So, whilst we were stuck at Goa airport for two extra hours Chris and I put together a list of stuff we have learnt about India and our favourite and worst bits. I thought, whilst trying to get out of the extrodinary heat here I would share them with you guys :)
Our best moments/things:
* Elephant fun in chitwan, being thrown off an elephant multiple times whilst trying to wash it was great fun!
*Goa's colva beach. hopefully you've seen the photos. Enough said.
*Watching 3 idiots in Jaipurs cinema, art deco glory!
*Eating many, many, many curries and naan breads, with our hands!
*Goan seafood and the amazing Papillion beach hut. Marcel, we will always love you.
* Watching laughing yoga whilst on a boat trip through Varanassi.
*Ganges boat ride, sunrise and sunset. Beautiful (apart from the whiff from the river!)
*Taj Mahal. Stunning.
*Hotels with roof tops. There's nothing like chilling on a roof top with a beer, looking over the city.
* The Himilayan sunrise and the Goan sunsets.
* The diverse variety of the horns on the lorries, buses, bikes and cars!
*Chai Chai Chai Chai time. 5 o'clock was time for that sweet spicy tea to be drunk and I loved every cup- especially at road stops and train stations. The sounds of chai men going up and down the station will be a memory I will hold for a long time.
* The Indian's way of adjusting. This normally happened with seating arrangments. For example, on one bus journey a seat that was made for two people held seven. That's what I call excellent adjusting!
* One of Chris's faves was train food; samosas, rotis, curries, you name it, he most probably ate it! (And didn't get sick!) Another train food thing we loved was watching men eating handful of green chillies raw. Mental.
* Watching kids play street cricket wherever they could was also
great to see. The Indian nation ADORE cricket!
*Auto rickshaw drivers were also a favourite of ours and their insane way of driving. On many occasions I thought we could crash into a car, or cow.
*The laid back authorities in India were something else! On one occasion a police officer who was patroling the trains, and whose gun was just slung over his shoulder walked past Marjoleine. His gun trigger then got caught on her bag, but he really didn't care! We were all terrified that the gun was gonna blow -but luckily it unattached itself in time! On ,many occasions we saw the police just chatting, having chai on the side of the road! And on our last experience of Goa we were sunbathing on a remote island when the Navy came along in a rickety old fishing boat, and beeped their horn which prompted us to move. After a few
minutes the navy men came onto the island, at this point I thought we were all going to get arrested. Luckily they only came on to grab a beer whilst we packed up our stuff!
*Another one of Chris's favourites were the water sports he did in Goa. I personally opted out of them, but I know he loved the bouncing boat and the jet ski!
* A peronal one for me, which I know you all loved me telling you about was my unfortunate incident on the paraglide. Although I was mortified I thought the situation was hilarious and it felt so good after I vomited!
*One of our last favourite moments was having one of the room service staff delivery our washing to us in Varanassi. This was hilarious because whilst he was waiting for us fumbling over how many rupees to give him, he picked up my travelling teddy, Frank. And then started to make him roar and play with him. Chris and I were both shocked and entertained!
*We should really mention our fabulous leaders we have had on these tours; Baroo and Yash were so fantastic, we really couldn't have asked for anyone more knowledgable or friendly and helpful than these two!
*This also links in with meeting all our new firends from the trip. Without them we wouldn't have had so much fun!
Which leads us onto our "it's all part of the experience" list:
* For Chris it has to be him falling over at what seems like all the time. He currently has two delightful scars on his head from where he was diving over the waves, hit his head and grazed his nose and forehead. Other incidents have included falling up the stairs with two cups of chai and chucking them all over himself. standing and sliding right in the middle of a fresh cow pat and stubbing his feet on nearly all of the beds we have had.
* Sadly, one of our worst moments is our dicky tummies! Although we haven't been vomiting, and we haven't been affected that much by the food, there have been quite a few incidents where I have not been a happy bunny in my tummy, and I know Chris has also experienced this!
* Child beggars, women beggars, beggars in general. I probably sound like so heartless as I write this. But honestly if I had a another woman poked my arm saying "miiiiss miiiiis, chapati, chapati" I think I was going to snap. the worst thing was if you gave them food they came back for more! My favourite was in mumbai when a boy was selling flowers on the road side and we were in a taxi. Suddenly the boy spots us (I did have an terrible habit of looking out the window and accidently making eye contact with them) and a bunch of flowers is shoved in my face whilst in the taxi. There is no getting away from them whilst in a taxi. therefore we had to do the awkward ignore them period and then Chris starts swatting them away!
*This also links in with being called "Sir" on many different occasions by shop owners and "hello taxi" from taxi drivers. I started to think I was a male taxi by the end of the trip!
* Indian mobiles were a treat to the ears, it does have to be said. The most excellent thing about this was their inceredibly annoying ringtones, the person looking at their phone for around 20 seconds whilst this god awful highpitched song was playing and then them deciding they do actually want to talk to the recipient and then repeating the word hello about seven times before they relised the recipient couldn't hear them. Always great fun, especially when you are on a night train for fifteen hours, with this happening repeatedly. Excellent.
* The squats, on the whole were actually ok! The smell in some of them was pretty bad, one in particular was horrendous where something awful was in the bin next to the squat, but what can you expect!
*Another brilliant moment was on our way to Calangute, goa. Our very friendly taxi driver suggested we had some music in the hot, squished taxi. Hits included: red, red wine, by UB40, Akon (so much Akon!) and Gasolina. I can safetly say I never want to hear Gasolina ever again, as this song kept on skipping over every bump there was in the road, and there was a lot and repeated for over ten mins. And not repeating the whole song, it was the same part skipping ove "gasoliiiiiina, gasoliiiiina". I still shiver now thinking about it.
*The worst part about being in Inida was being a gora : a white person. Because the amount of stares you got was unbelievable. However, as we said: It's all part of the experience, and my experience was pretty fabby.
And finally: generalisations of the indian nation (without being too harsh).
* The 1970s dress sense. Nothing will ever top the bright colours or golden sparkly tank tops. They were a treat to the eye everyday.
*Another clothing point, men went into the sea fully clothed and squeled like girls, or went in in just their underwear. normally an off white underwear, this was certainly interesting to watch. They stared at us as if we were weird by going in, in our swimwear!!
* the Indians knowledge of other countries was limited to football of cricket players from there. Which only Chris could really relate to!
* No means Yes. Yes means Yes. Try to work that one out, most of the shops seemed to go by this logic.
* Willages, Wodka, WeHicle, britishes, just some of the amazing words and phrases we have picked up.
*If you see a westerner, triple the price. Always great when you see something you want to buy!
* Once westerner has mentioned they want to buy something, spend ages typing numbers into a calculator to work out the price you already know you are going to give him.
* If travelling anywhere make sure you take excessive amounts of luggage and hit everyone with it as you go down the train.
* And finally... If you're a man, it's not normal to walk side by side with another man without holding hands, or hugging. Something we all had to get used to pretty quickly!
So, that was India. As Chris mentioned yesterday we are now in Singapore which is very very different, but not a whole lot of culture going for it. India will be missed, but I am happy to be moving on!
Miss you all tons, if you have skype my name is natalie.wheal. Add me and we can chat :)
Lots of love,
Tally and Christoph xxxx