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This Blog is a personal record and an honest illustration of my life as a full time embroidery artist. I hope that you find it entertaining and inspiring.

shown here are the Copyright of Louise Gardiner 2012.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Gritty but Gorgeous.


I feel like I am seeing the REAL India this time round, warts and all.  
It is difficult to describe travelling in India as you can fall in love with it and hate it at the same time…. It is overwhelming, knackering, beautiful, spiritual, hectic and sometimes annoying. 
It assaults your senses on a continuous  basis and tests your patience as it is both incredibly simple and extremely complicated.  You always get 10 different answers for every question you ask and then there's the Indian head wobble that just throws everything in the air.  Yes or No?  No or Yes? Both? 

Having miraculously woken up in the hotel of death, feeling OK just really tired, we splashed out and got an old white Indian taxi cab in search of the perfect paradise for the remainder of our big Indian adventure.  We wanted to find somewhere to chill out MAN!… you know the score …. beach …. hammock and books….. exactly like Gokarna Hippie Ville, where we should have stayed to let our hair get slowly crusty and matted.  BUT WE WANTED MORE!

Christmas Eve and we were now 30 hours south of heaven, in what seemed like a strange atmosphere less Pergatory.  This first, crucial part of our escape from Hell was a with taxi driver with zero sense of humour and Rupees glowing in his eyes.  We were managing to smile despite the pungent damp aroma permeating from our damp clothes and our sensitive stripped tummies.

I'm not kidding but it is impossible to explain the details of this day, I am not going to try….. I am lost in it myself and just remember a blur of rickshaws, buses and taxis, directions and rupees. It was a messy tiring screw up which in retrospect should have been more fun ... or was it?
Everything seemed to be impossible and out of our reach, even find a hole to pee.  At one point I ended up borrowing the toilet of a local family and peeing in a hole surrounded by pigs and hens.  I
A dirty, tired and intriguing 'White Trio' to stare at.  One gorgeous young French couple and one odd unmarried bird.  The only Westerners around squashed in a rickshaw with luggage on our knees and poking out of the sides trying to explain the impossible as we shot around the traffic and then squeezing onto local buses.  

"Hello! Hello! Hello! What is your name?  Where are you from?"   My idea of a knackering nightmare as its not in my genes to be grumpy having been brought up in a small village. My ridiculous Englishness meaning that I have to engage every single person,  loving it but tiring myself out with relentless optimism.   

We were unhappy campers with low travelling morale but we were still smiling and waving, amazed by but still enjoying our own lack of professionalism that we were applying to our search.  Two days of continuous Indian transport, bad drains and dirt and only one more day till Christmas.  Our complicated web of attempts to get lucky ending up in the strangest of places.  An amazing eye opener and a totally thrilling journey in many respects … feeling like famous and interesting freaks with bags under our eyes, dirty nostrils, sweaty pores and grubby fingernails.   It was a heart warming and strangely flattering experience.  I was touched by the friendly attention and smiling faces of the villagers and the goings on.  Tired but delighted by the awesome texture of Indian everyday life and happy holding a small cup of chai when we could find it.

I have a friend that always says that in a bad situation 'you need to throw some money at it.'  
The moment arrived for me as we walked along Calicut beach in search of paradise, observing the thin black truck drivers squatting in the water doing their daily poo and the slow but shocking realisation that the intriguing floating lumps in the waves around them were not jelly fish but intestines.  Water Buffalo intestines chucked in the sea.

It was definitely time to throw some money at this situation and break the chain of bad calma plus the fact we were definitely grumpy and tired and it was after all, Christmas.  

At about 10 pm after a couple of cold beers in yet another taxi with this time a flirtatious and friendly local we arrived at KAPPAD BEACH RESORT.  On first glance a characterless bunch of apartments but irresistibly clean, I was moving nowhere.  


It was time for a beer and a shower and a recharge, no matter how much it cost.

Lou 'Poo Wee!' Pores.

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