to my head and I had to go lie down before I barfed everywhere.
After a little nap (green induced coma) we woke up and headed out for food. People eat late here! Probably because of all the damned siestas during the day. We had some crappy mexican food in a bar where we had been crooned all over by a shit Elvis impersonator the previous night then back to the flat. Roll on day 2!
Second day was Siam park day - that's the waterpark. After purchasing our tickets from a round bellied, scatterbrained sweet little Spaniard, we walk tot he end of the drive to wait for the free bus. There were some women standing next to us with their hair all done up and hairsprayed. That made no sense and I didnt like it. When the bus finally arrived, it was so packed, it just drove right past us so we basically wasted about half an hour of our time. One taxi ride later from a woman driver (EEEsssh) and we arrived at Siam. Strangely the queue wasnt half bad and after getting a cheesy photo taken and stripping off, we went round all the rides...I have to say, it wasn't bad. The wave pool was especially good minus all the overweight over exposed whales in there. By about 3pm though we'd had enough and took a cab into Lost Crusty Anus for some beer and tapas (ham toastie for D) and a stroll back to PDLA.
Crawling back from there, we took shelter from the blistering heat on some dirty steps by a squalid building so some snarky African mamas could braid the crap out of our hair. Serious new found respect for black people with corn roes...those things hurt! Jesus my eyes were watering. I didn't even want to get it done but looking at the childlike look of delight on D -unit's face, I succumbed (succame). Sucked.
Continuing along the promenade with my scalp now stretched and pulled to breaking point, Laura then wanted to stop for a 'unique' fish massage....a few years ago I was in Cambodia where you find these types of fish in the wild and this was the first place I'd seen the so called 'massage' consisting of you putting your filthy feet in a fish tank so the little fuckers eat all the crap off you...since then (that was 5 years ago now), these fish massages have become extremely fashionable and trendy in European culture however they literally are everywhere now And on the verge of becoming common. It's a shame because it is a pretty fun experience as a one off treat :) me and D sat there with our festering feet in a tepid tank where hungry little fishes gnawed off our dead bits until they were all shiny and new again. A lady then came Along and rubbed a nice cream onto one of my legs, carefully avoiding the other one so as not to be even. Continuing our walk we ambled back to the flat and chilled out there for a bit...

The following day we had an early start so after a chilled night the evening before, we were up and outside the hotel at 8am waiting for our ride. We were off fishing! In a boat! On the sea! :) a nice Italian lady came to collect us and informed us begrudgingly that we had to also pick up 2 Russians. I started to dear that our trip was about to be ruined however when we boarded the teeny tiny, but extraordinarily well equipped fishing boat, we found 2 other guys there both from the Uk. Phew! Close one! Okay okay so the Russians weren't that bad...I grew accustomed to their patronising glances and laid back arrogance :-P
Laura D quickly stowed herself in the overhead compartment and soon fell asleep. Great, at least I didn't have to worry about keeping her amused... I concentrated on the beautiful views and the somewhat questionable fishing techniques. Boat stops, line goes in, reel back in immediately, 8 tries, no fish no stay! This went on a while, some of the guys were catching crappy boring little pissy fish but I got the best one of the day...I caught....a puffer fish! :-D yay! So cute. I wasn't allowed to touch it though because of poison... Back he went. Laura D was still asleep 4 hours later but I forced her to get up and out to come and watch a flock of wild dolphins playing around the boat. It was magical...one of them even winked (wank?) at me. And we even got to see a whale. What a special day :)

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We later said goodbye to everyone and headed back to the flat for another impromptu balcony party...with cider this time ;) we had a great night out and managed to team up with a group of Essex chaps down the local!

The following (hungover) day, we rolled outta bread, ate some bed then went to see our round bellied jolly little rental man to get the bike from him. As per his usual confused self, he started trying to put us on a bus to go windsurfing. Silly man! He introduced us to the bike, just a little 125 ped to tootle on, and off we went...D was pretty nervous at first and her big ass long legs had nowhere to go so it wasn't hugely comfortable.
After a pretty obscene amount of faffing on and around the motorway, we were on our way up the coast. We only got beeped at 19 times and decided we should probably speed up. I didn't want to use a map as given its only a little island j thought the road signs would be sufficient. But what happens when u have. Sign saying Los Gigantes and it points both north and south? Jesus I thought driving in Asia was bad but this made little sense either! Anyway, we eventually made our way to San Jose or some place, a sleepy little beach/harbour combo town. It was great and we had nice lunch (incl Bloody Mary) and chilled in the beach for a while...later we became sidetracked in one of the best shops I've had the pleasure of being inside. It sold everything from make up to shovels, pants, candles, religious artefacts, bath mats, toys, kitchenware, piercing s. we must have spent an hour in there. Brilliant :) we left and returned home dropping off the bike and heading to the room for a bit...we would be up early again in the morning for a hike up mt Teide!
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Sure enough the next morning we made it up nice n early for Teide and jumped on the guided bus there...after about an hour of fannying aroun the resort picking people up etc, we seemed to be on our way there. As a lover of mountains, I was very excited about Teide and the prospect of climbing to the summit so I was on fantastic form...during our bus tour, it became apparent that our driver had something of an interest in Laura and I, and we were soon the butt of all of his jokes! The hungover lobster-red girls from the Isle of Man is how we came to game on that trip! We soon reached the highest point by road and the view was spectacular, it wasn't cold however I could feel the altitude slightly squeezing at my temples....we were almost first in line at the cable car office however with only 2 cars running, we waited for almost half an hour to get on one. As luck would have it, and the fact that I am involved in this scenario, we were thrown off the cable car due to the weight allowance. In being chucked out, we were then made to wait half an hour for another one! Bastards! Whilst waiting, we made ourselves some 'cable-friends' :-) a couple of like minded crazies from somewhere up north that gave them a Geordieish accent, don't think it was actually Newcastle though. Anyway we had each other in fits in the cable car, especially when D casually, and loudly complained about the stench of everyone's armpits...by the time we reached the top, we unfortunately only had 20 minutes...the tip was so close though...it looked like I could reach out and touch it but judging by the people returning from that last little way, it was going to be tough going...I was insanely disappointed at not being able to climb that last bit, however I have bigger fish to fry..and by that I mean bigger mountains to climb.

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Once we were dropped off at the flat and said goodbye to our bus an cable friends, we had ourselves another mini balcony party...we then decided to head to Lost Crusty Anus for drinkyplops. Laura however, being the massive gay that she is, didn't wanna drink so whilst we crawled along the prom with me looking like her drunken irresponsible parent hammering sangria everywhere, we then stopped on a little beach so I could go skinny dipping...the water was great but no fun alone ;)
Continuing on we followed the sound of Latin music into a cool little venue where 3 Cuban ladies were performing a 3 piece band...carrying on with the sangria drinking, I was soon up dancing with them wiggling my butt for a load of strangers until Laura saw fit to take me home! We realised we had one major problem left to deal with before we returned home...we had one more day and night left to get rid of our stinky substance....

The next day we didn't emerge until lunch time and basically bummed around all day doing very little indeed...we had just been swimming and sunning ourselves on a beach when we were waking back home but became sidetracked with a street seller. A little old muchacha selling ashtrays...and smoking the biggest spliff ive ever seen....right there on the prom...under the noses of hundreds of tourists and locals. You should have seen the look on his face when we asked him if he would like to buy something from us! He didn't believe us. So we brought it to him ;) and lets just say we did well!
In celebration I bought 4 giant wooden peni and later on an Indian takeaway ( and Laura a kebab) and had a lazy one in the room.

The next day was our last and with that time we had a lovely last lunch in our favourite place (where a waiter literally tried to stick his tongue in my mouth) followed by a stinky smoke on the hot rocks down by the sea...it was very relaxing and an hour or so later, we were on a bus to the airport.

But the shenanigans didn't stop there, oh no...we flew to Manchester after an hours delay arriving at midnight, got a good nights kip then shopped till we dropped that nex day and got Laura's face pierced twice as well as realising her purse was still in a cupboard in our room in Tenerife. Doh.

Being the kind of easy goin laid back person that I am, I took things a little too slowly and by the time we got to the airport to check our bags in, the nice lady at the counter informed us that we were too late (20mins is enough?!? Right?!?) and could not board the plane. We were then forced to pay £225 between us for new tickets on a later flight which we managed to get on successdully. Fml...

The End.

Xxxxxx

Posted by Lady-K 15:59 Comments (0)

Post TT depression & Tenerife Treats :)

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Well it’s about time I headed off again for a nice relaxing break…hmmmm…Relaxing? Break? Nice! HA!

Yes I am off again today but this holiday will be a far cry from the usual types of trip I find myself doing. I am off to a not-so-exotic Tenerife with my 18 year old ‘bestie’ for some fun in the sun. What kind of situations, misfortunes and shenanigans we will encounter I daren’t even think of…if there’s one thing I have learned from my years of globetrotting its always to expect the unexpected and just turn up with no plans or expectations. Trouble will undoubtedly find us anyway and I’m sure there will be an interesting blog by the end of it ;)

As a bit of a self-confessed ‘yes man’ I find it difficult to say ‘no’ to many things (yeh yeh I know, insert s3xual innuendo here…jesus, you people make me sick).

For those of you who don’t already know, life was becoming a little dull so I changed things up a bit. I quit my job working in the Terrace chippy where I had been employed part time for the last 14 years of my life, I took up a job as bar maid in the rovers again, I joined a gym and have lost almost a stone in weight, took up running, sold my car (after smashing it into a wall), became a godmother, skydived (skydove?) over the Isle, and bought an aubergine. That pretty much sums up the most significant changes I have made to my life in the past 3 months so yeah pretty damn exciting and I have made a lot of new friends in the process (gay).

Early mid-life crisis much?

TT was also an interesting period for me this year…it was the first year I ever had to work it. Now ordinarily I would be super-organised (Honest, I can be from time to time!) and have booked it off a year in advance, but since last year I didn’t know if I would even have a job by TT, there wasn’t much I could do. Aside from book 3 major holidays totalling over 50 days between Jan and Dec this year of course.
So anyway, I had to work all of TT, including Senior Race Day. I happily worked a few shifts in the rovers when I wasn’t busy stuck to a toilet seat. And that was great fun. But unfortunately I was struck down with some kind of debilitating food poisoning which came in waves and made me too nauseous to eat or drink at times. What a f**ing ball ache. I spent much of TT ill or in work. I didn’t see a single race and by Senior Race day I was gutted and just wanted it to be over so I didn’t have to suffer everyone’s sickening TT/Keith Flint selfies and happy racing facebook statii.

As it happened though I had a great end to the fortnight. On Friday I met a charming group of bikers (not the hairy smelly variety) and after watching the most cringeworthy wet t-shirt competition of not just my life, but human life itself, went on a bit of a crawl around Douglas ending in Bordellos. I left them to it and the next day we went out for a spot of sightseeing. Hoping to go standby and get on the boat that night, I said goodbye to my bikers and set off to work my sat night shift in the Rovers. Poor old soggy camped out bikers turned up late on – they’d not got on the boat and since they packed their camping gear up faced a night in the besterdly sea terminal. With that in mind, I couldn’t turn a blind eye and let a couple of them kip on’ sofa! I was almost disappointed when I woke up next morning and they had gone but assumed they got on the boat.
As it happened, they missed that one as well and didn’t get away until 11pm. When I came to work on Monday, I saw pictures of the full extent of the nightmare some bikers endured not being able to get on boats and having to sleep outside the sea terminal on the pavement, and wished we could have helped them as well…
TT was rounded off with a lap of the course on my Dad’s CBR 600F at 8am on Sunday morning. The roads were dead, the weather was stunning and best of all, the mountain was still one way and there was no bugger up there.
Some girls get that million dollar feeling by putting on a posh dress & expensive jewellery and having a handsome man spoil them with a fancy evening. My million dollar feeling is leathering up and straddling a 2 wheeled speed demon and tearing it around the Isle of Man TT course (at about half the speed our TT guys do ;-P). Seriously though, there is no better feeling.

Look out for my Tenerife blog in 2 weeks time ;)

Posted by Lady-K 00:15 Comments (1)

Crabs, Crazies, Crack Cocaine and California Raisins

The events which followed the Night of the Burning Hands...

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So its the day after the god-awful burning hands fiasco which as you know from my previous blog kinda messed up all of our sleeping patterns...thanks Amber! You bleedin wanker.
Ben actually managed to get to work on time somehow but me and Amber basically stayed in ALL day watching movies, eating subway, and procrastinating about going out and doing all sorts of good. One day merged into the next and I can't really tell you what happened. Not because of the weed. Well....maybe a bit because of the weed, but mostly because of the obscene amount of sleeping that occured as a result of Amber's gay arse stupid burning hands night.
I dont know how many days later it was but Amber and I eventually did the outrageously gay and girly thing : SHOPPING. Only not all handbags and lipgloss and shiny hair and cute pink things....I was introduced to Forever21 which is this awesome cheap clothes shop, anyway it has 4 floors but I only managed 3 floors before freaking out and leaving the store. It was too much. Do you know how much money I would have spent if I'd done the fourth floor!! Anyway so we took a break and went for some Moscow Mules (the best I've ever had) in a cool little cafe and felt pretty perked up after that. Another couple of bars and we met Ben in the Pike brewery where we had some more beers...We were planning on eating at the infamous Crab Pot this night and given the expense thought we would get halfcut beforehand ;) Given that we were eating within the hour, Amber ordered some food at the brewery to warm up. I would say she's a complete fool for having food all the time before meals but it honestly never made any difference. That girl can pack it!
We got to the Crab Pot and there was a 45 minute wait which we spent wisely at the bar ;) By the time our table was ready I knew what I was having. I hadn't travelled to the other side of the world to eat little prawns and miniature corn on the cobs, whoah no, I planned on going all the way with a deluxe seafood banquet. The staff put a plastic tarp over your table and give you a bib, then you select a bucket full of all manner of sea creatures which is then thrown all over your table for you to pick at. Our bucket was $40 each for me and Amber. Ben ordered a fish butty $7. What a cock. I mean seriously...wtf was he thinking. All this glorious seafood (and wine) and he opts for the cheapest crappiest thing on the menu. More fool you Ben! We took some fun pictures ...fun/disgusting, you can decide...got a bit tiddly, but by the time we left, we were far too full to attempt any further drinking and ended up going back home. Going home was interesting once again. Amber and I decided to get into a taxi, however Ben had his bicycle so we decided to race home. Bear in mind it was all uphill, and I'd say about a 1 and a half mile trip, I thought we'd nail it. Anyway so we got in the taxi (another Swahili-man I think) and told him the address and to go fast fast, as fast as you can! At first I could tell he didnt understand what was happening but when Ben went speeding past us at the traffic lights, he soon cottoned on and put his foot right down. He was literally drag racing Ben at this point and we cheered him on as we overtook Ben leaving him for dead. Unfortunately however, when we got outside the apartment building, not only did he overshoot it slighty, he then partook in some unfathomable fannying which caused a delay in us actually exiting the taxi during which time Ben was back and barfing in the bushes. This was the second time I'd witnessed Ben being ill (the first time years ago in India) and it was still funny. He literally fought so hard to get home before us, he couldnt breathe and was puking up. Silly old Ben.

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The following day, Amber and I had to go to the university area to return some books or something, and I thought I would go to the museum whilst I was there. We had a mosey around the u-district area and had a burrito, then she went off to work and I fannied about looking for the museum. The tourist brochures made it sound good, great even. The tourist brochures were wrong. It was 2 floors, and about the size of half a football pitch. The displays were ridiculous and even though no signs pointed this out, some of the skeletons clearly weren't to scale. I mean, yes maybe it's obvious that a saber-tooth lion couldnt be the same size as a loaf of bread, but why was it displayed as a 'replica'? Honestly. After I wasted an hour of my time in there, I then spent a further 30mins trying to find a convenience shop. It made me feel lucky to live in a place like the Isle of Man where we have co-ops, spas, whilos, newsbeats and whatnot. Over there...NADA! I actually started to feel ill because I was so dehydrated but I didnt want to go in some faggy pretentious art-cafe. They dont have shops there! I walked for ages in the middle of town, and the only place I could get a bottle of water and a can of coke was from a kebab shop! Stooooopid. Anyway enough of that, I took a bus back to downtown and somehow found myself on the fourth floor of Forever21. I really tried. I tried not to go there but the voices told me to. I wont say what happened up there.
I headed back to the flat and watched some tv and had a little rip and a kip, and woke up at 9pm with Ben looming over me laughing at my feebleness for falling asleep during the day like a stupid old person. He was dragging me out. Well actually we were off to see Amber at work in the Bavarian themed bar where we were also due to play a game of......Oh I forget what it was called. It was like bowls, but better, and with beer. I enjoyed it very much, mostly because I was kicking Ben's butt, but also because I had a bratwurst and that was nice.
We only stayed for a couple of beers then headed home where I crashed again and basically didnt wake up until next morning. LAME.

Amber and I had some epic plans for this 'last' day. Taking this into consideration, I put my finest Iron Man morph suit on and by around 11am (after all the excessive faffing that was now just part of the usual routine) headed out to find Beths....the cafe made famous by that dickhole from Man vs Food. Ok so he's not really a dickhole, he's actually pretty good at the challenges but what a fat bastard. Anyhoo, Amber had never been to Beths before and it was a bit out of town so we messed around on the wrong buses for a spell and eventually got onto the right one. This is where everything started getting a bit weird.
So I'm standing there (as Ironman) talking to Amber, when I notice a guy behind her on the back row is trying to smoke a cigar. I started laughing and told Amber but after a minute, people started getting a bit shifty opening windows etc. He looked pretty handy so although nobody said anythign to him, a guy who looked like Will.I.Am started making his way to the front of the bus (to tell the driver we all assumed). I was describing the cigar thing to Amber but the paper fell away and what I was actually looking at was a crack pipe. I had wondered why he was having difficulty lighting it, and why there was no smokey smell. This guy was smoking crack on our bus. As soon as I realised this, the bus was pulling over, the doors opened and a small and very angry Samuel L Jackson in bus drivers uniform started shouting at the guy to get off the bus. Everyone was silent apart from the crack man who was arguing back and denying smoking. At no point during the entire of this fiasco did I think "SHIT! I AM IRON MAN, I CAN KICK THIS GUYS ASS". I just completely forgot. Next time....
Anyway so this fight broke out and long story short, Amber got shoved through the open doors with the crazy crack-bastard, the doors closed, and we sped off! I started shouting to the driver but he wasnt stopping. And who could blame him. The crack-wielding maniac was actually chasing the bus and smashing his fists into the ass of it. I couldnt see Amber any more and prayed when i got off at the next stop, I could go back and find her (in tact). Some guy was like 'Hey, where you from?!?'....I was like 'err the UK' and he smiled like a doofus and simply said 'Welcome to Amuuurica!'. Cheers buddy.
Anyway after running dressed like a superhero down the highway for 10 blocks, I found Amber thankfully and we laughed it off and found our way to Beths where we were greeted warmly by presumably Beth herself.
We ordered a big bastardly 12 egg veggie omelette. It really was a sight to behold! I mean, check it the fuck out:

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We made our way through about half of it then decided to walk it off. I tried to dispense some before leaving and on my return Amber told me the weird guy sitting behind us with his head tattooed in place of hair, waggled his split snake tongue at her. He also challenged me to a fight. Then a stepford wife looking woman told me and Amber we were adorable. SWEEEET.
After a walk in the park, a fake defecation and some duck-chasing, we hopped back on a bus down into town, where we picked up some equally entertaining fancy dress for Amber....a California Raisins outfit. Honestly, my face hurt from laughing when we got back at the end of the day. We met Ben and got on the ferry to Bainbridge island. I was excited. Ben was even more excited and decided to spill not one, but 2 beers on the floor. Right after Amber said 'Dont spill my beer'. He had to have done it on purpose.
Anyway so we got to Bainbridge and Amber realised she had confused it with another island and actually there was nothing to do here. So good job we brought the bong. We did a nice little walk around a nature trail, I peed in the woods, and we had a half hour long debate on whether a stick was in fact a stick, or if it was a lizard. But it was just a stick. Just like it was a duck and not an otter. We had a laugh and got back on the boat and didnt spill any more beer, but we did enjoy a very majestic view of Seattle's skyline all lit up nice and purdy. It was a nice end to the trip. Not the very end though.
After we docked, we took a cab to Annapurna, a Nepalese/Himalayan restaurant. We picked it specifically because of the sentimental side of things - Ben, Amber and I all met in the Himalayas, and here we were, finishing in the Himalayas (downstairs in a pokey restaurant). SYMBOLISM. It was fantastic food and really brought back some amazing memories. But it was about half 10 when we finished. We waddled back to the apartment and I packed my bag. I was to leave at 4am and we planned on going to a gaybar where the men dance in cages suspended over the dancefloor.
I say planned....it didnt happen. We all fell asleep when we got back and I woke up at 3:45am so the goodbye was a swift one and off I went to Tacoma International, now knowing when I would see my awesome yankee-buddies again.....

I didnt have time to dwell on this too much as I had bigger fish to fry. To cut a long story short, I had an awful journey home due to the airline cancelling my original direct flight and rerouting me via Dallas and Philly, throwing in a few delays here and there. The biggest drama was on flight number 2. A man walking down the aisle collapsed right next to me, had a seizure and barfed everywhere. And he was a big fella. And they seriously couldnt move him. I thought he was gonna die. I was actually in tears if I'm honest. It all seems so silly and stupidly typical now considering my other dramas but this one was scary too and I obviously wanted him to be okay. Anyway, thankfully he was and the medics came when we touched down and took him away (to a better place?) and that was that. WHAT NEXT!! Dear lord. I seemed to encounter all manner of misfortune on this trip and it was a miracle I got home okay. But I did, and I'm able to hopefully entertain you with my stories!

So I hope you enjoyed reading this blog. Needless to say there will be more. In fact, I am leaving for a Canarian adventure in June, then and Indian Pilgrimage in October. And both trips I have actually managed to get other people to travel with me! And they know all about my mishaps! Must be mad :-/

Good bye for now readers :) x

Posted by Lady-K 17:02 Archived in USA Comments (0)

How to Get to Seattle in 3 Planes & 1 Boat to Nowhere..Badly

Bongs, Bloody Marys, Burlesque and Burning Hands

overcast 10 °C

Well, 2 false starts, one 9 hour boat trip to nowhere, 7 flights later, here I am alive and well after a trip of epic proportions.

My holiday kicked off in typical Russell fashion with some of the best, thickest sea fog I've ever seen disrupting my departure on Wednesday evening. Arriving at Ronaldsway, it was packed beyond belief and all flights 'delayed'. My nerves started kicking in. What if I didnt make it? I would miss my connection to Amurrica! If there were even any planes on the runway, I couldn't see them so after 20 mins, I jumped in a cab to the Sea Terminal. £20 it cost me....it was already turning out to be an asshole of a journey. On the boat, my spirits lifted however the nice man behind the bar told me to get to manchester I would have to wait for a bus at 2am or get a 2hr taxi. Errr...
I started frantically running around the boat asking random people for lifts but got nothing other than sympathy and that was about as useful as Anne Frank's drum kit. As it happened, I didn't have to make a decision because the damned godforsaken piece of shit that doubles as the Ben-My-Chree couldn't dock because of the fog. Seriously? Technology allows us to go into space, replace lost limbs, create multicoloured tomatoes, but they couldn't land a boat. UNBELIEVABLE. And thus began the long trip home. I arrived back in Douglas after a pointless stinking 9 hours and was collected by my mother who deposited me next to the phone to begin making calls. I had 3 hours til my Seattle flight. As I should have anticipated given the shitness of my luck so far, neither Flybe or US Airways lines opened until 8am. What fucking use is that!!! I waited and waited and eventually got through to Flybe who put me on the 3pm flight that day (Now Thursday). Thankfully using my awesome powers of persuasion with US airways, they changed my flight for free to fly on Friday. This I was grateful for however I would need a hotel for the night...more money argh!
I managed to get away and booked myself into a hotel and got myself an early night. In the morning, I put the tv on and to my sheer horror saw that a US airways flight had an accident at Philadelphia the day before....exactly when I was initially due to be there. Fate intervening? I tentatively boarded the flight and watched all manner of oscar awards movies until I arrived at Philly. There I had a 4 hour wait which I spent wisely at the bar getting trashed.
As a Russell, I felt it was my duty to strike up some form of conversation with a random stranger. And that stranger was Ed Milewski...a Canadian business man of Polish descent. Ed was in his late 50's and had a thick Canadian accent and suffixed the majority of his sentences with 'ey' in true stereotypical Canadian fashion. This greatly amused me and I found it hard to concentrate on what we were talking about. I lost track of how many beers I had but realised it was time to stop when I mistook a bowl of chips I'd ordered, for crab. Yep. I was eating potato, believing it was crab. Potato and Crab are the same kind of meat though right? The waitress just looked at me and shook her head when I asked.

Boarding my flight to Seattle, I was for some reason expecting a short flight however it was another 6 hours and by the time I got there, the hangover was setting in, along with the jet lag, and lack of sleep. But the minute I set eyes on my 2 Murrrican buddies, I was wide awake and ready to partay!! it was 10pm so we headed to their apartment, bought some beer and got the bong out...and had a nice chilled catch up ;)

Awake at the crack of dawn, I spent the next few hours watching an obscene amount of fannying on Ben and Amber's part...I decided to make myself useeful and get some mimosas on the go so went off to buy champers (at 9am in the morning haha)...after further fannyage, I couldnt fault their decision to take me to a cafe called Linda's for a great Bloody Mary and Mexican omelette. Afterwards, we walked into town where we caught the end of a St Paddy's parade (despite it being Saturday and 2 days early??). We hooked up with Ben's sister then who may or may not have been repeatedly offended all afternoon by mine and Amber's reference to everything vagina-like. The four of us queued up for a go on the ferris wheel down the pier. Ben asked me had I ever been on a ferris wheel...Okay I know I live on a small island but really I think these guys think I live in a frickin bubble. Of course I have! When I told him that I'd been on around 5 different wheels, he was very impressed and it became apparent that I was some kind of expert ferris wheeler and we debated the possibility of me making a living this way. The wheel offered some great views of Seattle and the three faces around me and we got some good pics.
Afterwards Ben's sister Ellie who volunteers at the Seattle Aquarium, sneaked us in through a side door so we could peer at silly otters, happy seals and awkward puffins. The effect of the mornings smoking began to rear its ugly head again which was cause for some great amusement in the small sea critters section as we poked our fingers in sea anenome bungholes, molested sea cucumbers and collapsed in giggle fits at all the primitive looking sex organ-like sea dildos floating around. It was a great, well spent afternoon! One that could only be topped with a visit to a local burlesque/drag club later on ;)
We booked tickets for the can-can club with enthusiasm and after a lazy evening headed down there for the midnight showing. We were shown to a small room, and sat near the front of the stage where Ben tried unsuccesfully to look as inconspicuous as possible. He was clearly terrified at the thought he may be used as some kind of prop by one of the girls. As it happened, the girls, as beautiful as they were, we shit at dancing. I mean, truly truly awful. One of them just wiggled and bounced repeatedly over and over again, and the other one who looked a bit like lady gaga, went for some 'edgy' all over the place, sprawling arms and legs everywhere rountine. It was kind of scary. The best act of the night was 'Luminous', a skinny black guy in the most amazing drag outfits. He moved better than both of the girls, and had a damn fine ass ;) The most entertaining person of the night however was an unsuspecting drunk bachelorette on her hen do. I have NEVER seen anyone THIS pissed before. I mean, she was bad. Really bad. She was barely conscious as her friends carried her in and flopped her onto a chair, had absolutely no idea what was going on around her, and kept falling backwards and losing complete consciousness. How they let her in I do not know. The entire audience was cheering for her at one point but she had little to no idea! I had to go tot he bathroom after the show and was greeted by the drunken Hen with her knickers round her ankles and her face cream in the toilet bowl.

The following day, I again rose early and the fannying began again, however this time Ben made up for it by producing one of his awesome omelettes,...nom! We later hit Value Village, in which some of the music vid for Thrift Shop was filmed, bought a load of crap in there, then stopped for a bloody mary complete with cheeseburger on a toothpick at Sams. It was a welcome break and after another couple of shops, we bought a bottle of Jamesons and divided this into hipflasks each ready for our crazy 'Ride the Ducks' trip. Ride the Ducks is one of those tourist things where you are taken on a bus tour of the city, then as if by magic, the bus becomes a boat and takes you for a trip on the water. Already a little tipsy, we headed to the pickup point next to the space needle and on we got. Amber was absolutely hammering the whiskey and finished her flask in no time. She started eventually getting a bit rowdy much to my amusement. There was singing, wailing and arms flailing around, and many a sideways glance exchanged between myself and Ben, confirming that her drunkenness hadn't gone unnoticed ;) It was insanely fun and if you check my facebook, I have a couple of hysterical videos of said drunkenness. I enjoyed every minute. It was Christmas. The only bad thing was that there were no toilet stops and Ben and I looked at eachother in horror when Amber (who was sat on his knee) told him she couldnt hold onto her wee....needless to say we made it however and treated ourselves to an all American Macdonalds after. Mostly to soak up all the alcohol. Later that evening we were supposed to dine in the Space Needle so we wanted to be on good form and Amber was already repeating herself and generally being a menace.

  • ***"Let me have some of your hipflask" "I can't Amber, it's all gone." "No! Are you serious??! I dont believe you" X 10****

We went for a walk and Ben suggested we drop into his (empty) office and steal some of the booze from the kitchen. Amber continually rejected this idea over and over until Ben made it bluntly clear 'YOU CAN HAVAE FREE ALCOHOL IF WE GO THERE'....'Dammit Ben why didnt you say you buttmunch?!' So off we went. There was alcohol there, and nibbles but by now our meal was only 2 hours away and we'd just had MacDonalds. This was already sounding bad enough to me, but Amber kept throwing it in there that we had to also get 'seafood happy hour' before dinner. WHAT?! Was she mad? No, apparently this is a running theme in Amber-land. You go for food, then you have a meal. No wonder obesity is rife in the USA :P Clearly we refused point blank to get a seafood happy hour whatever the hell that was, but then had to endure the pissy mood that followed through not having seafood happy hour. After a wander around the shops and a quick monorail transfer, we were at the space needle and Amber seemed to have sobered up. The resturant was stunning and continually rotated (though not at a sickening pace) and we tried to order the cheapest things on the menu along with a bottle of the cheapest wine for Amber and I. It was a great night, made even more hilarious by the ridiculous conversation between a still-drunken Amber, and the Swahili taxi driver...something like this ... "So you had dinner in the needle?" "Yes, we are from Seattle but we've never had dinner in the Seattle before"... ._. FAIL. Ah it was hilarious...silly drunken Amber!

hAPPY sT pATRICK'S dAY!!!!
Ben was in work for the day but I had a hungover Amber to take care of and some coffee and a bagel would be curing that (after the usual god awful faffing that undoubtedly ensued that morning ;) Eventually we were out, and we had a nice little walk before hitting the goodwill stores on Broadway, ,including Red Light which also featured in Thrift Shop vid ;)...the best purchase of the day was my penis-goggles which we bought from a strange man in a sex shop. The strange man asked if we would like him to demonstrate a new state-of-the-art electrocution device...we of course accepted and he proceeded to electrocute us using varying appendages over the next ten minutes. It was great, but not $159.99 great. Conituning our shopping, I purchased 2 vagina lolly-pops and the penis goggles. The strange man became even more odd when putting these through the register, staring blankly at both of us for a good 30 seconds, just not doing anything. Maybe he was part of a cult or something. I let Amber go back to the flat for a rest and continued shopping for something green to wear for the night. I managed a dress and a hat and when I got back, we watched a bit of tv and got ready for the night. Ben and Amber's friend Mo came over and together we started taking bong hits and whiskey shits - A fine combination! Amber was determined to get me drunk that night, to mask how awfully drunk she had been the previous night ;)
penispic

penispic


We stopped for some Korean food then hit the bars. Dont ask me where we went, Amber succeeded in her task and I offended numerous people with my penile-glasses and drunken antics. It was a great night and it seemed like we were all ready to leave, however it soon became apparent that Amber was on a rampage again and said she'd meet us back at the flat after a few more. Well I dont know how her night ended whilst she was out but I was rudely awoken in the early hours of the morning when my ass was used as a chair by a very drunk and wailing Amber. All the lights were on and she was muttering like a mad woman. I asked her if she was ok but she didnt seem to hear me. I assumed she was on drugs and swiftly fell back asleep. I was however woken again with further shrieking and the constant movement of someone jumping into bed, getting out again, going to the bathroom, going to the bedroom, back to the bathroom and so on. By about 4am Ben finally woke up and asked what the hell she was doing...again no response. Towards what I expect was about 5 or 6am, it seems something exploded in Ben & Ambers bed and another kerfuffle ensued. Finally when everyone was up around 9:30am, Amber was finally able to tell us that she had 'Burning Hand Syndrome'..... ???.....???...??? Apparently she woke up with burning hands, then mistook a bowl of chemicals for water and made it worse. Why did you have a bowl of chemicals? Well apparently the chemicals were ball-formed and in a pouch that was supposed to be fozen and use to cool shit down. This was what exploded in the bed, causing little chemical filled balls to go everywhere. I asked what she was doing in the bathroom and she explained that she had to kneel on the floor and shake her burning hands in the air above her like some sort of satanic witch-woman performing a crazy ritual sacrifice. Did it help? I asked, no of course it didnt.

Right that's all I have time for...I will endeavour to complete my blog another day, but for now, my jetlag is sucking the life out of me and I have to get some shuteye! x_x

Posted by Lady-K 13:04 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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