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Holy Cow - I'm in India!!

i know that heading has probably been done a million times but anymooooo..

sunny 29 °C

So get into Bangalore airport at 9 am, sun is shining, smarmy man offers me a cab for a trillion rupees... I decide to take the bus - I have plenty of time to kill and I hate making small talk with taxi drivers. 8) So off on the bus with the local lads.. met the guy who was peering over my shoulder again. :D
Oh what sights I saw.. saw a man dressed exactly like a sheriff, a man with a giant teddy bear on the front of his motorcycle, a woman hugging a cow, a man with a very old typewrite on the side of the street, obviously typing very important letters, men weeing up against the wall, people shining tin cans.. a bit of everything! Anything goes!
There were great signs on the walls such as 'anything can happen over a coffee' and ''fancy office boys wanted''. It was pretty interesting.
Got into Bangalore and I was quite the oddity. People stare their heads off at ye.. but it doesn't actually bother me.. if I was at home in Dublin and someone was staring at me, I'd be quite intimidated.. but here, they're just nosy. I dumped my bag in the station and decided to brave the city and go argue with a tuk tuk driver. Got rightly ripped off on my journey to Tipu's palace but to be honest I can't be arsed haggling over 20 c... Basically you can't get anywhere as a foreigner in a tuk tuk for less than 100 rupees. If you do, let me know how it's done.. Down in the South of India, if you say 'eh that's a bit dear' or 'i only have 40 rupees' - they just walk off. :D lol. So I've accepted that all tuk tuk journeys will be 100 rupees. Anywho - I paid that dude 170 - which was pretty dear, but anyone who can drive in such conditions deserves it imo.
There are cows, goats, people on the streets, everyone's turning every which way, everyone's honking, the dust is in your face.. It's pretty mental. Yet strangely cooling.. probably the dusty breeze.....

Anywho off I went to Tipu's palace in this tuk tuk.. Tipu was a great guy, loved his people, abolished police bribes, tried to make things better for his people. He loved tigers and had tiger print on all his stuff.. He hated the English. He invented small rockets that could travel 2.4 kilometres before exploding! Anywho I don't remember any of the boring stuff.. at this stage my brain was starting to melt and I really needed some kip, but he did have a harmonica in the shape of a tiger mauling an English soldier. You turned the tiger's tail and then music started to come out of the holes in his body. :D

Decided to have a quiet sit in the garden of the palace but every 2 mins people kept asking me to take their photo with the temple! I should have started charging! Then two local lads - about 19 or so - asked me to take their photo. I didn't realise they each wanted a photo with me shaking their hand.. ahhhahhahahahhaha. Like they'd won a prize and i was awarding them a cheque. Anywho, we chatted away, one of them didn't have any English, the other had some English and we decided we were all going to the railway station. They haggled with the tuk tuk driver and got him down to 50 rupees for the journey back!! I'd never get that... Foreigner tax and all that..
So off we went, they bought me a coffee in the station and then sat and waited for me til I got on my train and then waved me off. hahhahahahaha. We swapped numbers OBV - and I'm definitely going to call him. :D Actually I got a text from an Indian number later in the day and thought it was them already.. but it was just Telecom India or some such.. He had shown me some pictures of other blonde, white women he had in his phone meeting his mam.. :D hahah

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Off I went to Chennai on the train - may I say, this is now the LONGEST day ever in my life. I kept falling asleep on the train, only to be woken up every 2 mins by someone selling something... chai tea, coffee, pancakes something or other, fried stuff, water. etc. I had some fried stuff and potato in pancakes which was nom. Finally got to Chennai about 9 and got a hot shower and a good night's kip. 8)

Posted by squeakylee 05:03 Archived in India Tagged india train bangalore chennai Comments (0)

Goa part 3

Ciao for now Goa - see you when I'm in my late 60s, Shirley Valentine Schtyle..

sunny 34 °C

Had a bit of a headache the next day so found John and went to Cuba for a curer and some more chilling.

Later, myself and Corey decided to go see sunset on Monkey BEach, which was right at the end of our beach and across a bit of the sea. You have to swim across to the next part of the beach to reach Jo Jo's environmentally friendly beach resort. (aka more shackS).
So off we went. The water was only waist high on Corey but I had to doggy paddle across. haha. STraight out of the shower and into the sea with all my clothes on. lol. Had to hand my bag with my camera in it to Corey so it didn't fall in. arrggh. Great craic. Once we got through the water, there was another load of rocks and bits n bobs to climb over, but the sunset we saw made the wet pants totally worth it! It was spectacular. Red purple and orange amazingness. We had a quick tipple watching it set, sitting on this lovely stone wall specially built for watching sun rise and sun set. Jo Jo's gaf was all eco friendly and he was quite chuffed with himself to tell us it was solar powered and the floor was made of mud and cow shit! :) We had to swim back before it got too dark so didn't get to stay as long as we wanted but it was awesome.

Met John for some grub at the nest and we had a couple of drinks. I decided not to drink too much as I was heading off on my own the next day to Mumbai and I didn't want to have the fear whilst travelling on my todd.
Yeah Right.
Cut to 3 hours later, Lisa and John drinking our heads off with a load of local lads, a Swedish dude and his friend Tina Arena with a wonky eye. The tanned old bird from There's Something About Mary was also there. It was a howl. The Swede tricked the Indians with some bar trick, then John tried to teach the lads (who were getting drunker and drunker)a few bar tricks himself. The lads were langered and couldn't get it right at all. MEanwhile I'm banging out the choons on the sound system at the bar. Think I even played one from Take That's Ultimate Collection.

So obviously I am dying the next morning and I had an iffy stomach, the fear of bejaysus and the sweats. On top of that I had to get my stuff together and get ready to face my first sleeper train on my todd. My train place hadn't been confirmed so I didn't even know if I could go yet

can't take any more of this keyboard.. later.

and continue:

so I had the fear anyways but got myself together and got ready to face my first overnight sleeper train on my own. I joined the lads at the nest for a curer and to say my goodbyes, had some food and set off on my way. At the train station, met two young ladies from Engerland who I yapped to for a while. They were lovely and seemed very together and intelligent - chatting about art and issues. They made me feel like the right young wan of the group! Unfortunately they were in another carriage to me so I had to bunk in a carriage with a lovely family. BUT, they got off at the next stop and this other mad family got on, lovely wife, lovely kids - we spent time looking at pictures and singing Twinkle Twinkle little star! But they had a weirdo dad. Burped, coughed and snored allllll night. I got bog all sleep. The next day he wanted photos with me and was asking his wife to take them - it was weird! I smiled for a photo, then legged it into the next carriage and on to Mumbai!

Posted by squeakylee 16:59 Archived in India Tagged train goa sleeper Comments (0)

Jodhpur - The Blue City

This is where the horsey pants originated from...

sunny 34 °C

The three lads, Timmy, Cecil and Marion, had had no intention of going to Jodphur, so they were eager to get train tickets booked to Jaisalmer asap so they could do a camel safari. I decided to follow the crowd and do whatever the gang was doing - although it would mean missing the Flying Fox zip lining. hmmmm

So seeing as how we were stuck in Jodphur for the day (well I was always going to have a stop over there) we all went off to get train tickets and then ramble around.

Cecil, admittedly trying to be nice, went off and bought us 4 local train tickets for 90 rupees a pop. Now there is no way in hell that any foreigner in their right mind, would get a local train ticket for an overnight 7 hour journey to Jaisalmer. If you want to experience the real Indian railway system, get a local ticket. This entitles you to bunk with chickens, goats, 100 men staring at you non stop, wooden benches that hurt your arse and the ever present pungent smell of piss.
Call me a snob, but there was not a hope I was going to avail of Cecil's special offer.
And the others agreed. So we bought sleeper car tickets for the night train. This got us 4 bunks together, a fan,
and a bunk bed each!!)
Cecil then wanted to head off on his own to do his own thing. Timmy says he does that all the time. Just heads off, gets stoned and has mad adventures. Before he left, he peppered me with questions like 'what time is the train later?', and 'what's the name of our hotel?'', I told him the guest house was called 'Pushp guest house' and the train was at 11.45pm, and he said he'd meet us at the train station and off he went to do whatever he does! (Later we found out he had been to an all-men party in the slum where the men got drunk and tried
to wrestle his backpack from him. Then he went to some trance party and met a tattoo artist and got an Om tattoo on his chest! LOLZ)

So Marion, Timmy & I headed off to see Mehrangahr Fort. The fort was awesome and had a very thorough audio headset tour with 33 audio stops! After the first stop, Timmy wanted to stop for a snack so we did.
Then after the 6th stop, Timmy wanted to stop for a quick ghey pink drink so we stopped again. At that rate, as you can imagine, it took us hours to finish the 33 stops.

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Afterwards, Timmy refused to walk anywhere else and we had to eat in a nearby restaurant. Don't think Colin wanted to mess up his hair with walking or something. ;)

So after this hectic day, we chilled on the roof of our hotel until our train later on in the evening. So by 10.45, we had to go and there was no sign of Cecil. I left a note on his bag that said 'CECIL - 11.45 JODHPUR TRAIN STATION! Sleeper Car 1'' and off we went. The town was dead, everyone was in bed, the lights were off and there was not a tuk tuk to be seen or had. We walked for about half an hour before getting one. We were getting slightly stressed as no one could answer us as to where the train station was and simultaneously Timmy kept asking people where the tuk tuks where so we were getting two different directions from everyone. I was getting low on patience and just then a tuk tuk came along. Thanks be to jaysus as the train station was milllles away. I had doubts as to whether Cecil would make it to the station on time! But when we got to the station, who should be there, only Cecil! Except he didn't have his bag with him! Doh. :D
He couldn't remember the name of the hotel (lol) so couldn't go back to get his bag.
At this stage it's now 11.37 or something, but luckily the train was delayed! We hurried him out to get a motorbike back to the hotel and laid bets as to whether he'd make it back in time! Just as the train was pulling up, Cecil arrived. 'WAHEY', we all shouted and backs were patted and the word 'legend' bandied about a lot.

We piled on the sleeper train and started to put our stuff in our bunks. Suddenly on jump a load of army lads in full uniform and carry mighty large rifles and big black metal boxes, which they proceeded to put under our bunks! It was so surreal, I felt like I was stoned and hallucinating and not Cecil. But everyone else just acted like this was the norm. The army lads were off to the border of Pakistan.

Anywho, when everybody had sufficiently stashed their arms, we all hit the sack and nodded off. I was managing a bit of kip, when at about 3.30am, as we were just moving off from a station, one of the army guys stood in the door of the train shouting aggressively at someone on the platform. As the train sped up, the army guy shouted again, got more annoyed, glanced quickly under our bunks, shouted at another army guy on the train, then JUMPED OFF THE TRAIN RUNNING AT FULL SPEED!!! Obv to chase whoever or whatever had robbed his stuff or insulted his mum! Who knows - he never got back on again, and I didn't get back asleep again! :D

Upon arrival in Jaisalmer, we were greeted by some nice guys from our hotel, and we all had to wait in the car while Cecil took a dump. LOL yet sighhhhhh. :D

Posted by squeakylee 23:31 Archived in India Tagged train jodhpur madness Comments (0)

23 Hour Train Journey from Kunming to Guilin

written in the present tense...

sunny 30 °C

The music is soooooo loud and I've had my earplugs in all day. The A/C is on full blast and I'm freezing. Plus I'm getting bitten alive by bed bugs. AND IT SMELLS.

However I have written all my blog up until today and a lovely lady in the bunk next to me poked me awake to give me an apple.

WHOOP!

Posted by squeakylee 02:51 Archived in China Tagged train stinks Comments (0)

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