mostly travel, with a sprinkling of random stuff in between
Friday, 19 October 2007
Will We Ever Learn?
Rama Guest House, Hampi
Long (and potentially tedious) story short, we got very sunburnt after our first day on Benaulim Beach, and lied to/ripped off by a travel agency in Hampi. I was going to explain it all in all the gory details, but James said everyone reading this blog must be getting pretty sick of all my whining by now, so instead I'll try to focus on the positives...
It was nice being at a beach where the water was warm enough to comfortably swim in, unlike New Zealand! However, NZ wins in terms of having blue skies, and no hawkers harrassing you the entire time. Well, and the beaches themselves are just much nicer in general. Being in Goa actually made me want to go to the Pacific Islands, because there the water's warm and the sky's not full of pollution. It was nice just to relax for a bit, we got a lot of reading done, though I had to abandon this book on Goa I'd been trying to read due to it being a complete snorefest. On the train from Margao to Hospet I started on Papillon by Henri Charrière, which I'm really enjoying. Basically it's the autobiography of this guy who got falsely convicted of murder and sentenced to life in a penal colony in French Guiana. He repeatedly escapes and gets recaptured, and has tons of adventures on the way. It actually kind of makes me want to watch Prison Break again, though this guy had it a lot tougher than Michael Schofield! I highly recommend this book, might write more of a review later on when I'm done.
Today we explored the Hampi ruins, first by a walking tour and then a bicycle tour, found out more wacky things about Hinduism from our very informative guide, and took a lot of photos (as usual!). We came across this restaurant across the road from our guest house which actually serves Vegemite and Marmite toast!! Wow. James was set. Well, except they didn't actually have any Vegemite, but Marmite was good enough, compared with our usual choice of parantha or jam toast. Actually they made a pretty good pizza too, my fettucine alfredo turned out to be completely sauceless, but otherwise tasted alright. They don't seem to have any good cheeses here though, just this very mild/near-tasteless stuff which is usually serve grated.
As the high-season approaches we're coming across more and more tourists as well, at the Margao train station we even came across the first other Kiwi we've seen in our entire trip! Naturally she asked where in NZ we were from, I said Auckland, and then she, again, quite naturally, asked where in Auckland? I had to pause, and then blurted out 'Ellerslie', because we were both too ashamed to admit that we technically lived in Remmers... After that she said she was from Papatoetoe, so I was quite glad I did that temporary disowning. I dunno, I just imagine that most people have automatic preconceptions of what Remuera people are like, and I don't want them to think I'm some sort of snob, even if I went to Dio... Ah well, I guess that girl will never know the ugly truth!
Not sure if I've mentioned this before, but for the Indian tourists, foreigners seem to be part of the attraction of going to touristy places - numerous times we've had random people go up to us to shake our hand or take photos or videos with/of us. When we were on the beach in Goa, this group of guys came up to ask if they could take a photo with us, we said 'okay', and then they all came up to us and bunched around, the friend who was holding the camera - well, turns out it was actually a camcorder... I assumed it had some sort of still image function and we both waited for some sort of clicking motion, but it never came, so we were just cheesily posing in front of a video... nice! After a while they finally stopped, though they kept shaking our hands, even after one person had shook our hand, they would go away, and then come back for a second helping. Right... At least they're not as bad as people wanting to sell you stuff or beg from you! Actually, you know how I mentioned that in some tourist attractions there's random people asking if you want to take a photo of them, and then if you do, you have to pay? Well, this Italian guy we met on the train said that after this bunch of Indian people took a photo with him, he jokingly said 'that'll be 50Rs', and then the Indian tourists actually gave him the money! LOL. We should try that next time...