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Random Stuff

Sunset on Varkala Beach. I could get used to this view…

Well it had to happen at some point – Jen has just spent the last few minutes with her head down the toilet vomiting tonight’s dinner. Unfortunately, I forgot to video the event, so I thought I would write a blog post instead. The irony is that her last words to the staff upon leaving the restaurant were: “I am going to write a recommendation about this place on the internet”!

We dined at a place named Tuman located on Varkala cliff with Jen ordering some Mexican enchiladas whilst I sampled some Tibetan dumplings (none of these touristy restaurant places seem to specialise in specific cuisines, instead a range of “continental style” dishes including Indian, English, Italian, Chinese, Russian and American style meals are all on the same menu). Luckily I have not suffered any side effects from the dinner, so it was either the enchiladas, or more likely the salad which caused the vomiting. Thankfully, she’s feeling better now, and Jen being Jen, she has now bounced back quickly.

Very cool wall art outside The Chillout Lounge, Varkala.

Jen has been rather brave in sampling salads in India, despite warnings that eating food washed in local water could be a health danger. She has been careful to ask beforehand whether the salads has been washed with mineral water (most places claim this), but we are learning that when people in India say “yes”, frustratingly, sometimes it really means “no”, “maybe”, or “yes, perhaps later but don’t expect it to happen anytime soon”. Some examples include:

1) Installation of air conditioning which we were told would happen in 1 day, but later turned out to take 4 days.

2) The unlocking of Jen’s mobile phone, which we were told would be returned this Wednesday, then it was Thursday, and now apparently it will be ready on Friday.

3) A promise of hot tap water in 5 minutes, but later given a bucket of boiling water heated from a stove 30 minutes later.

Haiwa Resort, Varkala. Rooms with air conditioning cost a very reasonable R1100 (£13.50) and run by some friendly guys who looked after us.

Other random stuff

Here is a selection of random highlights and observations which occurred in the last few days:

– Jen learnt that the brakes on a rickshaw are actually quite effective

While on her way back from a visit to Varkala town centre, a woman was standing in the middle of the road oblivious to oncoming traffic, and the rickshaw driver had to slam on his breaks to avoid hitting her. Jen was thrown forward from the sudden braking (she was unhurt), and after the shopping had been collected from the floor and put back into her bag, the driver carried on like it was just another day on the (crazy) roads of India.

– Jen received a love letter

During our previous stay at Puthenthorpe, we befriended a member of staff named Anoob who we ended up going down the beach with, invited to our room to chat and who even gave us one of those dodgy ayurvedic massages. Little did we know that he had a bit of a soft spot for our Jen, so imagine our surprise when a few days after we left, Jen showed me an email he sent:

“Hallo how are u I am very gloomy without you 🙁 my heart is full of you I am always thinking about you. I wish I could marry you in the future. I hope you feel the same and I am hoping I can see you again soon. I keep dreaming about you but its just is not enough. I have kept your hair and your kiss in my heart. Love you lots, Anoop”

Can you believe the cheek?! I had actually helped set up the same email account he was now sending the love letter from! I also gave him a tip when we left and a £2 coin as a memento of our stay. Part of me still wants to go back and pay him a quick visit since Puthenthorpe is only 20 miles south of Varkala, but he has since apologised adding that it was “just a joke”. Hmmmmph.

– India is obsessed with Michael Jackson

Well, perhaps not an obsession with his music as such, but rather Jackson’s life long desire to change his skin colour from black to white. It appears that most cosmetic products sold here all come with added skin whitening bleach to help fulfill India’s desire to have a paler skin complexion. Seems rather odd at first, but when you consider that you can buy fake (orange?!) tan solutions in the UK, it seems rather normal. Caucasian’s want a darker skin colour, and Asian’s want a lighter skin colour – work that one out if you can. To quote Jackson’s rather hypocritical lyric: “If you’re thinking about being my brother, it don’t matter if you’re black or white”.

I eventually succumbed to the sales patter of this guy and bought some drums. Shame they were too big for my backpack and I ended up leaving them in the room for the next guest to find.

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