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Amsterdam, tu me manques.  Il a été presque un mois, et je me sens comme il a été un année.  Mes amis, vous me manques, mais je reviendrai bientôt. Alors, nous pouvons nager dans le canals de Amsterdam fois de plus, mangeons sandwiches au jambon et au fromage, et faire du vélo en travers de la ville.  Attendez-moi!

-ton vieil ami, Jeff

But time is on your side, it’s on your side now
Not pushing you down, and all around
It’s no cause for control

But time is on your side, it’s on your side now

Not pushing you down, and all around

It’s no cause for control

SICK

My first encounter with my stomach dragon. It was bad, to say the very least!

Zylan and I travelled 10 hours by train to the center of Kerala, some town i can’t begin to try to say or spell. but anyways, We had it all planned, to go up a mountain to a place called Ooty, it’s this beautiful place.  But I got sick. And this wasn’t a pretty type of sick, it was a nasty one, and unfortunately, we didn’t make it the whole way and had to turn around cause it was so bad.

Needless to say i had a terrible time. In the woods, while doing my thing, there were litterally blood sucking leeches crawling towards me.  What they do is stick up like a needle until they latch on to your foot or whatever you’ve got on the ground, and crawl on to you like that.  So i get back in the car, we start to go up more, i check my leg and sure enough, one has latched on and is making lunch of me.  Not cool!  I threw it out the window, five minutes later i’m back out in the bush.  This time, back in the car, i inspect myself really well to make sure….and this time there’s a tick on me!  It was the most miserable time.  Another time out and there are two giant millipedes, curled up sleeping right beside me. 

So moral of the story, that sucked.

But i’m better now, my stomach has calmed down, and after two days of eating nothing, i’m back to fish curry and chapati!

Cheers. Hope you are doing better than me.

Phil Chun introduced me to this song… and its been running on my mind. It’s a good one

orange timbit

Hey mates!

It has been awhile since I have last written, but I have my reasons….

haha ok no more excuses.

I have arrived safely in Kollam, Kerala.  It has been an amazing journey so far for me, and I want to start at the beginning.  Mumbai airport.  It was good, I was happy to finally be in India.  But as I tried to go into the airport because my plan was to stay overnight, the guard (the armed guard, I should add) informed me that i couldn’t actually go into the airport until 12:00 pm the next day…… in 12 hours!  I looked around and my heart sank.  It was hot, humid, and midnight.  There were people, loads of people around, taxis blaring, everybody staring.  I was about to fight it, but he told me there was a waiting room at the side where I could go. Ensured that was all he could do, I accepted and walked around to the “waiting room”.  I was expecting the worst - a crowd of people, no place to sit, etc, when I came to a booth. I paid 60 rupees…about $1.50, and got a ticket for a room. I walked in and it was so much relief. Not many people, chairs, air conditioning, a bathroom, some floor space where I could stretch out….it was amazing! I was so thankful i didn’t have to sit outside with all my stuff.  So I started my 16 hour layover.  Thankfully, I got some sleep that night and boarded my plane to Trivandrum the next day. 

Getting into Trivandrum was awesome. Palm trees everywhere!  Kerala actually means “land of the palms”, so I was just taken back. It looked like paradise.  Zylan picked me up from the airport and it was unreal seeing him again after 2 years! We went out for some dinner, then went home.

Fast track to today.  We have done some incredibly cool things so far.  I have been so blessed by Zylan and his mom, their hospitality and generosity.  In Indian culture, the guest is god, and so i have really been treated like royalty.  It’s amazing.  The food is great, curries and rice and chapati and paratha!  Wow.  So far I am not sick, and that has been great. I am taking some vitamins to help me out with the change in diet, and so far so good.  Everyday is pretty open, we just figure it out as it goes.  Lately my schedule has been, open my eyes, chai thrust into my hand, wake up, breakfast (either a curry or cereal. I have lately asked to have cereal as my stomach can’t handle the heavy stuff so early).  chill out (read, watch tv), go outside to the beach, or just around town. then at about 1 we eat again, this time its the main meal. Yesterday we had fish, and that was amazing. Fish freshly caught, we went and bought it from the fish market. Since Zylan lives literally 4 minutes from the INdian ocean, you can imagine that it’s sooo good. Keralan diet is mainly fish and so its delicious.  Anyways after lunch we end up taking a nap. haha i love sleep, but Keralans sleep A LOT.  It’s actually because the main part of the day is so hot, that they sleep to get over it.  It’s usually around 30 degrees or more by this time of the day, so i get sleepy, too.  Or i just read or edit photos or do smoething like that.  After nap, its go time. We have been going to see different thigns each day, it’s been really awesome.  Then dinner at about 9, Zylan goes to the gym, I go to an internet cafe, then sometimes we watch a movie or again sit at the beach in the dark and listen to the waves. 

Some cool stuff we’ve been doing:

Last weekend I went to Thiruvananthapuram (say that real fast 5 times in a row) which is the capital of Kerala.  We went to Zylan’s church, as well as going to the beach at Kovalam, the most picturesque beach in Kerala, and going on a trip to Punmudi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponmudi)Which is a hill station, basically a trip up the mountain.  We made the trip on motorcycles… crazy!  It was fun to go, took about an hour each way. At the top we saw a monster, and i mean monster millipede, about a foot long!!!  IT was just walking across the road and i was freaking out and so i grabbed my camera and took some photos. At the top as well it was in the clouds, so the humidity accumulated on your face and immediately you were soaking wet! It was a cool feeling I hadn’t experienced before.

I swam in the ocean yesterday for the first time. It was incredible!  It was at quite a touristy place and I wanted Zylan and Cibi, Zylan’s cousin to come in with me but they didn’t.  I don’t think they are much into swimming, it’s not a huge swimming culture here (if any). But I couldnt’ help it, so I went. I started to swim out, there were a few medium sized waves and so this guy started whistling at me to stay near to shore (bummer).

This weekend we have some big plans….we’re going to take a roadtrip! Up the coast, we will visit a theme park of some kind, the best in southern india i guess, and then to Munnar!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munnar. Check it out, looks great.  Theres going to be some mountain trekking involved and so its going to be pretty fun.

So thats a bit of my time here so far.  It has been really great, hot, humid, relaxing, chilled. I think thats it.!

Oh, yeah.  One more thing. I constantly get raided by ants.  At church, they offered me these kind of orange sweets things.  Unfortuanately, they are almost exactly like the ones we had when i was in INdia last, and it made my stomach cringe just thinking about them: greasy and so, so, so, so sweet. It’s actually exactly like a timbit for all the Canadians: a baked ball.  I took one out of politeness, but after having one bite i knew i couldn’t have any more!  So, I put the sweet in my pocket of my pants. It crumbled into a bunch of tiny pieces. So that was that, i emptied it out when i got out of church.But this morning i looked, and ants had made a trail from the window outside, around my desk/mirror thing, onto the bed frame, along the entire bed, down into my drawer where my clothes are, under my bed!  It was really amazing, how they smelled it out from outside! There were probably hundreds of ants, all forming the same line, carrying bits of timbit/indian sweet out the window! I was so impressed but actually unimpressed that ants were crawling over my clothes.  So i took the pants out, shook them outside, and watched as the ants slowly figured out there was no more timbit and they retreated outside.

Which reminds me. The pants are currently on my floor, and no doubt there is still crumbles inside them. So…. there will probably be an ant party in my pants when I get home……

dang.

In mumbai airport…cccccrazy

I”m in London, baby!

saw a freaking mummy today at the British Museum, that was the best part of my day, I think. Other than renting a bike and driving down Oxford street. And seeing the Sherlock Holmes museum.  

On the plane tonight…long l o n g ride to India