erika's little blog
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Friday, February 29, 2008
30 minutes ago i realised it's the 29:th of february today. that's cool. i wish i knew earlier, so i could celebrate...
Thursday, February 28, 2008
now i know. interesting twist.

unfortunately i really like my colleagues. and i still think the job could be fun.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
i'm preparing. tomorrow will be the big day. my mood is cloudy with sunny intervals. one minute i think this is never going to work. the next i think it will be interesting to see how stupid they can be. after tomorrow i'll know.

more importantly, i'll know if it's worth being upset, or if i should just drop it and leave as soon as i can. so after tomorrow evening i will not be angry anymore. i might be slightly annoyed, but not angry (at least that's what i'm hoping).

wish me luck, please :)
Monday, February 25, 2008
today is my birtday. and the pup's too.

i actually don't think i got any older, though. if you have to get up early, hit your toe really hard in the stairs, get a tummy ache, don't get any cake until 9 pm and only get one christmas present to open it can't possibly count as a birthday! :)

the birthday dinner (we had it yesterday, as we were both working late today): kebab with bearnaise. it's starting to become my classic birthday dinner
the first gift: a bottle of coca cola
the funnest greeting: from the sisters. they had made me a little poem :)

Peta inte i näsan efter snor,
för nu har du blivit stor.
32 närmare bestämt,
du skulle kanske fått nåt dyrt om du hade fyllt jämt.
(kanske en häst)
lina and maja
Sunday, February 24, 2008
the pup and i just got back from our first dog show. and he was so good! he and the princess l clearly were the best behaved, most beautiful, nicest, cleverest, coolest of all the hundreds of dogs there. their teacher from puppy school last fall came with us, and she agreed. and she's a puppy teacher, so she should know!

unfortunately the pup decided to only stand on three legs. and apparently if you stand on only three legs you can't win, even if you are the best behaved, most beautiful, cleverest and coolest of them all. so he didn't win. i'm not sure there's something wrong with the fourth leg, though. sometimes he just seems to feel like resting one of his legs, like a horse...

i was really pleased he was so cool about it all. there were dogs barking and fighting and playing and growling and running everywhere, and he spent most of the time sleeping. he was polite too, and kissed the judge's hands and cheeks.

Saturday, February 23, 2008
i forgot!

i think we've solved the lamp/mirror problem. bought two lamps today, so we can decide which one we want and return the other one (the man in the shop said it was ok). it's going to look so good!
went on a walk with the pup and all his girlfriends at the same time today. and the only time i managed to get a picture of all of them together was at a pee break...

after the walk i had coffee and home made semlor with the i and the k in their kitchen. how can people be so NICE? and how can they make such good coffee? and how can they always have home made buns and cakes and semlor? maybe they are aliens?

saw kristina lugn on tv in the evening. i wish i was her best friend, so i could ask her for help coming up with clever one-liners for the meeting next week. with her help i'm sure i'd make them understand how stupid this thing really is. it shouldn't even be a thing.

tomorrow i'm off at earlier than 6, to go to a dog show together with the pup and the a-b and the princess l and the j. it's our first. i'm sure the babies are going to win. noone can be more beautiful than they are. the j promised to bring fika. i hate getting up early.

tonight is the melodifestival. again. i like the luuk. that's a good thing.
Friday, February 22, 2008
we have a problem. we thought we were clever to choose a mirror with buildt-in-light for the new old "bathroom". the room is very (very!) tiny, and a combined lamp/mirror would save space. that's why we thought we were so clever. turned out we weren't, though.

in order to assemble the lamp/mirror we need to save some space above the stupid thing. space we don't have. instead of space we have some kind of box on the wall above the mirror. and apparently that box is absolutely essential and can't be removed.

so, we have to find another mirror. and another lamp. until then we have to live with candles and not being able to see ourselves. which is not so bad, when i think about it. maybe the room is good as it is..? :)
vatteFACK! there should be a law against stupidity! different opinions is something i can take. discussions i find interesting. stupidly repeating a phrase over and over again and refusing to realise that that phrase isn't even an answer to the fucking QUESTION is something else. why can't they just admit they have no idea what they are talking about and stop mumbling stupid insulting phrases and LISTEN for a second, so they at least know what the discussion is all about? i wonder what they're hoping to achieve this way? it's hardly likely i will be brainwashed into agreeing with them and dropping the whole subject and suddenly become happy and pleased and loving again, is it?! i mean, how stupid can a person possibly BE?!

(this was a very clever and wise and developing way of dealing with the situation, don't you think? i have even started cursing. i've never managed to do that before, even though i have really tried hard a few times. but now it comes naturally :)
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!!!!!!!!!!!! i'm angry again! what has happened to the normal me? i never used to be this angry...
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
today has been a good day "at work". left bed at 5.30. took dog out, fed cats, did other important stuff. back to bed. up again at 9. long cold dog walk in the woods. walk to city. lunch with the s. worked at the cafe with a cappuccino (a real one, not the kind you almost throw up when you smell it). very productive afternoon. talked to the k while walking the dog. found out the husband had bought my favourite chocolate and hid it in a drawer. now i'm seated in front of the crisis work with chocolate and orange juice (i'm not allowed to drink coke on weekdays). i have a feeling this is going to be the best crisis text they've ever seen.
Monday, February 18, 2008
i've run out of försvarets hudsalva! and coca cola! i'm going to die...

apart from that things are starting to feel quite good. we have a nice new bathroom which means i don't have to wear wet socks all the time. the s is back in sollefteå, which means i don't have to be the only girl at work anymore, which means i can giggle and talk in uptempo and laugh at feeling miserable (which actually means some of the big strong boys are feeling better too. one of the biggest strongest boys spent an hour listening to our laughing complaints and sighed with a pleased smile "you're just like girls"). it also means we're going to start cafe working tomorrow. i have a feeling that's going to make us a lot more creative. the teo cat was in a fight, and won. which means i don't have to wipe up blood from the ceilings or run around in the woods looking for him all night. i've been doing some work now this evening, which means i can sleep late tomorrow if i feel like it. i've almost finished painting the kitchen sofa, which means i'll probably finish it this week, which means it can move back into the kitchen soon (well, not really the kitchen. it's too small even for a chair. rather the "dining room"). and lets see, what else...? oh yes, i have some more. we just got an email from a cool couple we found in indialand. they're back in sweden and still alive. i think they're over 80. which means when i'm over 80 i can hopefully still do weird trips to indialand. i met a snow cloud on my way home from work, but it was in a hurry and went on rushing towards somewhere else. which means i didn't have to shovel snow when i came home. and i've heard spring is on its way, which means i can hopefully sit in the sun eating oranges and get freckles on my nose soon.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
oh no! i think i'm about to have a head ache. i haven't had one since i tried that ayurvedic thing. feels like a very long time ago... was it two weeks? have to see if there's anywhere i can do it here in sollefteå.
so far i've had a nice weekend. i got back the energy yesterday, and painted and sandpapered and vacuum cleaned and watered plants and cleared away the mess at the kitchen table. in the evening we went to get the s. watched melodifestivalen and had the best kladdkaka i've ever had. today i've been for a long sighthoundwalk, with sunshine, singing birds and happy dogs. afterwards coffee and cookies and looking at the termometer showing +10 degrees in the sun. came home and had some coca cola and finally got around to seeing the end of the film we started seeing several days ago. now the husband is going to dig out his skis, and i'm going to put on the last (hopefully) layer of paint on the kitchen sofa.

and by the way, i've uploaded all the india photos to flickr now.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
the much too short vacation to indialand seems to have given me new energy. i've started painting again! i started with the boards around the door in the new bathroom. and now i'm moving on to the kitchen sofa that's been half sandpapered for 6 moths or so. at the same time i'll do the ugly bedside tables we bought together with the ugly bed. and i've bought paint to the ceilings, the doors, the brown ugly mirror from the grandmother, the huge writing desk that's going to be transformed into a sewing/writing/reading/working table and to finish the bed. next i'll force the husband to replace all the ugly boards around doors and windows, and paint the walls in the ugly hallway, and take away the ugly carpet from the stairs, and the ugly floor upstairs. and now it feels fun again!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
i'm sorry. i shouldn't be so angry all the time. happy valentine's day! for real!

i've had chocolate now, so i'm feeling better. and a nice dinner, bought at valvet and eaten in front of the tv. and the husband gave me a sweet plant in the shape of a heart. and a little dog that says "love" bought at the gas station. and an obscene ring bought in indialand. and a very longed for gift arrived today. i'm going to give it to the husband, but we won't go and get it until tomorrow. that way it will last another day. and i've found interesting things when i was playing private detective today. more about that later. and i have an unopened bottle of coca cola in the fridge. so i'm good. i'm not going to hate anymore tonight. i'm sure i'll start again tomorrow.
gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! some people have the ability to upset me just by existing!

i'm going home. happy valentine. crap! i need chocolate!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
something i have forfotten to blog, as i've been too busy thinking about other things: we have a new bathroom! or i guess "bathroom" would be exaggerating a bit. the correct term would be something that meant "tiny room with a toilet in one corner and a shower in another". but as i don't know of such a word i call it a bathroom :)

the n helped us organise the renovation of the bathroom while we were in indialand. when we left we had a disgusting little room with a blue washbasin, a green toilet, blueish dirty floor and beige walls (that i guess had been white once upon a time) with flowers and stripes and big gaps in the corners. when we came home we had a room with a smell of new, with black floor, pale grey walls, a white toilet with a black lid and the cutest little white washbasin standing on a little cupboard. we don't have any electricity yet, though. so we have to use candles, which is only cosy. the best thing: the floor now slopes in the right direction, i.e. towards the floor drain. which means we can now have a shower without getting litres and litres of water under the toilet and washbasin. thank you n!
my new strategy:
step one: list all the good things about my job
step two: sit down for a long and good think, and decide whether the good things are good enough for me to stay despite the über boss being a stubborn child who will probably never ever say i'm sorry and admit anything is wrong. if i decide they are not, i will quit as soon as possible. if i decide they are i will proceed to step three.
step three: sit down for another long and good think, and decide what to do about the über boss situation. will it be possible to pretend i don't hate his guts, and live happily ever after without being angry all the time? probably not. will it be possible to get an apology? probably not. so, something has to be done before i can start pretending i don't hate him. the question is what... maybe i could trick him into saying i'm sorry for something silly, like stepping on my toe, and pretend i interpret it as i'm sorry for treating you like shit? :)

update: just in case anyone would take me too seriously. i don't hate the über boss' guts. i actually think he's a bit cool. weird people fascinate me. i do hate the way he handles his job, though. and i do hate having him as a boss.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
it's that time of the month. again. and i'm about to die. happens all the time! the months are much too short. trying to see something positive about today:
* the husband offered to accompany me for the doggy walk in the woods.
* spring was in the air, the snow was melting, the sun was shining, the birds were singing. i hope i hope i hope winter won't realise that it's still only the beginning of february and decide to come back!
* had a nice chat with the m. i complained and she agreed when i said "he's a jerk" and "fuck them"
* the husband bought me coca cola.
* when i started working i realised i had allready done most of it.

can't really not complain at all, though. the hot water bottle broke! how am i supposed to survive the night without it? why don't i have a spare one? you should always have a spare hot water bottle!! i tried to use it for as long as i could, but eventually i was all soaked and cold and had to realise the hot water bottle is now dead. i don't want to go to bed tonight. maybe if i put it inside a grocery bag? i think i'll have to try that. there's no chance i could survive otherwise...
Saturday, February 09, 2008
the cats are upset. the mother fed them fish and that horrible smelling but oh so good cat food you buy in tins while we were in indialand. i feed them those unsmelly but oh so boring dry pellets you buy in bags. the galdor cat is really frustrated, and complains loudly. the teo cat is angry and stays outdoors and refuses to talk to us. so after a very nice sighthound walk with the i and the sloughi girls i stopped to buy four packets of smelly food on my way home. but did they jump of joy and kiss my face and say they love me? oh no. apparently it was the wrong kind. the cats are now sulking with the ghost in the basement.

at least the pup is happy. he's been kissing and hugging his girls for the first time in ages. i'm happy too. sighthound walks and coffee with the i are the best part of the week. the i is always baking, and her kitchen smells of home made buns. even the coffee tastes better in the i's kitchen. and her girls are the sweetest coolest creatures on earth.
Friday, February 08, 2008
i have started uploading to flickr. first day there, only the rest to go :)

jm: i'll put them on picasa too, just for you :)

now i have to go and find another blanket. i'm not supposed to live in this kind of climate!

and oh, i was at a job interview today. i think it went rather well, until i heard what they could pay me. they said they would consider discussing it a bit, but i guess "a bit" does not mean "a whole lot". have to think about what it would be worth to be able to say goodbye and good luck-not to the über boss. it would be really nice to just quit. but lately i've started to think more and more that quitting would mean making it easy for the über boss. maybe better to stick around and be a pain in the unmentionable parts of his body and see if he could learn something from it?
Thursday, February 07, 2008
i'm home! and things are getting back to normal, with work, meetings, grocery shopping, cold feet, dry skin, winter boots, laundry, doggy walks, snow shoveling and all those other normal things i fill my days with. there's one big difference, though. i'm now a Person Who Has Touched Elephants.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
saturday 02/02-08
moring by the pool, reading.
when i was at the internet cafe the husband went off with a man who said he could help him find the film of the year 2007 - taare zameen par. they didn't find it.

went for a walk in the "opposite direction" along the beach. walked by an enormous "garden", with sunbeds, walking paths made of concrete with light poles around, a little lake, restaurant chairs, a bar, toilets and a stage. and no people. later we were told by Mohindas the fisherman that it belonged to a very big and exclusive hotel up in the hills. the drive their guests down here in little cars. met kader, his daughter sanooja and niece anzy and talked to them for a while. were invited for tea on our way back. continued through the little village panathura. fascinating that quitea few people live in houses made of straw. beautiful. but i guess everything gets wet during the rainy period. right by the sea side was a beautiful mosque, what was almost falling down in the sea. there are amazing mosques, churches, minarets, temples and shrines everywhere. even in the tiniest little villages, where all the houses are made out of braided palm leaves. had tea with sannoja and anzy and talked for a long time. they tried to teach us to count to ten in malayalam. very difficult pronunciation! sanooja is a teacher, working in "the other village". she made us very good ginger tea, and sent her cousin to buy buns with vegetables (very hot, couldn't eat), or a boiled egg in the middle. fun! i'm going to bake boiled egg buns too! :)

on our way back home we met mohindas the fisherman. he told us that in -85 he earned 27 000 rupees in one night's fishing in goa. so he went back home and bought a wife and a house. but since then he gets less and less fish, and so far this year he almost hasn't had anything at all. we've seen the fishermen at the beach in the mornings, and they're really working hard for hours and hours, and the nets come up almost empty. mohindas had a hundu sign tattooed on one hand and a christian cross on the other, ty symbol that he is a hindu but doesn't believe in the cast system.

sunday 03/02-08
the sea was upset last night, and this morning we noticed it had torn half the beach away. in one end the steep was 2 m high.

the fishermen had a good catch this morning, we were told. the waves had halmed down, and for the first time since we got here they didn't do their best to knock me down when i entered the sea. we stayed in the water for quite a while. i'm going to miss it.

read by the pool. i'm going to miss this too. went to thiruvanantapuram to look for the taare zameen par film. apparently it's so good seeing it makes you a better person. wouldn't want to miss that. were told about a music shop further up the road. found it. the film hasn't been released on dvd yet. bought a hindi horror movie instead, and a love film because the cute shop keeper recommended it. we've bought malayalam films earlier. they're cool, because the same slightly round guy with enormous moustache seems to be the star in all of them. and they make lovely exagerated eye movements, and the music and faces and zooming are all so exagerated it's no problem following the story even though you don't undstand a single word of malayalam. i love watching music videos on tv at nights :)

went for a sunday strall in the city. walked by a tatooist who had just tattooed a man sitting on a piece of cardboard on the side walk. the man with the new tattoo was very upset. i wonder if there was something wrong with it. sat for a while in the park, looking at dressed up sunday people walking by or sitting down eating sunday nuts. they paint their babies in a very funny way, with enormous black eyebrows and black under their eyes. a baby sitting next to us also had big black dots here and there. maybe whe wouldn't keep still during her make up :) the little bigger girls have nicer make up, but they keep painting their eye brows so they look enormous. cool.

back at the hotel the conference guruswer ehaving a ceremony on the beach. the über guru was sitting in front of a beautiful elephant, and the minor gurus were being phtotographed one at the time together with them. the über guru must have seen the love in my eyes, cause when the photography session was over he went up to me and said go ahead, nodding his head towards the elephant. he lloked youngish, and was very heavily chained. he didn't look too happy, and kept nodding his head up and down. i really hope the chains were just very temporary, and that he is normally a very happy and well looked after elephant... we left for a while to buy something to drink, and when we came back he had gone. hopefully to take a nice long bath and then finish off with an evening snack of bananas. i was a bit disappointed with the gurus. according to my prejudices people with very long beards and long white dresses should be nice and loving, not wanting poor little elephants be dressed up in gold and chains just to have a nice background for their final photo. stupid fake gurus!

when we got out after showering and packing and cooling off under the fan the gurus were watching a kathakali show at the beach. we sat down in the sand and watched too. most of the gurus left ealy, and the remaining few talked on their cellphones. when the show was over there were only maybe 10 gurus left. my prejudices against gurus have nog changed, from thinking they are nicer and kinder than ordinary people to think that they are just as rude and selfish as the rest of us, only with longer beards and dresses.

monday 04/02-08
watched th fishermen work at our beach, and talked to some teenagers who asked me about the political system in sweden. when the husband came back from being at another beach we walked together to a third beach and bathed, and looked at other fishermen. they had a good catch today too, and kep on fishing for hours and hours. we've never seen them fish for so long during the week we've stayed here. saw a weird long necked bird eating crabs.

petted the baby goat. said good bye to the internet guy and some other people. checked out. read by the pool for a while. went to buy a bed cover for the grand mother. had a dhara or something at the ayurvedic centre. it's supposed to be good for treating head aches and insomnia. lay down on a wooded bed. i managed to talk the girl out of giving me a full body massage, and only massage the face, head and neck. after the massage the fun part began. a big kettle was hanging above my head, the kettle was filled with luke warm oil, that ran through a whole in the bottom and onto my forehead. very comfortable. several litres of luke warm oil than poured into my hair. in case you didn't know, i can tell you that washing several litres of oil out of your hair is not very easy. first the ayurvedic lady washed the hair with a herbal shampoo that looked like grean porridge and smelled horrible. then she washed it with a bucket of ordinary shampoo. than i washed it with a bucket of ordinary shampoo. a few hours later i washed it again, but this time only with an ordinary bottle of shampoo. and the hair was still unbelievably oily.

bought some chocolate and went to kader and sanooja to say goodbye. met the most beautiful dog at the beach. cuddled with him for a while. had a 7up and said goodbye to the sea and the sand. watched it grow dark, and said good bye to all the fishing boats that light up the night like a floating city.

at 19.40 a bus took us to the airport. three hours to get through security check. but that was good, i think waiting at airports is boring. bought sandwiches and juice at a kiosk while we were waiting in line. instead of change (which was quite a lot of money, half a day's pay) we got a little chocolate bar and a chewing gum and the explanation "balance". we were a bit surprised and a bit amused, so we only told them to at least give us a bigger chocolate bar. at another kiosk in another line when i bought something to drink the boy behind the counter was about to give me my change back when his boss got hold of his hand and told me that sorry, no change. and another boy gave me a chocolate bar and said balance. balance is cool. if i ever get a shop i'll remember to use it.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
sunday 27/1-08
went to cochin. driving trhough the lower parts of kerala's mountains is liking travelling through the pictures in the jungle book i had when i was a child. it's so grean, and wild, and tangled. love love love!

a very thin guide showed us chinese fishing nets, which seemed very inefficient, but as they still use them after millions of millions (or something) of years i suppose they must be better than they seemed. we also lloked at a museum that used to be home for the maharadjas, and the first mosque in the british commonwealth. now it only had 17 members.

Had an hour to shop in the jew streets. a fantastic place with second hand shops and flee markets and fake antiquities everywhere. (un)fortunately (?) we had most of our money in our suitcase. but i found a couple of brass sighthounds. met a couple from our group and borrowed some money, so i could buy one of them. the busdriver told me about a sighthound breed called "rajapalem" or something, that is bread in tamil nadu. he advised me not to buy one though, because the breed was not good anymore :)

the hotel looks luxurious, but has a very strong smell of mould. from our window we had a view over big new apartment blocks, stores, a refuse dump and a circus. decided to go and have a look at the circus. i expected to see animals to feel sorry for. when passing the refuse dump we noticed that people and children and babies were living among the garbage. the children came running when they saw us, begging for food and pointing at their mouths, running to get babies to hold up in front of us, touching us, laughing, and begging begging begging. it was horrible to know that they were living right outside our luxury hotel, and not even being able to invite them all in for the dinner i didn't even want. on the road beside the dump parents with little girls in princess dresses and boys in t-shirts and jeans were passing by, on their way to and fro the circus. i wonder what it does to the princess girls' minds, growing up with dirty begging children in the garbage dumps as a normality.

in the evening men from cochin cultural centre performed a short version of kathakali at our hotel. kathakali is cool. have to learn more about that. they call it a dance, but i experienced it more as a complicated language.

monday 28/1-08
went to our hotel in kovalam, where we're going to stay a week. our first room was luxurious looking, but smelled of mould (have we heard that one before) and had a not so beautiful view over the sewage. so we changed to a smaller room with lower standards, with a stronger smell of mould and the addition of old cigarette smoke, dysfunctional lamps, only cold water and a door that sometimes wouldn't lock, but with a wonderful view over the sea. and we don't see any poor people from here. so we can sit on our little (!!) balcony (with the door shut, to keep the smell inside) and look at the view and pretend we're on a luxury vacation when we feel like it. and anyway, as long as i have toilet paper i feel like a king :)

tuesday 29/1-08
went for walks. bathed in pools and in the sea. the waves are enormous. almost a bit scary (another sigh of me getting old). when the water is being sucked out to form new waves it is so strong i sometimes fall. and then when the wave comes in it hits you so hard you fall over again. ten years ago i would have loved it! now i think it's a bit scary.

there's some kind of festival going on in the village/town next to the hotel. the drum and shout and sing all day and night, and visit the temple and throw flowers, and boil rice over millions of little fires. i think they said the party was going on for a week.

talked to a man at the hotel who is studying "beach tourism". he owns 500 acres of land in munnar, and is going to start farming tourism. he asked if i would help him with his broshures later on. maybe he was just eing polite, but it would be fun to help.

went to samudra junction to try the internet. it didn't work, so we stayed and wathed the first song of an outdoor concert that was part of the festival. looots of people, from babies to oldies. women and men watched separately, so we stood somewhere in between.

wednesday 30/1-08
read under an umbrella by the pool. the hotel manager asked us to come back around 6 in the evening, to be photographed for the hotel's new website.

walked around a bit after lunch. met a goat and her new born baby. bathed in the sea. scraped my knees and elbows in the sand.

read some more at the hotel, and wathed them prepare for the photo shoot. were photographed. maybe ythe whole world will see us in the background by the pool one day :)

it's cool that the everyday life is going on right in the middle of the tourists and the hotels. fishermen pull of their nets in the mornings, people take their goats out to find food, and take them back home again in the evenings, and there always seems to be one kind of religious ceremony or other going on.

thursday 31/1-08
took the bus to thiruvanantapuram. walking to the bus stop we saw little old women making gravel out of stones, to repair the road. they used hammers and hit the stones into smaller pieces.

at the bus men sat in front, women in the back. only one woman on the men's side. at first i was standing right inside the non-existing door. didn't feel scary, but i doubt it would be allowed in a swedis bus. later i was squeezed down between some women. when we were taking a turn we met some kind of machine working on the road, so the bus went very close to the edge of the road to let it pass. taking that turn was the second time this trip i was convinced we were going to die. the road side ended in a steep slope down to a pond. and the left side of the bus was just about off the road. and the busdriver kept on driving, one short jump at the time. if i wasn't stuck between a big womand with a big bag and the wall i would have jumped out. what made it extra scary was that several of the other passengeres looked nervous too, and either went up the the left window to check how close we were to falling off, or leaving their seets to get to the other side of the bus, to keep most of the weight on the road. but once we had survived the turn the big woman next to me told everyone else how frightened i had been, and they all laughed at me and pretended they didn't find it scary at all :)

the bus took a very small (and quite long) road to the city. in the middle of the road was a thin stripe of asphalt, so that only one set of tyres could be on the asphalt, and the other had to drive in the dry mud. i wonder why they bothered to asphalt at all? maybe it has something to do with the rainy period, and not getting stuck in the mud...

the city was hectic and hot. i still haven't seen a single coca cola ad in this country, and thiruvanantapuram is the capital of kerala. we wondered if we'd see mc donalds in the city. we didn't. nor any other "westernised" resaturant. the restaurants serve rice and spicy stews on banana leaves, that you eat with your right hand. my right hand was dorty, and even the husband wanted to wash before eating, so we waited with lunch til we got back.

found a big shop on four floors, with ac and fixed prices. stayed a long time, to relax, cool off and look at things in peace and quiet. apart from "big bazar" we found no shops that looked like they do at home. the rest of the city was like a gigantic market place. you can find anything in the streets of thiruvanantapuram!

took a rikshaw back. spent the afternoon reading at the beack. after traveling a lot last week it feels nice to just relax a while.

friday 01/02-08
we were going to lighhouse beach , but the man with 500 acres in munnar asked us to stay, so i could have a free beauty treatment and be photographed for the new webpage. so we stayed and read by the pool. as it was cloudy and windy we thought that would be ok. later we noticed it wasn't. we were both red.

had my pictures taken in the beauty parlor. strongly doubt they will look even the slightest bit ok. had an ugly towel thing around my head to keep my hair away, and another dirty towel to keep my clothes from being stained. hopefully they focues on the beautyfying woman :) whatever it was she put in my face it made my forehead sting and itch. she said i could come back anytime i wanted for another free treatment. don't know if i will... but maybe it would be rude not to.

there was a guru conference going on at the hotel, with lots of thin men with very long bears and long dressed walking around looking cool.

walked to lighthouse beach after lunch. did some chopping. bought tailor made clown trousers. first time of my life i buy something especially made for me :)

had dinner at a restaurant by the sea. they didn't have permission to serve alcohol, so they served it in tea cups and placed the opened bottles on the floor. i don't like beer, but if i did i would definitely want it from a tea cup. talked to a nice couple from switzerland. the woman was originally from sweden. this was their ninth trip to india, but they would never come here again. it had become too dirty.

walked back in darkness. hit my toe in a rock. it started to bleed :( met a litter of pups walking around by the rocks. bought coca cola, water and beer from a little old woman. we only bought the beer because she asked us whisperingly if we wanted one, and we got it very well wrapped up in newspaper.

my very short and limited experience of kerala so far is that it's a mixture of everything.
smells of shit, dirty water, food, flowers, perfumes, rot, fish
sounds of horns, traffic, music, drums, talking, birds, and here in kovalam the waves from the arabic sea
jews, hindus, christians, sikhs, muslims
beggars, big modern flashy hotels, garbage, goats, cars, buses, rikshaws, latrines, long colourful sarees, westernised youngsters with jeans, hand painted trucks, elephants, cows, children with bells around their feet
i love it all
i'm erika, and this is my own little blog. i'm married to tommy, and we have two cats named galdor and kala bhalu, a puppy dog named sasoh and a few chicks. we also have five angels: love, arne, anton, bob and teo.

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