here I am in Varkala…watching the sunset into the ocean in front of me, from the cliffs above…I went swimming (after a day to wrap my head around the thought of being in a bikini)…i felt SO NAKED…there are foreigners everywhere…I even had a chicken burger the other night…so this place is really nice…but it’s NOT INDIA.
we’re leaving tomorrow. it was nice for 2 days to relax and do pretty much nothing – oh I might mention briefly that loading those photos took over 3 hours yesterday…so you’d better appreciate it…i hate being online here, rather not be at all, but then keeping this updated is important to me, and if you don’t write about stuff within a couple of days you never do…or you write 1,900 words like i did…that was about 3 days without internet updated..
so my friend Emma has been learning off me how to be a hardened bargainer…I’ve been improving my bargaining skills from a young age, and I’m getting pretty damn good at it, so good in fact that when other foreigners come into the shop I’m quietly asked to stop until they leave…I love it…I’ve been teaching Emma the ways…and of course I’ve improved my head wobble…I’m now a total pro.
but the real beauty is that I’ve learnt how to use it…like how they use it…as some of you may know, the head wobble is a typical Indian thing, and it means…well…yes, no, maybe, I don’t know, I don’t care, I don’t understand you….and whatever else…so when you’re being harassed once again to buy a drum…very cheap…very small…rather than going no, no thanks, maybe later, or NO I DON’T WANT A FUCKING DRUM!!!! all you have to do is a short wobble, maybe even flick the wrist and that’s it. they get it. they won’t even ask you again!
once I figured this out, my whole perspective was thrown completely..I get it now…all of it…and even better, I know how to deal with it!
so that’s the good side…the one thing that I’ve also figured out (and mentioned briefly yesterday) was the lying…they don’t say no. so they lie instead…about anything and everything, on a daily basis…it’s gets to the point where you’re like STOP LYING TO ME!!! but then you realise…you can lie too! it’s hard i must say, I mean i’m a really direct person, so it’s totally natural for me to just be totally honest…why is that annoying i hear you ask? well everyone here asks where are you from? (followed by what is your good name?) so i go France. name? Devika. this is Indian name *wobble wobble* yes, my mother is Indian…where in India? you speak good english….ok so it goes on and on and on and on…about 25 times a day…EVERY DAY. it gets old. very quickly..anyway we’re trying to lie more…but there’s no quick way around where are you from? not for me anyway…
so of course we meet people everywhere, every day..last night was another fine example of that..Emma and I were eating dinner at some place on the cliffs…by the end of the night there were 8 of us around the table! you hear some great stories from other people, and Mat, one of our friends from Kochi has some great money saving tips it seems…though the guy has US dollars he’s got stories about free food, free bed in a dorm (both in the Golden temple in Amritsar) a free train trip (he just didn’t pay and they didn’t ask anything) and he “left without paying” Emma in Kochi, he’s now sleeping on the rooftop of a guesthouse for 150Rs a night – that’s not even $4…talk about a cheapskate! good to know he still gets ripped off though…everyone gets ripped off..it’s almost inevitable..then really what’s a dollar here or there? when you think about how much money you can spend without even thinking twice about it back home, life is so so cheap here. it’s great!
as predicted i don’t have time to go to all the places i wanted…it happens…i knew it would…so from here I’m off tomorrow morning very early stopping briefly in Trivandrum before taking a 9 1/2 hour train trip to Coimbatore just in Tamil Nadu. From there it’s up to Mettupalayam and a train trip to Ooty…sounds like an incredibly beautiful place! more photos to come…and perhaps a super long post to catch up for a couple of days without internet…we’ll see….