Hey, Wha-Hopp’n

…To that guy that was traveling in India with the rock star of this site? Last we heard from him he was bitching about some shit on a train… Well, in less then a month I’ve traveled from one side of the Indian Sub-Continent to the other! I’ve been from Amritsar to Trivandrum… …From The Ganga to the Arabian Sea… …From the desert to the rain forest… …From the Monsoon to the drought… …And I’ve only been here for 5 and 1/2 weeks! I love this place more then I ever thought I could. The smiles are easy, the judgment is slow, the price is right and the travel is more inspiring then I can keep up with with my feeble grasp of this stupid language! Wow, India!!!

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Finding a Place to Live

We got stymied.I would usually find a place to live on Craigslist (for a large or medium sized town or a city), through the newspaper (smaller towns but big enough to support a paper of their own), or from posting boards at places like supermarkets (any of the above, but especially small towns). Craigslist was a bust for us in Kerala. We found two things – the guesthouse in Varkala and a house in southeast Alleppey. Neither one of them worked out. But still that was more action than we were getting from our other venues! Before coming to India, I ran searches on rentals. I found one site in particular that seemed promising – with a fairly healthy number of listings in the Rs. 1000-3000 range, it made me think that once we were here, we’d be able to find things for even less. That hasn’t worked out at all – there’s not a hot community gossip forum with all the dirt on good homes for cheap…or at least not one speaking English. Riiiiight. The language thing. I can forget sometimes how limited we are by the need to find people who speak good English. For simple things, we’re okay. When we walk up to a hotel reception desk, they already pretty much know what we want – the conversation is about AC or non-AC and price. Still, we’re having this check-in chat in English. A little better at a restaurant – if they understand “veg”, we’re usually happy with what we get. Also, the only words we know in Malayalam are food words, so we can request specific dishes – thali, masala dosa, paneer, chapati, naan, vada, idli, garam (or masala) chai. If they start asking us about other things, we have to revert back to English –[…]

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