A Travellerspoint blog

Holy Cows! Chicken Lollipops!

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So there we were in Arambol, chilling on the sunloungers in Sweetwater Bay, enjoying our first 'relaxing' day since arriving in India. I use the term 'relaxing' pretty loosely as we were constantly interrupted with the likes of 'Madam you want massage?' (NO), 'Hello Madam, you want look my bracelets?' (NO), 'Madam-you-want-coconutpineapplepapayabananamango?!' (URGH), 'Oh, very nice! English?' (F**K OFF)...The best one however, was 'Madam you look like CHICKEN LOLLIPOP!!!' What the hell does that even mean?! (we would later find out). We also did however make a couple of sweet friends. Yvette was burying her face in her book trying to avoid eye contact with all human life after being violated by a horrible asshole who thought it was a subtle and otherwise okay gesture to stop next to her, hold a phone over her bikini-clad ass and take a photograph for his collection of random white girl ass shots. Sicko. Anyway, I was feeling rather spritely and good humoured and when we were approached by a couple of friendly local lads, I allowed them to bask in my conversational glory whilst I answered all of their questions and chatted away to them. They even revealed the real reason behind these horrible dickheads taking pictures of us; apparently we remind them of porn stars because we are white, young and female. I mean it's pretty understandable right? It's the same as all of us thinking all black guys are rappers - because they are aren't they? Idiots.
Anyway I continued talking to our new buddies, Kaku (ha!) and Santosh and promised them we'd be back for a drink the next day. Once we'd had enough, we went back to the hut, showered, and hit the town. We stopped at a beach bar for some drinks and were immediately approached by a black Caribbean couple who asked us a number of inane crappy questions whilst smiling crazily at us before whispering that they had drugs if we wanted them. After politely declining, we sat there awkwardly whilst the sky grew darker and darker. It was only about 5pm and big black thunder clouds began rolling in to blot out the remaining natural light. Eventually we heard the distant roll of thunder and purple lightening cracked its spidery fingers down to earth then big splodges of rain started to pelt us as we ducked inside the bar for shelter. It was a pretty heavy downpour and we decided to just get some food there before heading back. We stayed a while and as we were getting up to leave, some guy out of his skull on god-knows-what started randomly committing acts of violence towards glasses on people's tables and was subsequently surrounded by a massive horde of Indian dudes. We didnt stay to find out what happened to him, and started the walk along the unpopulated unlit ominous looking beach. I was working myself up worrying about the likes of gang rape and murder whereas Yvette was scared of treading in dog shit. Perspective.

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The first night in the hut was okay but we woke up early to the crashing waves just a few feet beyond us and spent about 2 hours faffing uncontrollably with chargers, wifi and all manner of technology, the result being that Yvette had to eat 2 breakfasts (one normal and one guilty) - it probably didnt help the pooping situation either. Anyway we eventually got to the beach - we decided to go for the main beach to see if it was better than Sweetwater Bay but no sooner had we grabbed a couple of sun loungers, we were being obscenely harrassed and heckled by LITERALLY every person who walked past. There were about 20 bracelet-wallahs on the beach and each of them were persistently and intermittently trying to get us to even look interested. They wouldnt take no for an answer so we had to completely ignore them, which I hate doing, but honestly, it was really about every 5 minutes. They pretty much ruined our day, yet still made us feel like we were the ones being a-holes. We retreated up to the town area and did a bit of shopping. As an expert haggler, I got a few bloody brilliant deals and celebrated by letting a nice young man paint a purple dot on my forehead for shopping in his store. Unfortunately due to the heat and my unfeasably sweaty face, it melted down my nose and across my cheeks and was a bit of a bitch to get off, the sight of which was apparently hilarious given Yvette's reaction. Dammit.
We later met our little friends Kaku and Santosh for beers on Sweetwater, and shared a pleasant smelling hand rolled cigarette (yurp) before Yvette had her 10 second warning and leapt into the nearest toilet...We moved things up to a restaurant closer to our hut and invited the guys with us. We ordered some food, they ordered some beers, and then for some inexplicable reason they tried to turn off all the lights. Now I know what you're thinking...alarm bells should be ringing blah blah blah but frankly, I was more annoyed that I couldnt see my food. After we persuaded them to turn them back on, we finished our food and the guys ordered us another round of beers. By this point I was feeling a little uncomfortable from the beer and the knowledge that I probably needed to poop soon, and what these guys were really after, and we told them we would go after that beer. In their desperation, they ordered us more beer which we told them would DEFINITELY be our last. During that last round, my favourite one, Kaku (lol) started getting a bit handsy (literally) and kept stroking at and pawing at my hand. Yvette thought the entire thing was hilarious and didnt help me out at all, and simply laughed hysterically when the guy started trying to smooch me whilst I simultaneously pushed his face as far away from mine as possible. It couldnt have been any more awkward but because of Yvette's reaction, I couldn't not laugh about it so I was laughing my ass off as well. We threw 10,000 rupees on the table (£10) told the guys they could make up the rest (they wanted to go half way but we just wanted to get the hell outta there) and promptly left them looking a bit defeated...We would see them again though :)
Woke up pretty early and inexplicably with a bit of a cold; runny nose, fuzzy head, sinusey...and Yvette's toilet issues had somewhat worsened. We spent about an hour packing up our stuff and working out what we should do with our shit bucket which was absolutely stinking the place out (we decided to just leave it full of shitty tissues). After that, we went to say goodbye to Kaku (lol) and Santosh but we had to cut it short due to another stomach lurching bout of the shits (Yvette) and sympathy shits (Me) and head back to the hut.
We stopped in a cafe for breakfast and my nose, like Yvette's a-hole, became a tap of man-made liquid which caused us some anxiety for the hour long taxi back to Panjim. The taxi ride was possibly one of the worst I've ever taken; Yvette even had to emphasize our need to arrive alive with the absolute dick of a driver.
After another bout of obscene fannying in Panjim trying to work out how many buses it would take to get to Palolem, we decided to just pay the oh-my-god rate of £15 for a 1&a half hour taxi ride with an extremely desperate taxi driver with a hairy dashboard. When we finally arrived, we got a really nice room in a lovely guest house for a couple of nights. We were a little confused when we were finding it however and Yvette actually walked into some old man's house who responded by slamming the door in her face. Anyway the room was great...air conditioned paradise. By this point I really was full of a cold and Yvette was glued to the toilet. We decided on a walk along the beach, but I was feeling so crappy we had to stop in a restaurant to get out of the sun, and so I could order a hot honey & ginger drink. As I browsed the menu for some bar snacks, my eye was drawn to none other than the infamous 'Chicken Lollipop!' Well obviously I had to order it. But we were just left even more confused because whilst it did resemble a lollipop, it was also brown and crunchy with a bone sticking out. In what way did either me or Yvette look like one of these haggard things?! Someone please EXPLAIN!!! Pretty tasty though..
I was still feeling horrible so we went back to the room for a bit so we could each soil some more tissues...my nose was just streaming. Decided on a lonely planet cafe with western food as we had been dining on only spicy Indian food for a while now. Agreed we would both have eyebrows yet I dont think we took any pictures so it's probably a pretty redundant comment. After a great meal and some furious snotty nose blowing, I was ecstatic to find LOTR the 2 towers on tv so stayed up and watched that. :-D
Felt rotten again in the morning and ended up taking a rickshaw to the chemist to sort out my rapidly worsening cold, after which we went for lunch then hit the beach. The beach there was beautiful, just like the pictures you see in the travel brochures, and dotted with little boats and even smaller cows. I decided to swim in the bath-water hot sea...I was a little intimidated by some of the locals though and went fully clothed. It was really nice but the sun was making my head feel worse and I had to head back to the room. When I started to feel better, we agreed that enough was enough. I couldnt put this off any longer. I had to buy some rings, and ring shopping was now on the cards. I spent about an hour haggling over a number of rings and got a great deal. Back in the room, admiring my purchases, I discovered my camera was missing, and like a complete idiot I had left it somewhere. After a mad dash around the immediate area, I found it in a rooftop cafe. Is it just me this stuff happens to?? Jesus I am my own worst enemy sometimes.
The following morning we got up at 7:30am so that we could take a cab to a local Wildlife Sanctuary. The driver was going like a bastard and ran out of fuel and had to take a massive detour. He then helped us get our tickets and it become obvious that the santuary was massive and he would be driving us through it stopping at various points. When we finally got through the gates, the first thing I caught sight of was a fairly significant-sized animal carcass in the middle of the road. Well why wouldnt there be? I mean, this is India, one of the most backward countries I have ever visited. Of course there are dead animals in a wildlife sanctuary.
Anyway, we side stepped the carcass and continued up the road, revving and beeping merrily along the way pretty much eliminating any chances of us seeing any lions tigers or bears - oh my! He finally stopped and let us get out and walk unaided along a trail that lead up to a canopy platform. It was actually really nice and serene...no traffic noise, no people noise...just the intermittent sounds of my snotty sniffling. We saw all manner of jungle creatures. Everything ranging from blue jungle crabs, red jungle lizards, jungle monkeys, and possibly a flying jungle squirrel. We got to the canopy platform which was up a rusted-as-shit spindly ladder leading up into a tree some distance upwards. It looked pretty sketchy but I was determined to get up it and after about 15minutes of climbing, I made it. It was incredibly hot at the top and it became hard to see for all the sweat in my eyes so I made my way back down slowly...We didnt bother visiting the 'watering hole' which was depicted as a manky man made puddle in a concrete block, and instead got our driver to take us back.
Feeling pretty haggard again, we went to a cafe for more hot beverages and I fell asleep whilst Yvette played chess with a nice young fellow called Mantu. We literally jumped from cafe to cafe that afternoon, with the odd walk along the beach, then watched the sun go down before heading for dinner. After dinner, we grabbed our bags, dodged some young lads setting off firecrackers outside a church, and took a rickshaw to the bus stop ready for our overnight bus to Hampi, our next destination...

More to come next week :)

Posted by Lady-K 00:42 Comments (0)

Lost in the Crowds, Hassled & Heckled,and Gut Trouble in Goa

The 2 human tourist attractions (white girls) and their affect on Indian society in Goa

overcast 35 °C

Following on from my previous blog, we were heading back to Mumbai for the evening so that we could board a train to Goa the next morning; we wanted to travel through the day so as to experience the scenery on the way down the coast and infamous Western Ghats.
So we are on the train returning from Pune into Mumbai and we are told by a couple that its the last stop and everyone gets off the train...and all hell breaks loose. We were jostled off the train and submerged into a sea of around 10,000 dirty, sweaty, noisy people. Literally couldnt see anything but people, and as we were swept along and out of the station, I felt the unmistakable, sickening grope of my ass cheek being grabbed. hard. I turned around in shock to see a horrible old man slipping through the crowds with a disgusting look on his face. 'Yvette, we REALLY need to get out of here'....except we couldnt. We were literally trapped by the surge of people as far as the eye can see through a packed market place spanning about 3 square miles of area. As it turned out, we had got off one stop too soon and were somewhere north of Mumbai. Rather than getting back on a train in the midst of this human torrent, we decided to find a taxi but even the roads were blocked by people! We pushed along for about 20 minutes until we found road. Lovely road. With cars and rickshaws to lead us away from this orgy of marketeers.
It took us around an hour and a half to get to central Mumbai because of the crowds, and it cost us the pricely sum of 5 pounds. After that nightmare was over, we located our hotel with the usual rude-as-shit staff, checked in, and did something awful. It was clearly the trauma of the previous 2 hours. Really. We wouldnt have done it otherwise. Ok are you ready for it? Here it comes....we went to MacDonalds. I know. It was that or crack and I didnt want to find a crack dealer in Mumbai. We had goat burgers which tasted like horrible rancid anuses (anii?), and felt it was probably karma for going to such a god awful establishment. Sacrilege!
Okay so after setting 5 individual alarms to wake us up in the morning, just to be sure, we managed to vacate the hotel by 06:15 and lurched over to the station. A nice man with an insanely wobbly head helped us locate the train platform and seat number etc and no sooner had we got onto the train and into our relevant compartment, complete with comfy sleeper beds for long journeys, the man himself reappeared at our side apparently having gone out of his way to make sure we got on ok. Creepy or nice, I'll let you decide.
The sleeper train was great - just as I remembered! We were in a compartment with 2 other men, but it was so early, we got into our beds and fell asleep. I snoozed til around 10am then got up to check out the views which were spectacular. The journey trudged on and it began to get dark so we knew we were getting closer.
Finally, and after a very near miss of our stop, we got off seemingly in the middle of nowhere and took a pre-paid taxi to a hotel we googled called 'Manvins'...or Marvins as we referred to it as. We were confronted by the usual rude-as-shit staff and checked into a room that looked like it had been modelled on the inside of a cardboard box, for 24pounds. Had a great view from up there but seriously, this room was ridiculous. I cant begin to imagine what they were thinking when they put this place together. They had glued laminated wood look flooring to the walls and insides of the doors, the furniture picked up from a skip or maybe the side of the river, and some random planks and sticks of wood nailed here and there on the ceiling. It gave shabby-chique a new meaning put it that way.
We found ourselves in a Lonely Planet recommended restaurant called Upper House, where we had a great meal and drinks. There was unfortunately an incident that took place in their toilets which forced us to leave to pursue another venue. I dont want to talk about it but it involved a lack of toilet paper and a desperate need to have toilet paper. We sauntered on over to a bar called Mojo's which was an all-Indian nightclub come karaoke bar, however nobody batted an eyelid at our pale complexions when we walked in. In fact we made a few friends, had a little too much to drink, did some awful awful karaoke and dancing, and went home before we stopped being sensible. Somehow managed to get home however Yvette freaked out big time in the toilet and barfed everywhere. I didnt even comprehend what happened until she started yelling 'Dont go in there! no really...please dont go in there' was probably barf all up the walls or something. Anyway we both found it highly amusing the next day - my incident at the restaurant, and her being a lightweight. HA!

We woke up late and decided to take some more LP advice and book a nice trip with the government run tourist office. We took a rickshaw there to avoid hassle finding the place. What happened next I will try to describe but even now I am confused. We entered the building and followed the sign to 1st floor where we walked straight into a weird doctors style waiting room. Everyone looked at us and before I had a chance to ask anyone, we were directed up more stairs.,this time, it was a complete replica of the first room but less people. Another flight up and we walked into a massive open plan office with people working in their cubicles. Now at a complete loss as to what we were doing here, our confused expressions prompted a moment of hilarity and we broke down into a fit of giggles as a woman dragged us 2 chairs to her cubicle in the midst of all these folk trying to get on with their work.
We were advised to go to the Santa Monica jetty for an evening cruise. Now I'm going to try and explain this without getting mad thinking about it. There appeared to be one road leading to the jetty and it was like a highway with bollards down the middle and traffic going at crazy speeds. It took us 30minutes to realise there was no other way to get there than this road and there were no crossings in either direction so we spent a further 20 minutes getting across it. When we reached the other side, we found a building site on the jetty and a lone booth selling cruise tickets. We bought 2 then hailed a rickshaw to help us cross the road and dump us in a park where we were subsequently told off for playing on the childrens swings.
After that fiasco, we took a lazy walk back to our hotel area, taking in the Portuguese style architecture along the way. Yvette had that all-too-familiar tummy lurch and we ducked into a cafe so she could use the toilet. Except they didnt have one so we had to leg it back to the shitty hotel. On our way back down the elevator, we were confused by our own reflections and inexplicably thought we saw an Asian man and woman staring back at us in a mirror as we passed one of the floors. Why were they waiting there so close to the lift? We realised later that it was a mirror, and the Asians were in fact us. Idiots yes I know.
We had some nice lunch then went for a wander in a nearby market where I bought a beautiful sari for 2.50pounds. We stopped in an internet cafe to check hotels at our next destination and stupidly had to fill out all sorts of useless information to do so. They wanted our passports, home addresses, signatures...stupid stupid stupid. We found out what we needed to and went to the room for a quick relax before our evening cruise, which we will now refer to as the 'atrocious shit-ferry'. We took a rickshaw to the jetty (smart I know) and piled into a queue of around 200 people. Thankfully the queue was moving but as we neared the 'end of it', I realised we were simply being herded into a cattle maze in the sweltering heat and left there. There were no other white skins and people were staring, jeering and laughing at us. It was not at all apparent what we were even waiting for and we were getting very impatient. We then thankfully began to move but again, and inexplicably (my favourite word i know) we were once again herded into another cattle maze. What the f**k was this??! Why have 3 separate queuing stations? Pointless - as with most things in India, non-nonsensical and utterly pointless. When we finally got on board our 'cruise-ship'...better defined as a heap of rusty metal floating on an ocean of stinking waste, we were the subjects of everyones attention. It started as people posing very close to us for pictures, the backs of our heads as the background landscape. I mean, I know I'm not one to talk, but I have a pretty damn good back-of-the-head. People were now outright coming up to us and taking pictures. This progressed (along with my rage) to people rattling off the standard 'Madam where from?" "What name?" only for us to realise that they were incredibly, faking conversation with us whilst their friends filmed and took pictures of the scene. We were surrounded by disgusting horrible men and the photos just didnt stop. It would have been difficult to enjoy the so called view with that going on but as it happened, there wasnt much of a view anyway except for the brown river and rubbish strewn riverbanks. Finally off the shit-ferry, a thunderstorm was brewing and before we knew it lightening was piercing the purple darkened sky and thunder was rolling in. Once the rain got heavy, we hot footed it 1 kilometer down the main road to a safer place to cross and stopped into an all veg restaurant for the best thali I've ever had. Thali is where you get rice and roti or paddadam, and a melee of small dishes - anywhere from 5 to 25 - these will be lentil dahls, raita, hot curry sauce. spicy chick peas, potato&pea masala, that kind of thing. It was stupendous.
We rushed back to the hotel amidst the rattling thunder and managed to find an English channel so watched Polar Express and the Smurfs...okay not all of the Smurfs but some of it. Oh my God why on earth did Neil Patrick Harris agree to that?! Seriously...

Waking up the next morning, inexplicably (yep I used it again) The Smurfs was still on...we got up early so we could take advantage of the free breakfast which was being served by a weird Asian looking man with ball hair on his head instead of head hair. It was gross - the breakfast that is and not the hair. Actually that was gross too. Breakfast consisted of greasy naan bread with hot lime pickle, yoghurt and insanely sweet chai tea. Unimpressed we left for the market again and bought a few last minute goodies, including my first stash of silver rings - I am something of a ring-merchant. At 11am we got in a taxi to Arambol, a beachy resort recommended by the one and only Burnsy. An hour and a bit, we arrived, for the price of a taxi from Douglas to Onchan,. and set about trying to find some beach huts we found online. This involved walking through the cheesiest hippy-themed town I've ever seen. Everywhere I looked, embroidered sequinned wall hangings, tie-dye t-shirts, dreadlocks, skinny bra-less girls, and of course the continual offers of marijuana, mushrooms and coke. We had to actually walk along the beach to the other side of the bay, and then along through restaurants, bars and shops. We were carrying all our luggage and had been walking a while, wondering if we were even going the right way, but thankfully our perseverance paid off and we found the lovely Shree Sai Cottages. Little beach huts in a quiet area near Sweet-Water Bay, overlooking the rocks and sky-blue ocean crashing down on them. The cottages were owned by a Swiss gentleman - quite a hottie actually - who asked for 400 rupees a night, thats 4 pounds for both of us in a little wooden hut with a bed and not much else. It did however have a bathroom which we were both pleased about because we were hardly ever off the toilet at this point. In fact you might say toilets were determining and dominating every choice we made on where to go and what we did. They needed to be within 5 minutes reach as sometimes our 'notice' was only about 2 minutes before imminent disaster inevitably occured.

We unpacked and headed over to sweet-water bay where we made ourselves a couple of little brown friends (not poo)....but you will find out about them in the next blog ;)

Until next time :)

Posted by Lady-K 02:19 Archived in India Comments (0)

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)

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