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Tall Tales of an Adventuring Prima Donna "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So...Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain

Monsoon brings Melancholy

INDIA | Thursday, 29 May 2008 | Views [1391] | Comments [3]

I entered my treehouse this afternoon to find a squirrel sitting on my backpack.  The cheeky little guy was nibbling through a bag of almonds I had brought from New York -- the last of my food staples brought along for nourishment during the long train rides (and just in the extreme case that I would get stuck without food in the monsoon).

Ali , A.K.A. Alejandra from Mexico, just laughed hysterically at me and the look of amazement across my face.  This was our friendship -- always poking fun at each other and having a laugh.  We'd gotten quite close, and our friendship has developed the likeness of a sisterly bond since we first met in Goa.

In two weeks of travelling, we had experienced quite some adventure -- such as when we were left stranded on the side of a mountain because our bus driver hit and possibly killed a pedestrian.  We had to evacuate with the rest of the locals and stayed behind when there was no room for us on the next bus that came.  We just stood there on the side of this mountain in a village where no one spoke a word of English -- until we eventually found a rickshaw to take us for the remaining hour and a half of our journey on gravel roads.  This is where we saw our first Indian elephant, an enormous and wonderful sight for eyes that were dizzy from the steep and treacherous climb around the mountain passages. 

Once we got into Kumily, Ali and I decided on a the most adorable treehouse that sat above a sanctuary of a place with a cozy little garden beneath us -- full of hammocks and a dining area; We called this place home. 

Bordering the wildlife reserve, we looked onto an open field full of bison, barking deer, and water buffalo as we ate our every meal in this peaceful place.  The truth is that part of the reason we stayed longer was because the food was so delicious in our village of huts and treehouses.  The owners cooked each meal with love...and thus, each day we would overdose on banana pancakes and vanilla custard, veg curries, cardamom tea and mango lassis.

This is what we did before Ali left for Bangalore -- we feasted.  Before saying our goodbyes, we enjoyed our ritual of having high tea and dessert after our lunch in the courtyard that extended beyond our treehouse and into the open field of animals.  As she departed for her local bus, which would weave through the mountains for a trip of 10 hours, we hugged and wished each other a safe journey through our individual paths through India and life.  It's so hard to say 'goodbye.'

A short while after she left, a bit of the first rain came.

I can feel the monsoon coming.

Now, as I sit here in Fort Cochin in this quiet internet cafe, the monsoon breezes that precede the rains have started.  The skies are turning gray and though the gentle breezes are intermittent, the heat is almost debilitating.

I knew it was going to be hot in India at this time -- but I truly had NO idea of what it would feel like to be in constant humidity with the temperature over 115 degrees -- the gauzy long-sleeved tunic that I wear sticks to my skin in the heat, and I do everything I can to stay cool.  I felt a bit faint this morning on the bus, but just kept drinking water to quench my thirst.  One might think that drinking too much water on an extended busride would be a bad idea, simply because there are no toilets on the bus and the pit stops are so few.  But, what happens is that you secrete all of the water through perspiration in the heat...my face, a constant canvas for beads of water escaping with hopes to cool my temperature.  

So, I am in Fort Cochin now...the connecting point to catch my flight up north to Delhi tomorrow.  It is a beautiful and charming town with local artisans and quaint British cafes set alongside a romantic marina.  It is place that I hope I will see again. 

I am hoping to find a cooler temperature in Northern India, but I hear that Delhi is just as hot at the moment.  Delhi is a must...as it's not only the capital of India, but is the city central to exploring so many temples and cities in the north and the base for daytrips to the glorious Taj Mahal.  I have heard travellers' stories of love and hate for the city, and I'm sure it will fail to disappoint.  

I am hoping that the north will be busier with other travellers, as my loneliness now is palpable...after realizing how deeply I wish I had someone to share this magnificent experience with...

Travelling alone can sometimes be very hard as you're not quite sure what you'll encounter -- though you must follow your intuition, and the solitude is revealing.  You literally become your own best friend...the trusted companion of which is your soul, which has been an amazing and religious experience for me. 

I have pangs of feeling homesick, but remind myself to stay in the 'present' -- as I don't want to miss the uniqueness of everything I  encounter.  The truth is, I will be home soon enough.

Until then, I hope for the delight in discovering each day as it comes and making new friends along the way...watching in the delight as life unfolds new surprises and adventures. 

Namaste

 

 

 

Comments

1

I wish I was there with you!

  Dominick May 31, 2008 9:32 AM

2

Buuuuu.... i miss you! it was very nice to read our adventures again haha.. i had an amazing time with you :)

  Alejandra Jun 1, 2008 5:00 PM

3

WOW I find your adventures amazing. Someone else pointed this out but your story telling really captivates the reader...please keep them coming...gives me something to dream about as I sit here in front of the computer hour after hour of each and every day. Really do admire your fearless pursuit of adventure. Peace out.

  Jonathan Jun 3, 2008 4:53 AM

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