Sunday, April 25, 2010

Last Weekend at Tarkarli

A couple of weeks ago, LC came back from a weekend at Tarkarli to give glowing reports. They went snorkeling and touched coral reefs. They went out on a boat in the sea and saw dolphins jumping out of the water. They sat out on the beach till midnight.

"I want to go too!" I whined, and dashed out an email to the Guy, Vroom, and another friend who shall be known as Blade (partly because my friend Vani refers to her as the Bank Lady, due to where she works, which makes her sound like a matronly bank employee, instead of the cool sharp person she is).

So we went. We didn't go snorkeling after all, and we didn't see any dolphins. But we had lots of fun and it was worth that long, tiring drive.

We stayed at Manali Resort, which is right on the beach. This is the view from one of the huts we stayed in. (We took two: Blade and I stayed in one, and the men in the other.)

The service, though, was bad. We weren't given the rooms at the time we were promised, and the rooms they first offered us were less than impressive. (There was some kind of construction work on right behind one room, and once I got over the idea of that background noise, I discovered that the bathroom window opened right out to the construction site, and it couldn't be properly closed.) We had been promised backwater-facing rooms, but there was no view to speak of. We decided to move to non-AC rooms, which were much better. There was no attempt at apologising to us cranky and tired travellers, and the lady in charge tried to pass it over as the fault of the agent, whom apparently she had no control over. She even charged us extra later for having the AC on for the couple of hours we had used one AC room while waiting for the non-AC room to be made available. If you go to Tarkarli - and it's a good place to go - don't stay at Manali Resort.

We had an amazing cab driver who knew the area and took us to good places to eat - and shop! We got back boxes of mangoes, and he also took us to the cashewnut factory pictured above.

Lovely beach with soft white sand, and not many people around. Oh, but it was hot!

We went on a ride on this boat, after the boatmen had pushed it onto the water. That's Vroom standing to the right, supervising.

It was a lovely little vacation, and even more special because it was the last one before the Guy goes away. Ah yes, the Guy's going away. But that should be a post on it's own.

Friday, April 09, 2010

I Share a Stupid Little Joke

Hey, you there. How have you been? Good? Good. Yeah, I know it's been a long time. And I have a lot to tell you when I actually do get the time to write a proper post.

No, this is not one of those times. Could you tell?

You guys remember our noisy downstairs neighbours? (Of course you do. If I write about them any more they should really get their own tag on this blog.)

The most noise filtering (or echoing) up from them comes through the bathroom. Yes, we often hear them out in their balcony, but if we shut the windows and turn the TV up loud we don't have to listen to every nuance of the conversation. But if one (and usually more, but more about that later) is in the bathroom, and I am too, there is no escape (except for, of course, actually running out of the bathroom, which, let's face it, isn't always possible right away).

Poor little Cheeku seems to spend much of his life getting - or resisting - a bath, or getting - or resisting - his teeth brushed. Most often, of course, it's his mom, whose foghorn voice seems destined for greater things than out-shouting Cheeku on whether he needs to brush his teeth. (One past-time for me is thinking up alternative careers that would actually utilise her talents: so far I've come up with prison warden - for hardcore criminals, construction supervisor, and dominatrix.)

Cheeku's dad also helps him in the bathroom sometimes, and though his voice is quite as magnificent as his wife's, he is much gentler with his son and is almost a pleasure to listen to. (Almost, reader, being the key word.)

Then there's Cheeku's mama, who seems to visit for the primary purpose of helping Cheeku perform his morning ablutions. He is quite as loud as his sister, though his voice is high-pitched, and therefore, arguably less pleasing. He has also been known to sing Love me love me love me in the shower, loudly and off-key (which, for those of you who haven't heard it, was a traumatic experience).

Cheeku's nani is visiting now, and has been taking over the most important duty of the household, and spends her mornings alternating between instructing Cheeku in the bathroom and instructing her daughter out of it (though both these functions are, inexplicably, performed in the bathroom). Hearing her tells you where the NN got her magnificent voice from.

This is all background. The Guy and I were talking about this yesterday, and he said, "Cheeku toh mandir ki ghanti hai. Jo bhi aata hai nahla ke jaata hai."* Which is an absurd and meaningless little statement that made me double over with laughter.

*I'm not going to attempt to translate this. Any kind readers willing to try?