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The most Unique Birthday EVER

USA | Wednesday, 21 January 2009 | Views [618]

Kurtis and I set foot on our new home for 2 days. A nice looking "rice barge" boat that came equipped with a open aired eating area, TV, steroe, two decks, a nice bedroom (best decorated one yet), bathroom, and 3 Indian men: the captain, the chef, and the overseer/translator. The boats are mainly made out of bamboo and they are all built by hand.

We set off to the backwaters where initially you are surrounded by lots of other houseboats....a parking lot in the water. The waterways are amazing. They are like streets and rodeways and alleys but water instead and this is how people get from village to village to friends to schools to shops to farms and so forth. Because we booked the boat for 2 days soon we were off the beaten path and on our own in the backwaters. Our crew seemed excited to be doing a different route and our chef quickly brought us some lemonaid and some kerali snacks. We put on some Hindi music, I danced around the boat, and we made efforts to befriend the boat crew so everybody felt good and the vibe on the boat was positive. I was chattiong with the crew and mentioned having seafood or prawns for dinner. the next thing you know the boat pulls up to a fish vendor (anywhere in the world people are trying to make money) and i bought 2 prawns that were bigger than lobsters.2 KGs The chef was excited to have the oppertunity to cook them up.

The day continued on and Kurtis and I sat together watching a real life national geographic film take place right before our eyes. Everything was so beautiful and wonderous and colorful and we stayed away from drawing, and writing and taking photos to stay in the moment together. It was so incredible to watch the world unfold. To see the birds, the village women washing, the children coming home from school, the fisherman with their ancient contraptions, the trees and fruit and animals, the simple lives, fresh air, drifting waters, and the silence. The boat stopped at a nice shady area for lunch and the chef brought out the beginning of a series of amazing colorful 8 course delicious meal. Again the boat set off...with full  bellies now.

It was so wonderful to share this with my love and on my birthday....perfect! We were so excited that for 2 days we dont have to do anything or get anywhere or make any decissions. When it was time for sunset the captain found a great spot to watch the sunset where the water ways broke into several directions one of them being the Arabian Sea. Kurtis and I stood on the top balcony and watched the sun set with silloutes of fishermen and sparkling pink and orange reflections. We felt as if we were in the middle of the world and the silence and stillness that shined with the sunset was something that you could feel in your heart and taste in your mouth. We were completely breathless and speechless and embraced the beauty, our blessings, and each other. We came down from the top and got ready to go for a walk. My parents called my cell phone to wish me a happy birthday....at the perfect moment. it was out of this world to be on the phone with my parents while somewhere in the backwaters of India. BLESSINGS

That night for dinner we had the huge prawns, another beautiful meal, and we watched the moonrise (a day shy from being full). Kurtis and I laid at the top of the boat and watched the stars until the bugs began to block our view.

That evening we went to lay in our fortress room and get ready for what we hope would finally be a quiet night sleep after a perfect day. As we laid down we began to hear some squeaking and scratching up in the airconditioning unit. We wondered what it was and after a while realized that there were rats in the unit. the tails hanging out the back into our bathroom gave it away. I admit I was a little scared and we called the crew in . 3 Indian men in their Longi's (short wrapped cloth around their waste) some burlap sacks and a broom and dustpan were crowding in the bathroom trying to remove a rats nest. Kurtis thought it was hillarious and I was glad they were freed. When we realized that they were freshly born babies I said in good humor - ahhhh we have the same birthday!

The crew put the babies outside and kurtis and i with relief laid down and were proud of our good humor and positive attitude. 2 hours later.....

scratch scratch and then knaw knaw. in the walls, on the celing, above the bathroom. It was out of a horror film. There were many rats and there was nothing we could do. Wegot the crew again and they tapped on the walls but in the end we were stuck in the backlwaters with a rat infested boat. Kurtis and i laid there and stared at the walls just waiting to see a head pop through. I admit at one moment i totally lost it as i woke up in sweat and hearing rats everywhere. Kurtis stayed really calm and help me realize we couldnt do anything and i just sat there and began to meditate and chant to myself " Om mane padme Hom" and dozed in and out for the night with the light on and the rats knawing. They sounded huge and many and in the morning Kurtis came out and told the captain "today we go back to Allepey".

We decided to enjoy the day as we wouldnt get back until 5pm, try to lighten the air up with the dissapointed crew, we drew and enjoyed the views food and relaxation and tried to stay positive and in the moment...but we couldnt spend another night on the boat. It was sad to have the ride come to an end, it was hard to have a day of such extremes and it was dissapointing that the agency would not give us any of our money back and the crew said there were no babies. But in the end we knew we just had to keep moving forward, not get stuck in the feeling of being taking advantage of, being dissappointed, and being cheated. Oh the harshness of India. We left Allepey quietly and quickly, with our heads slightly down, and our hearts still hopeful for another adventure. We hopped on the bus to Kovalam. And to me it was still the most unique and magical birthday EVER!

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