|One of the downsides of a lengthy afternoon siesta is when you should be going to bed to sleep you can't! So at midnight we were still reading and watching TV and the corruption debate was still on in the Indian parliament. And it makes Cameron/Milliband discussions look very tame in comparison. Shouting, throwing papers, storming round the seats - most amusing though was when the speaker shouted National Song National Song and they all stopped, stood up and sang! Not sure Bercow would have the same reaction if he shouted National Anthem!
Making the most of the opportunity for lie-ins - if you've read the itinerary you will see a few early starts which in Gap speak means leave the hotel at 7am, and one very early start - not sure what that will be! So we left this morning at 10.30 after breakfast at 9. No gym this morning- saving that for when we get back.
Our first challenge on leaving the hotel was to cross the road - imagine a two line motorway with central reservation and you might get the picture. Fortunately tuktuks don't go too fast so we could dodge them and the trucks fairly easily!
We'd passed what looked like a shopping centre/cinema complex further up the road so we walked down to check it out. Not all shops were open and it also houses Kerelas only ten pin bowling alley - all 4 lanes of it - cute! At the bottom was a supermarket. Sad I know but whenever we are away especially in countries with very different food to at home, we like to browse the food shops. International food here was dried pasta, pringles, maple syrup and olive oil - literally two shelf units by 8 shelves high and that was all that was on them. Horlicks is a big sell here too - again shelves of it! Huge vats of rice and other dried goods to select from, or you could buy a sack full of rice. No alcohol though. We've decided to come back later to watch a film.
We got a tuktuk outside and asked to go to the main jetty for the ferry and pointed on the map. Even though the driver said yes, but shook his head (this is a common occurrence - words different to the head gesture - most disconcerting!) and we set off in the right direction, we obviously hadn't communicated that well. Turns out he took us to the ferry area of Matancherry - which is where we were going to get the ferry to! Still i had wanted a trip round by tuk tuk so I guess we killed two birds with one trip! Per km it was also probably the cheapest tuktuk trip - £4 for about 40mins!
We had a wander along the streets by the coast, then had lunch - veg masala and veg bhuna. More street wandering, and more smiling at the kids - we do seem to be a novelty - in the restaurant i think we had our photo taken! As we'd checked out the film times we decided to head back to the hotel (another tuktuk!).
On arrival at the hotel we saw what the road outside can be like- a small red car had clearly been shunted somehow and was "parked" slightly on the verge but still in the carriageway but across rather than in the direction of the traffic. It had landed somehow on top of a concrete pillar as well so was perched very precariously!
We walked back down to Gold Souk Grande our newly found shopping centre. Surprisingly we had to walk through a scanner to get into the cinema screen and my bag was checked and I don't think they were looking for contraband popcorn! Our film of choice was Don 2 - Return of the King - for £2 each. Bollywood star in James Bond meets Gene Hunt ( Ashes to Ashes) baddy with a good heart action movie. We thought it might be in English, and some bits were - especially when they spoke to the Germans and Italians. Also there are clearly some words which don't translate well - such as hacking the central security system of the German bank! So whilst we didn't understand the dialogue we got the gist of the movie and even some of the really cheesy jokes - which were in English. Even when the lead actor was schmoozing the beautiful female cop it was interspersed with "sweetheart". Old style cinema with red velour panels on the walls, and the expensive seats at the back were DFS style armchairs in grey velour. After an hour into the film the lights came up for the - intermission! As we didn't know how long it would be we stayed in our seats, and then we had a waiter who took our order and brought coffee just as the film restarted 10mins later! Top film with a bit of modern Bollywood dancing and singing in the middle. Fast food court Indian tea at the cinema - I had chicken tikka paratha - a kind of enchilada type meal, and G had chickpea curry. We followed this with ice-cream in the shopping centre watching the "generation game" style competition with couples dancing with an orange between their heads - not sure why! As we headed back to the hotel (tuktuk this time - safer in the dark) there were fireworks near the cinema - maybe a practise for tomorrow night. All in all - fab afternoon - I know it's not a typical Indian cultural activity but it seems to be a key part of Indian life - it was packed and we were the only Westerners!
Sunny and c32 degrees today - and missed the gym - oh well always tomorrow.....