A Travellerspoint blog

little quirks

sunny 40 °C

quirks of india... specifically rameswaram
-its not as its stereotyped to be. it doesnt really smell and it is quite clean (you can come across patches of rubbish, but really i was expecting it to be everywhere). also, there it is not intensely crowded, and so far, i havent been robbed, (touch wood!)
-there is zero road rules. flashing your lights means 'go faster' and beeping your horn means 'im coming, get out of the way because i wont' you can drive on either side of the road and do anything so squeeze past a blockage (like a bus)
-the adds on tv are very similar to aussie ones, except there is one that is 'make your face 2 shades lighter' (pretty sure its just sunscreen haha)
-even if you live in a coconut leaf house, you can have a tv
-animals roam the street (goats, cows, boars)
-tourists can pay up to 100x the real price for souvenirs so smile at an Indian, ask them if they speak English, and get them to help you!

also, the other day i had fish at josephs, it was gutted but still had the spine in. you are meant to get it out with your right hand, but i had absolutley no idea so Diana did it for me. everyone in the house is very funny, all speaking tamil which i have NO idea of and laughing, all you can do is laugh with them. although, today i did actually understand something, but i think it was because it was said in tamil-english haha.

really loving Rameswaram at the moment

ps, sorry for the poor english, just read through yesterdays post, terrible! but im not reading through it all, its too lonmg to do it once youve just written it!

Posted by alexD 06:20 Archived in India Comments (0)

a smile says it all

sunny 35 °C

cant actually remember when my last post was and cant be bothered checking (due to dodgy internet) so ill start with my arrival in India

Got to the airport at 0550 and had to go through immigration. EVERYONE TAKE NOTE: tip no. 1) have an address and phone number of ANYWHERE in the country so immigration is happy haha. had know idea of the rameswaram address so i left it blank... bad alex. got to the lady and she said i HAD to have an address. anyway this went on, and eventually i was directed to a phone. tip no. 2) if someone gives you their mobile number, write it down! i had no way of contacting anyone and was freaking out a bit. anyway, thank god for lonely planet, i just put one of their addresses down and the phone number and got through. changed some money, was definitely ripped off by about 400 rupee (8 dollars, stingy bum that i am) and met david (the man to ake me to Rameswaram). went to a hotel and slept for a bit, then he showed me around Chennai, we went to 2 museums (99% sure we snuck past the paying booth in the 2nd...) and the beach. the beach is like 100 metres of sand before water with zero shade and mainly fishermen. so it really just smelt like fish (there was patches of fish drying on the sand)... went back to the hotel and had some lunch, rice and curry, which you eat with you're right hand... it was actually really good, but its funny how we're so obsessed with cleanliness, no joke, david basically threw it around the room... (describing the room: double bed, basic sheets, tv, and fan. the bathroom had a shower and a toilet. i mean a hole in the ground. at this particular hotel they had toilet paper, but more on that later...) all in all, i definitely expected it to smell more. and, Chennai is very cramped and the people arent that friendly...

the train was at 940pm and we were in AC3, which basically means, its an airconditioned sleeper coach. at the beginning, we sit and then once the ticket inspector has come, the back of the chair lifts up to become a bed,so there are 6 beds in each 'compartment' (the top which is permanent, the middle which is the back of the chair and the bottom which is the seat). slept pretty well considering and woke up to the indian countryside rushing past. also made friends with a baby and his mother (the baby's name was hi something thimething z something, but the z is silent... haha, so really to me, his name is hi), photo will be coming! stood inbetween carraiges basically hanging out the door to see everything and take photoes, it was an experience!

Arrived in Rameswaram and met Joesph (who is a family friend) and went to the hotel room. its called hotel shanmuga and its where my uncle John used to stay. im on the 4th floor, which was the floor he always stayed on. It has an amazing view of the hindu temple, Ramanathaswamy Temple. the room is basic, no tv and the bathroom doesnt have a western shower. its a tap that you fill a big bucket up with and use a smaller bucket to wash yourself. interesting times thats for sure. and the toilet is another hole in the ground. except this one doesnt have toilet paper. (think another small bucket and water, ill let you imagine the rest...)

(all guidebooks say bring toilet paper but they really need to overstate its importance! ie, bring a role for every 2 weeks haha (i bought some, but NOT ENOUGH!).)

so got ovet the whole toilet situation and went with Joseph to a school who were learning about the importance of biodiversity. I had to change into long sleeve shirt and long pants to go (thank you anaconda for youre breathable quick dry clothing!) and have been in them ever since. I need more long light clothing! anyway, the kids were so interested, i walked in and they all stared adn had to give a speech about biodiversity in Australia, completly impromptu... we went out to get lunch and came back and they all ran up to me and shookmy hands, it was so sweet!

This morning i braved eating by myselp, went into a 'mess' that johnny always ate at and they started giving me all these options, but it just sounded like one long word! i just shrugged so they said one thing and i nodded.it was masala something i think, which is basically naan style bread and curry. it was really really good. and actually, the curry is quite similar to australian indian curry! went for a walk as well, following the mantra 'only turn right' to not get lost, made friends with a Hindu family on a pilgrimage to the temple and got invited to their hotel to eat. i turned them down :(:( i had to get back to the hotel so joseph could pick me up. but next time for sure!

went and saw a baby have something done to it (blessed maybe?? actually no idea...) and had lunch near a beach thenspent 2 hours under a tree at the beach which was so relaxing. its amazing when you actually have nothing to think about, except the stuff you want to! came back and visited the childs house. its made of bound coconut leaves, their shower is completly in the open and is the bucket thing again... very odd, its also really small and seemed to house heaps of people!

have been writing down all the little quirks of India, trying to remember them without my diary!
-they have little rickshaws (like the size of the smart car) and you can see whole familys of like 6-10 people squished into them!
-can only drink bottled water and eat peelable fruit, tthus snacking is hard!!
-Chai is everywhere, and delicious

Rameswaram is a really lovely town, perfect for first time india if you can get through Chennai because the people are SO friendly, smile and youll get a smile and maybe some conversation back...

will hopefully blog again soon because their is so much more to tell, its just in my diary!

Posted by alexD 06:29 Archived in India Comments (0)

note to self


people watching is infinitely more interesting than staring out a window. also, you may get smiled at. which is nice when its not creepy.

7 hours down. 7 to go.

Posted by alexD 01:39 Archived in Qatar Comments (0)



In Doha! trying to entertain myself. for 14 hours. its harder than you think. and i know you think it would be hard.

So, had a minor (major) freakout on friday saying goodbye to everyone. weird weird weird. but got on the plane and focused on India and it went away pretty quickly! and now, because I AM BORED you will get a blow by blow account of the flight and a bit before.

got to the airport and checked in my bags straight away, was convinced the guy didnt give me back my passport... he did. VERY awkward haha but after that, went smoothly. sat in the airport bar thing and Olivia and her mum came to say goodbye (good hours towards your Ls driving to the airport people!!) was devestated when left mum and dad, but as i said, was okay on the plane.

got on the plane, sat for a good half an hour and then we took off. i couldnt sleep but was too tired to watch a movie... go figure, so sat for a little while and must of dropped off. woke up, convinced at least 8 hours had past. they hadnt. watched 127 hours. gross and gruesome. the social network. too confusing for my little head. and THE INCREDIBLES! the best movie. i could chat to the little english girl sitting infront of me (whose mother, by the way, sounded like the lady off chicken run, the one that says 'no apple pie' sarcastically to her hubby after he asks what kind of pies there chicken farm is making... ANYWAY), go to the toilet, fall asleep and by the end I STILL GOT IT! my kind of movie haha

food was pretty average, but that was to be expected. had pancakes... i mean flour and water for breakfast, YUM!

also, swear to god a famous guy was in business class DONT KNOW HIS NAME THOUGH! how frustrating

so coming into the airport, we had the first sunlight in 14 hours (we followed the night...) and i think doha is actually quite beautiful. the old mudbrick (? one colour, and square) buildings are straight off the tv. and there is this haze over the city that is, again, right off tv... id love to explore, i wonder how dangerous it is though

swore i was going to be able to last the whole 14 hours on my stash i stole from the plane
2 crackers and cheese
1 small yoghurt
1 tiny roll (really small!) and philli cheese

i gave in... haha to be expected really. i mean, eating passes the time and is just so delicious. went to use my travel card to see if it works and spent 10 minutes at a machine which (i think) was actually a bill paying machine (??? why) before i realised i wasnt getting anywhere. went to another machine and successfully took out 100 Qatar Riyals (the minimum) which is about $27 aussie dollars, and spent $3.50 on chips. that tasted exactly like maccas ones, but oh so fresh and oh so good

took some photo's of the money for shits and gigs. also was in the bathroom and did a bit of photowhoring before i realised what i was doing (who am i kidding? i knew exactly what i was doing and was enjoying it! and can i just say i look might fiyne in all my stale clothes, gross hair and sleep deprived face mmm with my 8 hours left in this airport, i think i might just be able to find time to freshen up...) AND i would put the photos up but the cord is in my checked luggage. ah well. next time folks.

i think ive written enough now, ill come back and write some more if im still bored haha

also, i love that the look of confusion is so universal!

Posted by alexD 22:53 Archived in Qatar Comments (0)

its really interesting


its really interesting saying goodbye to people and thinking about those im actually really going to miss and want to catch up with when i come back, and those i couldnt care less about... sounds harsh but its really strange...

anyway, packed today woo! lost the car keys, thought i packed them so unpacked. not woo. at all. especially since they werent in the bag they were in a drawer i had already checked but too hastily... so packing again tomorrow!

took my first of 130+ malaria tablets, cant go to bed for half an hour, hence this post...

also, would be really, incredibly nice if joseph (india guy) would contact me re:train to where im staying and the person that's meeting me at the airport.

yes, that would be very nice.

Posted by alexD 03:16 Comments (0)

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