After having spent long hours of the week in the office, sweating over reinsurance structures, it was time for some adventure. T and myself jumped on a late evening flight on Friday with destination “weekend on a houseboat in Kerala, South India”.
Adventure we wanted adventure we got!
Since we arrived late late late, a bus hunt was out of the equation, and into its place moved the taxi. We approached car after car, and after a few waving arms of refusal, and pointing fingers to the next taxi victim which potentially want to take us to the destination of our desires (but didn’t), we found one volunteer willing to a) drive us and b) drive us for more or less what we were ready to pay. Joyfully we jumped on, only to realise that … this was simply a pimped up version of a tuk tuk! We were welcomed to the simple charms of the famous TATA Mobile. A little bit like a tuktuk, a little bit like a mini jeep, a little bit like a wanna be smart car… but mainly a hybrid of a tractor and a small “ciezarowka” (aka. Lastbil, LKW, Lorry – somehow polish makes it sound more funny) 😀
It was the definition of pure bliss! Blue light beaming at us from the back, and no glass in the windows – blessing us with a constant inflow of the South Indian air. It would possibly not have been so bad – had we not had a journey of ca 1,5-2 hours before us. Personally, I must admit – I had realized that this was no Bentley by the time we agreed on the transfer. Thomas on the other hand, was so happy we finally got a ride, that the true nature of the car only seemed to sink in a bit later. “Didn’t realise this was a pimped up tuk tuk”, he kept on mumbling, while every car, every huge 5000 ton lorry, every bus, (even every tuk tuk) kept on taking us over on the road.
The fact that it was a pimped up tuk tuk, was probably not the main problem, but T was a bit unhappy by the fact that it was blowing from all sides (I did mention no windows, right?). Once he mentioned it, I thought…. (And I actually heard a very polish grandma voice in my head) “OMG PRZEWIEJE NAS!”!!! (and now, all my non polish friends…. This one aint easy to translate. So it seems that “in the east” people are rather wearisome, when it comes to draught. Ie. the more stuffy a room the better. The more airflow allowed, the more DANGERS to all sorts of unheard of mysterious parts of your body. Basically “przewieje mnie/was/ nas/ means… I/ You/ us will be blown through (???). Equaling – your chances of survival are equal to none. There was some windy weather – you did NOT wear your Russian hat with the floppy ears down – your days are counted!”). The palm fringed shores of Kerala, seemed further and further away…
The best part, however, was still yet to come. At one point the driver busted out his phone, attached it to the front sill and put on a movie. I thought “aaa – he is probably missing out on the latest Bollywood soap finale, and here we are, on the highway, about to witness it all! He is driving us in a pimped up tuktuk, while watching a Bollywood soap, instead of watching the road!!! It did however, turn out, that he simply wanted to make the journey more pleasant for us, which was very kind of him. Just too bad that the mobile battery died before Thomas got to see the ending. (I wasn’t watching, I was too busy watching the lorries pass by wondering what on earth they transport in them (they were humongous) and thinking that “cholera, chyba jednak nas przewieje” (literally – kolera… I think we will be blown throw after all).
By the time we got of our ride (we did reach it eventually), I felt like I already had seen half of Kerala. Just too bad it was middle of the night. And pitch black.