Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mystery solved.

If you recall, I was a little curious to know what and if, anything is worn under the lungis!! While walking around I did see a few tourists trying to wear these pieces of clothing and I think the lovely brown legs sticking out is a little more pleasing to the eye than white legs which never see the sun. I guess we can get used to anything and it is a huge laundry saver. Also, I am told, very convenient for men!
A "funny' thing happened one day while we were sitting on our balcony overlooking the backwaters. A houseboat was returning with a party of Indian men. They were laughing and singing  and clapping and it appeared that they had had a festive time.
Next to the driver a young fellow was perched on the edge with his back to us. The next thing he toppled over backwards into the water. As you can imagine, panic struck. We even wanted to jump in and save the fellow.
Taken from our balcony.
The quick thinking driver pulled on the brake, the assistant through the anchor overboard and pulled off his lungi and dived in! a second hero jumped in but by then the victim had his head out of the water and was pulling on the ropes which were hanging over the side of the boat.

There was much cheering and laughing that followed and we raised our glasses to the successful operation.....and for me the mystery was solved. YES the men do wear underwear, unlike most "true scotsmen".


You just never know what you are going to see while traveling along the backwaters.

 Setting up to make a movie.
India is the land for making movies and often you will come across mobile studios setting up.

A toddy Parlour....where you can purchase a toddy made from fermented coconut milk.

Moving rice from the paddies into storage.

And finally......... Warren crossing the waters on a little boat in order to catch the bus home.

Traveling round the Backwaters.

Most people who visit India want to visit the Backwaters of Kerala. These waters are a network of rivers, lakes and canals. Thirty eight rivers feed into the backwaters.

 Touring around on a houseboat is one of the most popular things to do. Local families love to go on the houseboats as do the foreign tourists.

This boat parked off most nights in front of our Homestay.
 The boat usually sets off in the morning and it tours around the backwaters until sunset and then a quiet spot is found to park off for the night. The staff  cook up a delicious Indian meal and the guests just chill (and fight off the mozzies) We went on a houseboat during a former visit to Kerala so this time we just enjoyed watching the houseboats travel past our homestay and we would wave,  the guests on the boat would wave and sometimes they would even grab their cameras to photograph us sitting on our balcony. Made us feel a little like royalty really!!

The government ferry.

This time we wanted to do it differently. Jose our host drew a detailed little map for us and sent us off to town in time to get on the government ferry. These ferries are fun as you travel with the people and they stop off at regular intervals so you get a chance to see the life on the backwaters. the two and a half hour journey only costs about Two Rand!!

The Backwaters are a photographers dream. My little point and push worked overtime.

We did two trips on two different days and both were absolutely wonderful!

We went off to Kottyam on our first trip and then on another day we went to Chennamkary.

The beauty of these waters defies all the adjectives I know!!
Doing the washing!

Boys having fun.
At some places the waters are choked with hyacinth.

This beautiful church  is tucked away amongst the palms.

Schoolchildren use the ferry too!

Quite a job for the teacher on duty to see they all get on on time!


Ayuverdic Massages.

Today being Sunday, in addition to hearing the Imam call to prayer, the Hindus singing, lovely church bells were ringing. Rosie and Thomas go to the Catholic church and when Warren walked passed he said the singing and music coming from there had a decidedly Hindu ring to it!

The Ayuverdic Centre.
As a special treat today, we were booked to go next door to the Ayurvedic centre for massages.

Indian massages are very different to Thai or Chinese massages as there is absolutely no place for modesty.
There is no soft music playing or crispy white towels, at least not at this centre or the one we visited during our last trip to India.

So off I go. I am lead through the gardens to the "salon"
The salon.
 The  Massage session proceeds like the following:

The Therapist points to my clothes and says "off" and gives a little nidnod!
I say "all"?
 She says "all"!more nidnodding.
okay all the kit comes off.
She says "sit" so I sit on this little stool next to the bed and the therapist starts banging and rubbing and chopping on my skull which I confess felt rather good.(a good way to get rid of the cobwebs inside my head.)

Then she says "on" and points to this carved wooden bed.
Lying flat on your back in your birthday suit is not the only way I coped was by closing my eyes and listened to the sounds coming from the garden outside and thinking of OTHER things.

A second therapist enters the room, one for each side and they work up and down and round about and nowhere is out of bounds. wow.....eventually a third lady joins in and I have three ladies working on my body!

Soon it is time to turn on my side and then on the other side and finally on my tummy.
All the time the therapists are using delicious smelling heated oils and it really felt marvelous....nudity and all!!

I did ask them to close the door just a little....!

The three therapists!

After all the action I am pleased to say I was given a gown and walked to the cold water shower a little way away. It was a very interesting and pleasurable massage. Would I do it again.....OF course I would!

Every time we leave our resort to go to the town we have to pass through the Ayuverdic centre and I wonder what these ladies say to each other when they see me.   mmmmmmmmm