24-02-04

LEAVING VARKALA

When the rooster crows at the break of dawn,
look out your window and I'll be gone
here is the reason I am traveling on...
don't think twice, it's ALL right
 

 
 
 
'It doesn't get any better than this' was the catchy line from a German tourist describing Varkala that brought me here.
'Now is good and after Varkala there is better just coming' is the line from my German friend Dorothee that makes leaving easy.
 
I feel good and ready to leave Varkala. She has been very very good to me and now I am looking forward to Auroville and Bangkok.
First it's a short train ride to Trivandrum, Kerala's big city station - it's got more than two platforms. With an hour lay over I walk into the station's vegetarian dining room, drop my backpack at a table and walk up to the serving station to check out the offerings. In body language I am told that a server will come to the table to take my order.
Sitting down I realize the 'changes' in my behaviour after three months in India. I am no longer worried as I used to be when I first arrived in Asia  about usual suspect tramps and thieves lurking in dark corners eyeing my bags. I feel secure among the Indian people. Further more, in this restaurant where nothing is written in English, except a big sign 'Cooking medium: refined sunflower oil'  I am totally comfortable ordering a good meal: in this case poori masala with yogurt and tea. Poori is a chapati that's quickly fried in 'refined sunflower' oil.  Half a dozen servers are hovering over me for the privilege of pampering this 'western tourist' and I dig the attention. There are two tourists in this place for about 20 Indians; mostly because this is the kind of place that lacks visual appeal - it's got the unintended industrial look...but as I have learned, in these places the food is usually quite good, as it is again today. Back in Pokhara I saw a sign 'Feeling good starts with good food. I add to that 'Good food starts with feeling good', ay.

$$$

For this trip, I have reserved in the 2A/AC coach to Vilupuram, where I am to make my connection to Pondicherry, just minutes from Auroville.  The luxury of personal space ( a very rare commodity ) comes at a price in India - in this case a quite affordable 400 roepies over 3A/AC. There are two berths on each side of the compartment instead of three. A good call. I notice immediately  that the coach is a lot cleaner than the 3A/AC I rode from Goa to Varkala, but more importantly, the coach stays below half full all the way to Vilupuram. With 'room to move' I settle in for another moonlight ride down the railroad.
The train leaves on time at 4pm, and stays on schedule. From the controller I learn that at 5am I may expect a wake up call from the coach attendant. Since I am  traveling without alarmclock, ahem, I was hoping for something like that. In the quiet AC coach the night rolls away. By 4am my mind sounds the internal wake up call. Arriving in a dark Vilupuram at 5.30am,  I go looking for a connection to Pondi. Station master tells me there is only the bus ... they're working on the railroad. Catch the bus at 6am ... packed like sardines, SRO for the one hour ride into Pondi. Watch sunrise from the bus. At the busstation I grab some idli and curd for breakfast and then the tuktuk to Gokulam community in Auroville: it's 8am.









08:48 Gepost door pieter | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

De commentaren zijn gesloten.