A Travellerspoint blog

Strangers on the Shore

sunny 32 °C

After a week visiting ancient temples on the Deccan Plateau, we took a mountainous 7 hour train ride, with spectacular vistas of jungles and peaks, down to the Karnataka coast and the modern city of Mangalore. Here’s a snapshot of the 12th century Hoysala temple at Belur…
Temple_at_Belur.jpg

For much of our time in India we have been lone whites in a veritable sea of brown, and in many out-of-the-way places we’ve noticed all eyes and cameras focused in our direction. We have become so used to being surrounded entirely by locals that we start when we see a pale face or hear English without a strong Indian accent. So, whenever we have found ourselves alongside fellow aliens in this alien land, we’ve discovered a natural affinity.
Nancy, a wandering Canuck originally from Montreal, tagged along with us in Champakulam and Varkala, and we spent Christmas with Amelia and Alex who live just a few miles from Jim’s mum in England. This intrepid couple had arrived after a harrowing three-day journey caused by heavy snow in London.
Amelia___Alex.jpg
In Munnar we met Alexio – a hard-of-hearing Brazilian who was intensely aggravating, but was forgiven because he is circumnavigating the globe in his self-built stainless steel yacht and was the first Brazilian to sail solo around the world in the 1970s.

In Kannur we met up with Lisa and Robin, a lovely young couple from London who joined us on our polar bear swim…
Lisa___Robin.jpg
…together with Marina and Tim, a pair of truly inspiring American Peace Corps volunteers who have been teaching in the mountains of Azerbaijan for the past two years...
Marina___Tim.jpg

We’ve heard Russian and other unintelligible languages, and we’ve met Swedes, Germans, Spaniards and Malaysians, and then there was Jan. He is a Dutch psychotherapist travelling with his harp-making partner, Beatrix. We’ve also come across quite a few Australians including Joy, an educator studying Theyyam, (an ancient Keralan ritual dance)…
Joy.jpg

Then there was Amanda and Matt who live near Granville Island in Vancouver, and a couple from Bordeaux, France, who made the mistake of ordering a bottle of Indian wine – they said it was, “Very interesting!” but didn't drink it. And, finally, there was an elderly Italian man who not only gave the waiter explicit instructions on how his pasta should be cooked, but also provided a tube of Italian tomato paste to ensure it would taste just the same as at home!
Now, as we head north into the tourist hotspots of Goa, Hampi and Mumbai, we will no longer be among the ‘very few’ and are likely to come across other curious westerners trying to make sense of this bewildering land, (together with quite a few who will want it to be just like home).

Posted by Hawkson 21:58 Archived in India

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Love the Italian who travels all the way to India to get pasta just as he likes it at home.

by Janet

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