Right into my second week in India and truthfully i dont know whether i should laugh or cry. The stats look something like this …
Days in India: 11
Days Coached: 0
Piss take factor: HIGH … this should soon change as i’m promised i’ll start coaching tomorrow
Number of times drunk: 0 … dissapointing
Amount of time spent on buses: Too long
Amount of time spent on broken down buses in the middle of nowhere: Far too long
… all shall be explained.
So as i said my first week was pretty much a wash out. Friday night however i boarded a coach along with the others that would take us 8 hours up the east coast to a french colonial resort of Pondicherry. 8 hours on a coach from the off sounded slightly painful but in heinsight 8 hours would have been a right touch. So we set off from Madurai at about 10pm, the idea being we sleep and wake up in Pondy … no such luck. I chatted to Dan (does journalism out here) for the first couple of hours and they passed without pain being inflicted, i then snoozed for a further hour, during this time the coaches beck window fell out, again not too painful .. then … yep you guessed it the seemingly always reliable functionality of indian mecanics went t*** up and we broke down. Middle of nowhere, 2am, great … i love India! As it turns out i went into a slight state of hysteria and actually quite enjoy the 3 hours we sat on that bus, just chatting crap to Jo and Amber. We were eventually sorted out with another bus which can only be described as a confused prison bus that wished it was Austin Powers tour bus. So we sat/slept on that for the next 4 to 5 hours along with another brit couple who were unfortunate enough to have been on the first excuse for a bus. Then we got told to get off of that and board a public bus for about another hour before we reached Pondy. Pondy had better be bloody good after all that!
We had breakfast and Amber hoped on a ped with Tina to go find us so accomedation. You would have thought we’d have sorted this before hand but that would’ve been a little too easy wouldnt it!? Amber and Tina did well and found us a little compound right on the beach and everyones room was a tree house … cool! The rest of the day was spent on the beach. Now, the beach, i really cant decide if i loved it or hated it. The sea was like a bath but also contained small jellyfish type things that continuously stung as … they iched like hell too. The beach itself looked lovely … from a distance. Up close though you could see that it was the local fish semetary and also a public toilet, and i’m not talking about a drunken piss at midnight because theres no where else to go … there was squatting and …its just too horrific to go into. In the evening we ate at this amazing pizza place. Stone baked pizza, always a treat. Then we went back to our compound where Ambers Indian friends has organised a party for us. Well you couldnt actually call it a party as such. There was beer, but the music came in the form of an ipod and some speakers and it was in the dark. Then later just to rub salt in the now gaping, seeping wound the power went too, time for bed.
We only stayed at Meera youth camp for one night and moved to a more central location for the next two nights. We did however have trouble getting away from the camp as some crazed indian demanded that we pay him some stupid amount of money, even though we had already paid the previous night. He did threaten at one point to get quite violent, i nearly had to break out the twin ambassadors of pain. Ambers mate Aaron eventually turned up and sorted the mess out and we made a run for it. The rest of the day we spent walking around Pondy, along the beach front which could have been anywhere but India, and generally stopped and ate a lot. That night we had a good drink out on a hotel roof top bar before heading to another one of Aarons late night parties. I didnt stick around too long and walked back with Steph and Jo, but Mark didnt make it back to our room til half four so it went on a fair while. The next mornings report on the night before involved mass drunkeness, flirting and even a wee skuffle. Amber left today (wednesday) to go work @ the elephant orphange in Sri Lanka, but for the past week and a bit she has been a constant source of entertainment. The skuffle on Sunday was some of her best work, she was also involved in another set of fisty-cuffs the week before wen having drank India’s supply of Vodka set off on a 2am jaunt and then decided she’d quite like a dog to call her own. On trying to steal a dog from a local house she was confronted by a security guard and they had it out. Ambers black eye the next morning spoke of a good night …. we have since been banned from drinking in the house.
Back to the weekend. Well there isnt in truth a lot to tell, we walked a bit ate and drank … and it rained a lot. We did visit pizza hut ( i’m adventurous and like trying new things) and watched the footy but thats about it. By Tuesday evening I was more than ready to get on the bus home until …. yep, someone up there loves me, i saw that it was the same bus that had broken down on the way here complete with a new back window .. well a wooden board. I have since come to the conclusion that since entering India some witchdoctor has put some kind of hex on me. Despite having about as much leg room as Giant Haystacks on an easyjet flight we made it back in one go and we we’re back in the house by 8 this morning.
Today i’ve been to the tailors market and ordered a few shirts to be made up, i’ve also had my hair cut … buz cut (i’m still in tears as i write this). Tomorrow i’m due to actually start, up at 5.15. With my placement now in place, touch wood, i’ll be staying for a couple of weeks. In that time i’ll hopefully visit Bangalore and the back waters. Dass (our driver) is also getting married, so i think we’re all invited to the wedding … wonder if he’s had a stag do yet??
On the whole, i’m still getting used to India. I’m shocked as to just how different it is to Sri Lanka, not entirely sure why i thought they’d be so similar, but they’re definately not. India is a lot more hussle and bustle, and a lot dirtier. Madurai is filthy and could do with mass use of Cilit bang all over it. Tyron said how dirty is was when i told him i was going but its still shocked me. There are also more beggars than in Sri Lanka. We’ve been told not to give then anything, as if we give something to one all the other will expect, its a bit harsh and i do feel guilty, but its for our own safety apparently. The house is growing on me, and i got to know everone a bit better over the weekend. The house even has a guitar so i have the chance to drive everyone mad with the six songs i know.
Thats it i think, like i said i start tomorrow, not going away next weekend so i wouldnt expect too much of an update. I have however just uploaded about a million photos (30 odd). Theres some in the Sri Lanka 2 file and the new India file so if you’re interested take a look.