Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Mum Mansion

The last three days are as blurry to me as Freshers week. How many currys have I eaten? How many boys have I snogged?
I think I'm so knocked out by onion bhaji grease and the thick heat of the train that I can't think straight. I know we've had a very social three days anyway. 

We were in a luxury homestay in acres of cocoa, coffee and pepper plantations in the mountains. It had a pool, a treehouse with a bower growing through the bathroom, and tea and biscuits at 5pm on the terrace. We were greeted from our car by stewards with cool face flannels. I was tempted to do a Dad in the Sanegal restaurant in Lutterworth, and do my armpits, but I resisted. 

After watching the Sound of  Music on our widescreen we went down for pre dinner drinks by the pool with the other guests. I can just about remember having a tranquilliser cocktail. Ro had two and declared she felt smashed. I could tell as An Audience with Rosie was in full swing to the assembled retirees. Our faves were Chantal and John, Rebecca and Nigel, and Jill and Roy. I may have got a bit too fawny at one point and told Jill I wanted to be her. I just love a good Mum. 

We ate assorted buffet currys, and for pudding consumed a large amount of rice pudding, fried bananas and bears in passion fruit syrup, and Ro's stories. 

Monday, 25 February 2013

In South America when other tourists would say, "Everyone is so nice aren't they?", I would reply, "mm yeah so nice, now can I sit with you at dinner?" I was lying. No one wants to be friends with a whinger. (Ahem, sorry to all my friends btw about Fran 2011/12.) But anyway, the locals were emphatically not nice in South America. 

Here people are generally all really lovely. Most people smile, wave, say hi to us. This man at the hotel offered to drive us up to our next destination. We preferred a six hour train journey sans awkward conversation, but we did let him book our next hotel for us and order our taxi. 
I like all the courtesy here. Even the station snack trolley has a complaint book advertised. Just incase. People nervously say please thank you and sorry as much as Bob and I do when we're tripping over each other trying to buy picnic ingredients, impeded by our inherent guilt from choosing our preferred hummus. Its reassuring. 

Do you know who aren't so nice? The fat trio of tourists staying at our beach homestay with us. We call them the F-rio. The boy sometimes talks back but the girls don't even look up when we try to chat. We asked them if they wanted to come to a THEYYAM festival with us last night, which is a very special rare spirit procession in a temple. They declined, clearly preferring to stay and argue over Monopoly than "experience India". Our kind homestay man dropped us there, settled us down, then picked us up later so we could get back safely.

To punish them the next day I talked about it to them unbidden for an uncomfortable half an hour straight. I made it sound well good when in reality the second large dinner the locals had wanted us to have there had been painful (I'd rather be sick than be so rude as refuse hospitality) and Ro and I had ignored the man dancing on fire in lieu of telling each other Ryan Gosling film synopses. 


We invested in sports bras for this holiday. The plan was to make it more comfortable to be covered up, but I keep wanting to reveal mine. I look as hard as Hilary Swank. Pow pow pose.
In the boxing film not Boys Don't Cry obs. This morning we stood in front of our 4 star hotel floor length mirrors feeling very Xena in the face of the hotel manager's coy warnings about India's latest public transport incidents. Well, I'm Xena. Ro looks like a netball player in her sports bra so she obs has to be Gabrielle.

Bob promised me that my luxury body would just chisel itself off my stomach this holiday, but so far the only thing moving is drips of germ free keralan curry down my top. It's been nearly a week and neither of us has been hospitalised. I've been brushing my teeth with tap water, sucking pens I've dropped on the street, feasting on train food, but to no avail. At this rate it'll be more useful for me to go back to England and eat those yogurts hiding at the back of Granny's fridge since December to sick up that last stone. Kerala is just too clean!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Finger food

As i may have mentioned, to  purify our bodies which are probably as clogged as Indian rivers, we decided to cut out wheat, sugar and alcohol this holiday. We're sure Mum is going to derail us from the latter, but so far, it's 3.15pm on the second day and we're doing pretty well. Yesterday I threw a demi-panic outside the nearest food selling establishment on our walk to lunch (thus forcing us into the arms of the bakery next door). And this morning I crossed my fingers that my savoury donuts were crafted from cashew flour and coconut water. BUT, I refused to let Ro buy mars bars, and we had rice, daal, and beet root stuff for lunch. Eating food with your fingers is even harder than chopsticks FYI. Food kept slipping from my hand. Still, eating slower and smaller mouthfuls is much better for eating less. No wonder all the locals looks so thin! I am on my way to a hot shanty body!

Content in Kerala

I don't usually feel that happy on holidays abroad. Usually i'm annoyed at people, embarassed about my own presence, or certain that i'm going to get brutally raped and murdered within the hour. South America I'm talking to you.. Ro asked me why I go at all but I think it's like eating ginger. I'm sure I'll like it one day. But, right now I feel very content. Ro and I are slumbering top to tail on a first class train bunk. I have reassuring physical content that someone likes me, I'm full from our delivery of train curry, the warm breeze is not quite suffocating us, and I can see palms waving at the brim of the window. Even Ro is smiling in her sleep when she usually makes this face.
She says she likes being on holiday with me as I make such a big deal out of everything that it makes her feel really successful when she does something that to her is the simplest task. If it was me I'd stay firmly in our 4* hotel with the AC on full, the high thread count linens up to my chin, and the fashion tv channel running all day if there's nothing else on. 
The only thing I beat her at today was being more authentic eating our rice and daal with my fingers. She refused, preferring an old bit of cardboard from the box as a scoop. Tourist! It's lucky India likes messy eaters.

Thursday, 14 February 2013


I should really be saving my East London NHS Trust fund as i don't have a job, but i decided Ro and i should go to India. 

Ways to make our money back from the flight:
5 magazines stolen from first class
2 glasses champagne
One bottle white wine
2 packets mixed strange nuts which Ro confiscated under the category of unenjoyable calories
Hand cream from plane toilet
1 blanket
Ten curries

So far India is practically free. When we arrived, despite swearing off wheat, sugar, and fun, we got samosas and deep fried bananas for lunch. We gave the waitress the equivalent of fifty pence rather than five pence and she nearly fell on the floor with gratitude. 
I should probably stop being so flippant and be sent to the airport's 'Refusal Room' to have appreciation drummed into me.