Friday, January 13, 2006

India Lite, from Rob

Alright, I think I am going to spew this one off the top of my head. I apologize beforehand for grammatical errors.

We have had a pretty damn good time since arriving in Kerala 3 weeks ago. However, Kerala is NOT India. Kovalum and Varkala are such tourist traps, they should just rename them to India Lite. We originally went to Kovalum knowing full well it would be touristy, but we wanted to hang out on a beach for a few days and party for New Years. That went fine (Aside: I realize now I totally forgot to blog about New Years. There wasn't anything all that remarkable, except that had several of some type of demonic drink called gin fizz and I forgot to brush my teeth before I went to bed, and I kid you not, for 4 days I could not properly brush the top back teeth on my right side because they were so rotted from the paint thinner they call liquor in this country. Oh, also I found glenn outside our hotel at 2am sitting on the curb with his dinner between his feet.) but then we headed to Varkala because it was the next stop north of where we were. Everything in our books said it had recently been becoming more popular but was still much more low key than Kovalum. This was a huge lie. The place was full of hotels and restaurants that were not even in our books because they had sprung up overnight. The electricity would cut out randomly because there were so much draw the system could not handle it. To rent an umbrella on the beach was nearly the price of our hotel.
The menus are all in English. You think thats a good thing? I would much rather order something I have no clue what its going to be rather than order some Indian food that they leave the spice out of for the tender tourist's tummies. I am here for the real shit. Instead I am left with deciding between shitty Chinese, shitty pasta, or shitty pizza. I will admit, a few of them can get your order straight and tasting half decent 80% of the time, which is what they are supposed to do. The screwdrivers with freshly squeezed OJ were really good though.
The rickshaw drivers were such scammers they were charging at least double what they should've been and bartering with them was impossible. One time we wanted to go to town but they wouldn't reason so we left so angrily that we were shouting at other tourists not to get a rickshaw because they were being ripped off and all the drivers were cheats. Out of spite Glenn and I both found alternative modes of transportation. He chose the bicycle and the next day I chose a motorbike for about 3 times what a rickshaw would've charged, and I had never rode a motorbike before and that was fun and I burned my leg twice -- I am holding that against the rickshaw drivers as well.
I digress, what I was trying to say is since being in Kerala we have had very little cultural experiances because there are too many white people here. I hate white people. I haven't even seen a Hindu shrine since I have been in Varanasi but Glenn and I have been considering getting matching Ganesh tatoos. You get the point.


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