What is it about me? In addition to having various dodgy and inebriated characters offering to help me find an Indian woman, I was chatted up yesterday in Kottayam bus stand by a bloke. I suppose I should take it as a compliment to my youthful beauty.
Anyway, having told my fancier that he was on a hiding to nothing, I ended up in a brief conversation with a young Indian woman whose father is a bishop currently lecturing in an irish university. She’s studying psychology in Melbourne and is very christian. The contrast between her and the immediately previous conversation had me in stitches.
My bus to Kumily passed through villages sporting decorative arches and tinsel, as if some big celebration was imminent. There were huge numbers of christian churches – I’ve seen more nuns in two months in India than in the whole of the rest of my life. As the road wound up and up into the western Ghats, it also passed a lot of rubber trees: the tapping process now appears to incude protecting the cut with plastic sheeting. I have no idea why this made me think of Tom Lehrer’s MLF Lullaby.
In Kumily, I’m staying in the Tourist Bhavan part of Woodlands Prime Castle: I have a 3-metre by 3-metre cell with a double bed, table and mirror for the amazing cost of 100 rupees a night. When I lifted the cover, an insect scampered under the pillow so I’ve slept on top of the cover, inside my bugbag and under a lunghi because it’s actually chilly up here.
OK, time for breakfast and some orientation…