Tuesday, January 03, 2006


I'm in my 4th indian state, and "god's own country", kerala. after 2 days, i have yet to find god here, but the place is pleasant enough.

but first, a bit about goa. it was the fiasco i predicted. actually it was even worse than i thought. traveling in a group of 8-20 (depending upon the day) is difficult in the best circumstances, but intolerable when your companions are scatterbrained and/or selfish. plenty (but not all) of my companions showed both traits. the fiasco started in bangalore, where B had one less bus ticket than people who showed up. some attempts were made so assign blame. someone (not me) ended up sleeping in the aisle. i could prattle on with other problems for pages, but wont. at least not now.

though i will mention that the much ballyhooed goan new years was mostly hype. it takes hours to drive the 8km to the "party centers", so we never even ended up going. but i met people who did who described paying $30 or more to enter nightclubs mostly filled with rich tourists from bombay who have come largly to leer at foreigners. and strangely, in this capital of anything-goes hedonism, not once was i offered drugs, which is very very weird. 2 days in "conservative" kerala and i've been offered everything on multiple occasions. i guess the goan drug dealers had their hands full.

but it wasn't all bad by any means. a highlight of goa was the largely vacant beaches in the far north, where i swam with the dolphins and schools of flying fish. in the heart of goa you swim with tourists. lots and lots of them. and a lot of them are fat italian men wearing thong bikinis. i saw more hairy butt/back in one week than anyone should have to see in their entire lives.

motorcycling around goa was also nice, though often the roads were unpleasantly crowded. i drove a large geared bike for the first time. i enjoyed it so much, i'm considering buying a bike and traveling through india that way. especially since my 8am bus to munnar never showed up this morning. hopefully the 11am will. i'd better go check on that now. more on kerala later...

(i'm cheating by posting this here. "outcaste" should be retired now, as the blog premise has changed, but i'm too lazy to make a change just yet.)