Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Well, I've finally done it! I've given up the sand and surf for the bright lights and glittering piss soaked pavements of Managlore City! On the plus side, i actually slept in a bed with a real matress and a real pillow last night!! Pure heaven!! So anyway, I' actually just here on a stop-over as I head towards.. ummmm.... madekiri?? I think that's what it's called. Apparantly it has lots of trees and bugs or something.... To be honest I haven't got a clue, but I figure I'd better start moving or I'd spend the whole next few months trying to decide where to go! I've said goodbye to my dear Bro, who is heading back up to Mumbai to catch his flight home. It's been a real pleasure travelling with you bro, have to do it again soon! :) So... ummm.... funny stories.... I did actually write some down, but I forgot my book.... Hmmmm....

Well, I did test out my theory of the west coast of karnataka being a tropical paradise and the Lonely Planet omitting it as part of a conspiracy to keep tourists away from it's unspoilt natural beauty. Turns out it's just a bit shit. Me and Joel rented a Hero Honda (the ultimate Indian motorbike) and burned down the coast to the next town of Kumta. We arrived and cruised through the centre of town, which seemed to consist of one long chaotic road. We parked the bike and started wandering past numerous identical shops selling an assortment of unidentifiable goods... but something wasn't right... something felt very odd indeed... Then it hit me! Everyone was ignoring us and getting on with their normal business!!! What was wrong with these people!!? Having got so used to being stared at, smiled at, scowled at, and generally given huge amounts of undue attention, the annonymity of being ignored was overwhelming! What's wrong with me?! Is it my hair? Does my breath smell!! Why don't you love/hate me anymore? I can't bear the indifference!!.... Some people did glance at us, but no one would meet our eyes, like everyone had been given a special order from the head priest not to acknowledge any foreigner's existence. We tried ducking into a cold drinks shop to have a drink and chat to the locals. No such luck. An old man sat down next to me and I stared at him, waiting for his glance to cross mine before unleashing my most charming smile possible. He scowled and looked away as though he has just smelled something rotten... Oh well, it was a response at least!

Eventually we gave up and headed out into the countryside. As soon as we were away from the town the atmosphere changed. We wandered down a small track and met a family living by a temple, who we chatted with for a good 25 minutes, despite not sharing a single word of common language. Much nodding, smiling and gesturing later, we headed back towards the bike, our faith in humankind restored.

Joel's face has pretty much recovered from it's puss filled grossness, thanks to the wonders of anti-biotics... You can knock them all you like, but when it come to a choice between taking anti-biotics and being eaten alive by a puss-producing bacteria, I know which one I'd go for... :)

Right, i'm gagging for a piss, so i have to cut this short!!


Thursday, January 20, 2005


I can't be long becuase I'm actually melting and I'm afraid I might drip molten flesh on the carpet... Fuck me it's hot! Anyway, in case you were wondering, I am no longer wasting my time doing very little lying on a beach in goa. I am now doing even less lying on a beach in karnataka. It's a really rather special little beach called Om beach, becaue it's in the shape of an Om... You may remember it from my last trip to India... well I'm back sleeping out under the stars in the exact same spot as before. The beach is inhabited by a rare tribe of hippies who occupy there entire day sanding small pieces of coconut shell with the noble intention of making "mixing bowls": basically a small bowl for mixing tobacco and charras to use in "chillums": a device designed to make sanding small pieces of coconut seem fulfilling.... and so the circle is complete. These "Coconut Hippies" have also been known to sometimes break out of the shackles of bowl production and branch out into pipe making and even the occasional digereedoo... I however have resisted the temptation to give myself blisters doing manual labour all day, and have instead opted for the more realxing pastime of hammock testing... this involves buying a hammock, lying in it for a day, and then having it stolen, leaving you free to buy a different one.

My brother joel has been suffering lately from an infected mozzie bite which got worse after the chemist gave him steroid cream instead of anti-biotic cream... in fact he has just been to see the doc again and been told he needs to stay in town and get injections every day for 3 days! poor bastard. We're gonna go back to om beach now and move our stuff into town... well, that bought Om beach to an abrupt halt! By the way Mum, Joel's fine, no need to worry... just a nasty infection... Ok, I better go find him and start the move!!


Monday, January 10, 2005

Sunset Surprise...

There's something magical about the light at sunset. The way it seems to make everyone look 10 years younger, hides blemishes, deepens suntans, and saturates the whole world with warm apricot. It was during such a sunset that I found myself strolling down the beach with my friend Michelle the other day. It was a stunning piece of beach, where the mouth of a river estuary joins the sea and the two opposing tides battle for right of way. The tide was out, and the stretch of unmarked sand was practically deserted, save for a few romantic couples taking hand in hand strolls and enjoying the sunset.

I stopped for a moment to take a photo of this beautiful piece of natural watercolour art in the sky before continuing to stroll aimlesslessly up the beach. Then I realised that i no longer had my slippers (flip-flops). Realising that i must have put them down to take the photo, I turned around and scanned the beach where I guessed they must be. Imagine my surprise when I saw, in exactly the spot where my slippers should have been, a man squatting and taking a shit smack bang in the middle of the beach! Now I've seen some fairly public shitting in my time in india, but even when people shit in the road, they always use the SIDE of the road! This guy had chosen without a doubt the most exposed, open, and visible part of the beach possible. Add to that the fact that he had not bothered to dig a hole. Add to that the fact that he was in the process of creating an ihumanly large pile of shit that would have put a horse to shame. Finally, consider the fact that he is doing this apparantly ON my slippers and you can understand my surprise.

But what to do? Even from the distance at which I was stood I could already see more than I wanted to. There was no way I was going to walk up to him mid crap and ask for my slippers back! So, I did what any normal person would do: I started taking photos. I got a few real crackers. Very artistic framing and everything! So anyway, after he finished creating his mountain of poo, he held his trousers round his ankles and waddled down to the sea to wash his arse. I saw my chance and headed back to reclaim my slippers. You should have seen the look on his face as, returning from the sea, he sees me making a beeline for his pile of poo! Obviously oblivious to the presence of my slippers, which turn out to be about 2 feet from his turd, he must think I am moving in for a close-up inspection! Holding my nose i make a grab for the slippers and run away as fast as I can, the haunting image of his mega-shit following me like a bad smell..... :)

Friday, January 07, 2005

Are You Too High?

I had a pretty hectic day yesterday. I decided to go to Mapusa, the nearest town, to see a dentist and get some new CD's made. Everyone told me to rent a motorbike to make the trip, but being stubborn, i decided to take the local bus. Silly me. You see, my mistake was that when picturing the ride on the bus, I had imagined myself sitting down. Sitting down on the local bus is actually fairly pleasant, if a little bumpy. Standing up however, is a different story, especially when you are tall, as you have to have your neck constantly bent at a 45 degree angle whilst your head gets pounded into the hard roof. Anyway, I got there eventually, and set about finding the dentist. 20 mins later and I'm siting in the dentist's chair with his drill in my mouth. Now, compared to the 1 year waiting list I was offered in England to get dental treatment, I'd say that's pretty fucking quick service! So anyway, there I am, lying back trying to ignore the fact that some guy is willfully destoroying important parts of my anatomy, when the dentist leans back and says, "Are you high?". After struggling for a few minutes to understand the significance of the question (and failing) I eventually answer "Nnnnggg" (my mouth is packed full of cotton wool), and look at hime questioningly. "Are you too high?", he asks again. I start to wonder if maybe he hasn't been slipping me some gas and air while I wasn't looking... hey, maybe i do feel a little high after all! Or then again, does he maybe think that I'm really stoned, and it will interfere with the treatment.... "Too high??" I finally manage. "Yes, the filling, it is too high?" he finally clarifies. Ahhhh, the filling. ok. oops.

I also managed to get a load more cd's made whilst in mapusa, and sold 5 last night at the jam session at lokies bar. I made 1500 rupees for chaaarity! i wonder if they'll make me a saint?... Right, i'm starrrrvin, so i'm gonna go buy some super cheap food while i'm in town (at the beach everything is tourist prices)... masala dosa sounds like a plan....

laters! :)

Monday, January 03, 2005

Man. I've just been reading the news again. It's fucked. So many places I've been have been completely destroyed. I keep thinking about all the people I met there, locals working in guesthouses, shopkeepers etc. For most of them life was a constant struggle anyway, without having some random geological event destroying everything around them. Always seems to be the people who are already being fucked over who get hit by these things doesn't it? Or maybe it's just cos when it hits developed countries they're always well prepared and insured. Either way, reading the news it's hard not to start feeling the weight of all those suffering people pulling on your heart. It feels so wrong sitting here on the beach a bus ride away from the devastation and watching people play frisbee and sunbathe... but what to do? I'm thinking of trying to organise a benefit concert to raise some money... better than doing nothing i guess. anyway...

Happy New Year!! hope u all had a good one. I'm still recovering from mine... went to a rave and danced in the baking sun... :)

right, gotta go. promise to try and write something interesting next time... lot's has happened but just not in the mood to write abt it!