heels on fire: Stevie in a Planet called India

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Stevie in a Planet called India

I've been in India just over one week now, although it feels like a whole lot longer since I left home to go to Heathrow airport to meet up with Rahul and Pete. Then, I didn't know what to expect and was rather relieved that they ended up on the same flight as me, as the angst of arriving in an unknown country, to a language and people I knew very little of, was massively daunting. That, mixed with tales of diarrhoea and general food and water (don't drink the water they say, easier said than done says I) issues all added up to quite a few concerns.
Since arriving, and I know it’s only been a week, I am starting to really like what little I have seen of India. It is very different to home. But of course there are similarities: people are still people. They have to work and generally they try and get on with it. Also big business reaches everywhere, you can find nearly any product here that you can at home (N. Ireland), except white pudding and Irish soda farls. You are still bombarded with advertising, except here, I don't always know what its for. The occasional encounters with a well-used men's urinal or engulfing odour of an open sewer have caught me off guard.
The drive to the first hotel was monumental, it rendered me exhausted, though I still managed to get up in 6 hours time to commence the day’s work, a desire to unearth the undiscovered, wins out over fatigue. The first day was a busy one and one were I really started to see India and the people. They were all curious and interested to know where I came from. A handshake is always offered. And although the language barrier can make me feel like a fool, a smile and a thumbs up never fails to convey a happy greeting, even from a distance.
The roads came as quite a surprise and although I was aware that they were busy, I had no idea that they were as unruly as they are. Buses in particular are like speeding death juggernauts hell bent on getting to where they are going at high velocity and on whichever side of the road is the most convenient. I don't think they are particularly worried about smashing me to bits and leaving my open mind on display in the dirt by the side of the But I dare say, if you ignore the murderous drivers, most people you come across are very nice.
In general the heat humidity particularly so down here in Kerala, has taken me by surprise. I've never sweated so much in my life. The salty fluid bleeds into my eyes and stings with a pain that makes me ask why God put a sensitive organ like the eye so close to the sweaty patch on my forehead?
The food has been a delight, I've always enjoyed a korma or something suitably mild, but the spice explosion that awaited me wasn't as troublesome as I had feared – in fact I'm really enjoying it. Even the 'beef fry’, which has become the stuff of lore on our merry jaunt has graced my pallet and danced across it like a little meat ballerina. The only food issue I have is curry for breakfast, as I'm just too set in my toast and cereal ways to start tucking into spicy breakfasts before my mouth has had a chance to adjust to the day.
All in all the trip is proving an eye opener, and a truly enjoyable one at that and I am looking forward to all that lies in wait.



At Tue May 09, 08:03:00 PM 2006, Blogger janice dulvy said...

Stevie lad would you honestly prefer stinging sweat in your eyes to sitting on a seat box beside Newry Canal on a snowy winters mornig with sweetcorn bate beside you and fishing off a long pole? J.D

At Wed May 10, 05:04:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Nick Dulvy said...

Stevie, You are a privilaged man to have the opportunity to eat curry for breckie everyday. Everyone I have lived with has picked up the habit of mince curry or meatball curry on toast for breckie. It is the best hangover compliment I know, apart from a cold greasy kebab with cat hairs on it and a can of Red Stripe.

Think of is as an epiphany to the new religion.

At Sun May 28, 02:33:00 PM 2006, Blogger macmohan said...

Advertisements has now become central part of urban life. Rural India is slowly catcing up. See this blog has even a gifts and flowers store.

At Sun Jul 16, 12:10:00 AM 2006, Blogger Hannah said...

Hi -

Glad you are enjoying India

(an Indian)


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