Sunday, 24 July 2011

Houseboat, at last!

So far this weekend has been pretty good.  On Friday, after my stomach had returned to functioning normally, we got a traditional Kerelan dinner in Rakshaw.  It was served on a large banana leaf and had about 6/7 curries on it, rice with 2 different sauces, a banana and some sort of pudding.  It tasted really good although had a strange mix of tanginess, spice and bitter.  

We then spent the rest of that afternoon out in the yard playing games and just having fun with the kids.  

The fellas I take for excersise in the morning are progressing in a couple of different ways.  The first guy I have is doing really well and has gotten to the stage where he doesn't need me to ask him to do anything, and he works happily himself.  Yje second one is really testing my patience though.  I had found out on Thursday that he had quite badly hit another girl, I was very aware of this during the session and very stern with him.  Within 10 minutes he had hit another young child walking with a zimmerframe, had toppled the excersise bike twice and had tried to get into the drivers seat of the school bus; the whole time he was treating it like a game.  I'd be lying if I said he wasn't pissing me off, I could feel my blood pressure rocketing.  
Thankfully the next day I had a translator with me in the form of one of the older students who now works for the school.  Surprise surprise, he didn't misbehave once and did everything he was meant to, all playing up to the teachers.  Needless to say I'll be doing this every day from now on.

On Friday night Daniel, Laura, Lauren Rachel and I went to Rakhi's house for dinner.  It was great fun!  We met her family who were extremely welcoming and very friendly; then there was the food.  If there is anything I have found in India which I will be bringing home with me, it is masala.  It's completely different from how everything tastes in the UK!   Fish masala by far beats the rest, fried in a pan and set in front of you, the smell is just as good as taste.  

On Saturday morning Rachel and I got up to set foot on the house boat, finally!  Now it's important to point out that the majority of the houseboats all go to the same direction and do the same thing and all have engines etc.  Ours however doesn't.  We decided to go for the more authentic houseboat which was propelled by a man with a big bamboo pole, and was the only boat which travelled this particular route, away from all the over tourists.  Peace at last. 

It was fantastic, there was wildlife everywhere, Kites, crows, jumping spiders (creepy), and the beautiful Kingfisher to name a few.  Rachel and I simply lay on the front of the boat all day reading our books and enjoying the scenary while having food and drinks brought to us throughout the day.  It was the one place we could get away from all the fuss and noise which there is around India.

It was also the one place we could truely discover Rachel's hate for creepy crawlys! haha.  From having these creepy spiders come down from a web on top of her, to the standard mosquito and ant attacking her and not forgetting the long legged spiders which climb over her feet; she was a bag of nerves throughout the day.  

My favourite happened just before we went to bed though:  

We were sitting on the deck chairs, drinking our Kingfisher beer and watching the fireflies dancing on top of the lake surrounding us.  It was pitch black and the only noise was the jungle humming around us.  It was complete tranquility until someone starting screaming and shouting, 'WARREN!! THERE'S A #$@$% LIZARD ON ME!'  haahahah, I've never seen anything as funny in my life.  The lights were turned on and the boatmen ran in thinking something terrible had happened.  Turned out it was a big green bug which had flew in from the lake and crashed into Rachel.  She had no idea what had happened. haha  
What she had thought had happened was that the lizard sitting above us (nicknamed Licky; it was eating all the mosquitoes), had somehow gotten excited and fell off the ceiling of the boat right onto her.  

After that we sat in darkness and continued to watch the fireflies dance, occasionally there would be a streak of lightening silently shoot through the sky.  No sound of thunder or rain.

We have now returned to Fort Kochin for what is to be our final week here.  We'll both be sad to leave but will be looking forward to getting home.  

That's it from us today!

Warren and Rachel

P.S.  We got refused entry to a Hindu Temple today as we weren't 'pure'.  Nothing makes you feel more Western than being branded as a rejected tourist.  It looked pretty cool as well, it had explosions and everything happening inside it! Explosions that would put Northern Ireland to shame!

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