Saturday, 7 May 2011
Friday, 6 May 2011
Well it started and ended not that good: in Metupalayam there was not much accommodation available and after waking up at 5:45, the toy train was not working. On the other hand the journey from there to Bangalore was stressful.
But the two days there really worth it. Wednesday I took the train to Coonoor: 1 hour for 16 km. It's a scenic journey and i took around 120 pictures. In the evening I joined two Danish guys for dinner at the savor hotel (taj) and met there a Australian girl. For once I was enjoying the colonial life ;) Thursday I joined them again for a hiking tour through tea plantations, amazing landscapes and views!
Today I'm trying to get to Coimbatore by train, from there to Metupalayam by bus and tomorrow the toy train to Ooty. I'll have to "be nice" to the station master in order to get a ticket (and wake up very early). I hope It's worth it.
But first I'm going for sightseeing here.
Monday, 2 May 2011
That was the answer this morning to "ernakulam?". I got earlier to the train station and a passenger train was already there. As everyone else, I crossed from 1 to 3 through the rails instead of the bridge, otherwise I wouldn't have made it ;) I got the perfect seat: emergency window, sitting alone. In each stop the.train was getting crowded and crowded until people was hanging in the door. Maybe because of the heat rather than the space. I could feel the heat from all the people, when the train wasn't moving it was not nice. I can't imagine being in the middle of that crowd!
It took almost two hours to get to ernakulam, but the journey was interesting as well as the landscape.
Once in fort cochin i looked for a place to stay and afterwards I decided to reward my feet for the much work they have done: pedicure and massage. To close the day, dance show :)
After a couple of power cuts, It's time to sleep
Saturday, 30 April 2011
Thursday, 28 April 2011
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
Monday, 25 April 2011
Friday, 22 April 2011
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
At the end, I just said I'm going to give it a try. As the train is during night, no more people than those who booked a berth are allowed (I hope) :)
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
A far cry from when I wrote I love it I love it…it is very interesting to see Sere’s enthusiasm so different from what I feel – of course not the same things make different people tick – so nothing unusual about this. If you have the patience to read this rant (it will be a rant) don’t brush this off on account of our age difference (20 years)…
So, in short, after a few days here, I totally lost interest in almost anything else bar having to go to work do the KT and come back and I’m rapidly losing interest in that one too. Spending time with Sere and listening to her experiences, hear about her battling with the crowds, busses, temple queues, playing Russian roulette crossing the street and, looking at her photos provide a wonderful and very enjoyable escape from it all and this is a thing I haven’t lost interest in. The food I had was quite good but for the last three days I only enjoyed toast with marmite, laughing cow cheese, tomatoes and fruit. Incredibly mouth watering fruit.
As I don’t know who will read this I’ll keep it clean and not mention more than once the ring sting after Indian food or the fact that it would be a sound business idea to collect the gasses we produce (not in public I might add – after all we are ladies of a certain standard) and sell them to GASUNIE for a profit
So, on Saturday when Sere went to Mysore, not going to comment on the name, I attempted to visit a mall (in line with what a shopaholic should do when visiting a new city) and go to chill and find peace, or maybe myself (about time) to Isckon Temple. Taxi picked me up and literally elbowed it’s wings through the streets for one hour before reaching the gigantic eye sore (my sore really) mall. I spotted on the ground floor Spar (a huge one) and full of expectation went in. The crowds unimaginable…took 45 mins to buy tomatoes, gouda (expected to find Cheddar as after all India was part of the British Empire, but none was to be found) and guess what….to my complete surprise a chilled cabinet full of Lindt chocolate. And what an array of Lindt varieties…can’t even find some of them in Holland. Switzerland eat your heart out!
After that I needed a pee, immense queue at the toilets, so had to abandon choosing to risk an embarrassing event..Soooo soooo many people pushing around you that I lost all interest in shopping or even looking. The mall has 4 floors, fairly clean and modern, but the noise was maddening. I had to ask the taxi guy to come to my rescue and thought I’ll go back to the hotel to my lovely bathroom and then, after freshening up get ready for my trip to the temple. After another 1/2h of my taxi weaving through traffic, trying to avoid knocking off motor bikes holding 2 adults and many kids, exhausted and totally disappointed in the shopping experience and the fact that I still had rupees in my purse, I found out that the queues at the temple are min 1.5h long. I had no choice but to seek spiritual enlightenment in my bed with an episode of Frasier. Eureka didn’t happen but a headache did and that killed my entire weekend.
Monday at work – it smelled and some smelled. The sweet smell of whatever they spray to take away the smells (not dissimilar to Las Ramblas in Barcelona or Venice only with the minor difference that there you could hide in a wonderful café and smell coffee or hot chocolate instead) only made it worse.
This is a city where you have to look up, not to look at architecture or stretch your head to admire sky scrapers, but merely to avoid looking at human misery. Little dirty huts from where people try to make a living, out of anything like ripped old tires or knocked about helmets (I did consider to buy one for Jelmer to go with his Czech byke) are strewn amongst rubble and fairly nice houses and rubbish. I feel most sorry for the stray dogs roaming through the streets. This is not a city where people can’t find jobs though, if they wanted to, plenty construction work or cleaning to do, and yet, you see people laying on the pavement in a booze or drug fuelled daze. They have no pride in this place. The billboards advertising posh Indian wedding attire or gold laced with diamonds and precious stones or shops ladden with goods for wealthy foreigners does not much to inspire them. It has a lot of potential and Indians if they are to be judged by the ones I know, are hard workers and renowned for their entrepreneurial skills so how can this place be such a mess. I know though that extreme poverty makes people concentrate on very basic survival needs
Not inviting, in spite of cutesy little temples kitschly decorated but nonetheless charming, in spite of it’s vitality...in spite of some very lovely people. I know next to nothing about their culture so I'm not judging, it's what I feel
Returned to the room ready for my toast milk and coke (the drink) which I ordered from room service only to find out when it got delivered by a new waiter, not used to my generosity, that he can’t add it to the bill as it’s not billable and needs to be paid for in cash and no receipt can be given. So I paid him the huge sum of 170 rupees (other waiters are used to my giving them on occasions not much less than that - time to clarify it doesn’t come out of the CG budget for KT this year) and, with great satisfaction complained about him to his boss. In general people are nice but I think most are out to get you.
And now sitting on the balcony, with a cig burning on the ashtray and a cup of Horlicks, under the beautiful coconut tree with it’s leaves rustling in the gently breeze, sounding like rain, soothing, I feel drawn to this place and it's people. I'd like to understand IT and why I feel the way I do about it. Will I miss it? Will I want to come back?
Monday, 18 April 2011
Thursday, 14 April 2011
Tuesday, 12 April 2011
Sunday, 10 April 2011
Saturday, 9 April 2011
By the way the hotel is just like the pictures on the internet.
|view from my room|
Friday, 8 April 2011
Ready to take off!!! :)
Monday, 4 April 2011
Saturday, 2 April 2011