I revel in the privilege of breaking school rules in the final sentence of this post, I use the word ‘and’ at the beginning of it.

Was it yesterday when I said it was easy to wake up early every morning? Well, even though I have no belief in any such concept as ‘jinxing’ there’s got to be something –at least psychological– in it. This morning was pretty horrifically difficult on the tiredness front. But feeling weakness is good, we are fallible beings.

We got one of these dongles from a mobile phone company which gives you internet, it’s a modest amount per-month. They call it ‘mi-fi’ and it sits in yer house and sends you teh internets through the air. When we first got it, speeds were high, but by now, perhaps in a cruel metaphor to how my week has gone fatigue-wise, it has become too slow and too hairy. Of course in the same way as I don’t believe in jinxing, I don’t believe in Murphy’s Law, but when I called up the makers of this so-called ‘mi-fi’ the internet worked well. Always the way. I reckon they press a button which makes it go faster when you complain, to scare you off. The calling experience was pretty amazing. I really really really don’t want to let myself become a “bloomin’ call centres” obsessive. I think it’s brilliant that I can talk to someone in India from my sofa. Anyway, that’s not what I want to talk about, I want to talk about how amazing it is that they can control my computer. I press a button and suddenly –from India– she is moving my mouse/cursor and typing in test words like ‘fasceboolk’ on Google to see the speed of my internet. That impressed me. And scared me a bit.

Special Skills

Yes, you haven’t heard wrong, the papers weren’t lying, I made my first curry last night. I felt a little bit like a clichéd British middle class twentysomething as it was a Jamie Oliver recipe, but it tasted nice nevertheless. It was a vegetable vindaloo with chicken things on skewers on the side. I really enjoy cooking stuff when I have to go out and buy ingredients, often ingredients I’ve never used like garam masala and dried chilli. It turned out really tasty, and our friends who we had round claimed to enjoy it too. I thought it would be hotter than it was, but thankfully it was only pleasantly spicy. I also learned that vindaloo has Portuguese origination due to the fact that the colonised Goa (the monsters, going into India and claiming it) and introduced vinegar – thus the ‘vin’ and the ‘loo’ is garlic apparently, but ‘aloo’ is potato in Hindi too so I don’t know what to believe any more.

We finished the evening off with the classic Wii game New Super Mario Bros. I am generally abysmal at that game because I just enjoy running fast until I die. My fellow competitor/team mate is a sports scientist (well that’s what he studied at university anyway) and he enjoyed doing P.E. type jokes like picking me up and throwing me in lava as well as having innumerably more lives than me. Pride cameth before his downfall though as all my failures had led me to be very cautious for the final round whereas his cocky gameplay led him to die, lots. I finished off my gloating by displaying what I think is my best skill, tuning into FM Radio stations. The party trick consists of me asking guests to name any FM radio station and I am able to tune into them in a matter of milliseconds. Trust me, I’m good. “Classic FM?” BAM SMACK…VAUGHAN-WILLIAMS. “Radio 2?” WHIZZ ZOOM…DIRE STRAITS. “Radio 4?” SCHWAT WALLA… DESERT ISLAND DISCS. INSTANT. MAVERICK.

“I didn’t ask for your life story.” #4 – Foil

(BTW I know I haven’t blogged for at least a week which is never a good thing. I have been keeping myself busy with an interview or two, an 80th birthday party, a concert and other things.)

_____________

Today I’m going to write shortly about foil. Why? Because I can.

  • Often, but not always, school packed lunch sandwiches were wrapped in foil. I always had ham and ketchup in my sarnies, if you’re interested. I liked it when they were wrapped in that beautiful thin sheet of aluminium, because that meant after eating I could fashion a sword/dagger out of it. I would pretend I was Robin Hood or Peter Pan or just a cool guy with a shiny knife.

  • Foil is also good when you’re bored, especially if you’ve got a Kit Kat handy. Firstly take off the bright red paper cover, then you are left with a foil covered block of chocolate. I would press down the foil on the top so you can see the imprint of where it says “Have a break / Have a Kit Kat”. Sometimes I would press my fingernail into the middle groove and rip the foil down the middle and snap at this point, but that wasn’t really my scene. I usually tried not to rip the foil as I slowly undressed my chocolate, then laid the foil out flat. Now obviously the joy of a Kit Kat is in the eating:
  1. Snap it in half.
  2. Bite the chocolate off each end.
  3. Now the hard & messy bit. Nibble off the chocolate from the sides and the top, until you are left with two bits of wafer.
  4. Go round everyone in your class shouting “Look! Look what I done!”

  • Running your fingernail across the foil, until it becomes all flat and creaseless, is also very satisfying.
  • I remember the 1998 Blue Peter ‘New Future Appeal’ for Schools in Mozambique. One had to collect all sorts of aluminium, cans and foil and stuff; that was cool.

Talking of Blue Peter appeals, I remember back in 1996 when they did the ‘LEPRA Leprosy: Brazil & India Appeal’, I had a Bring & Buy Sale in my garden. I felt really important.

Check out that totaliser!

I really liked Stuart Miles, he was cool.

  • Has anyone had that thing when you put some foil in your mouth (for some stupid reason) and if you have fillings (for some stupid reason) you get the strangest tingling sensation in your jaw. Very strange.
  • Foil was introduced to Chocolate Advent Calenders about halfway through my childhood, it used to be a thing only the expensive ones had, like an extra gimmick which meant you had to pay an extra quid for it. They all have it now.

That’s about all I got. This is quite interesting:

Sibyl’s Travelblog – Issue 17

After recovering (slightly) from our sickness in Agra we made our way to Khujaraho, a small town half way to Varanasi. It wasn’t an easy journey as we had to get the train to Satna first and then get on a bus to Khujarho. It took about 10 hours. Long ting.

We met a gorgeous little Indian girl on the bus though who had incredible English for her age. She had her baby brother with her too, who decided he would only be happy if his mum lifted him up so he could see us; his poor mum! His mum couldn’t speak English but the little girl managed to keep up a conversation with us for a few hours. The entire bus listening to our conversation of course. She tried to give us her bracelet which was really sweet but I wouldn’t let her. She also asked about currency in England and if we had dollars – she didn’t know what pounds were when we told her so we gave her a coin Lucy had in her purse. She and the entire bus (it got passed around) were fascinated by it for a long time!

We spent a few nights in Khujaraho. We visited some of the karma sutra temples around our hotel which is what the region is famous for. On the last day we also went on an Indian safari type thing which is what we had come to the region to do! We wanted to go elephant riding at the national park because we thought they would be kinder to them. The elephants on the street can be treated so cruelly that we decided to make the trip out to Panna National Park. First we drove around looking for tigers, leopards, panthers, crocodiles and peacocks. It was like something out of the Jungle Book! We got to see a leopard which was very exciting and some crocodiles. There were deer everywhere but there were no panthers or tigers that day unfortunately – sightings are very rare.

When it came to the elephant riding (what we had been waiting for) it turned out we couldn’t do it as it rained the day before and the ground wasn’t stable enough for the elephants to walk on. Instead they let us get very close to them and I was happy enough with that. I think they are actually very scary creatures when you are next to them! They are so big; you realise how easy it would be for them to step on you. We were with a mummy and baby elephant and the mummy was very protective (understandably)! The little one kept picking up dirt with it trunk and chucking it at the keeper. The poor thing was chained because apparently it could get aggressive but at least the mum was able to walk around freely and get to her baby if she needed to. It was really sad though – it reminded me of Dumbo.


There were some very strange men working at our hotel in Khujaraho that decided to attach themselves to me and Lucy while we were there so we were glad to leave. Men in India almost decide that you belong to them and won’t leave you alone. We were constantly asking people to stop taking photos of us or declining to have our photos taken with groups of men – often they would ignore this request and follow you around anyway. It could be quite intimidating. Women would even hand us their babies and take photos.

We got the train to Varanasi – which was another 12 hour journey. The trains are possibly the most Indian experience you can get while you are there. You decide to be in seated (which is very crowded and you are sitting up all night), in sleeper (you have a bed but it’s not gauranteed so you can end up sharing it with lots of other people) or in upper class sleeper (a little bit nicer and they are actually reserved for you!) We got one sleeper train while we were in India – not pleasant at all and two upper class sleepers. It was all an amazing experience (looking back on it). Finding your train, getting on the right carriage and then getting off at the right stop is all adventure enough. You also have to avoid the man going around attacking people’s foreheads with red paint and then demanding money. Throughout the night there are chai men walking up and down the train shouted ‘chaaaiiii’ in a very deep voice – quite difficult to sleep through and luggage carrying men with the turbans wrapped around their heads (to balance the luggage on) also patrol the trains and will help you with your bags if you pay them enough.

We arrived in Varanasi from Khujaraho very early in the morning. It is a maze of small, dark, dirty alleyways surrounding the Ganges (the river that runs through India that is considered holy by Hindus.) It is a very interesting place but quite seedy and dark in places and apparently full of crime. I tried to find a church on the Sunday but couldn’t find a thing! I do hope that some Christian work is going on in Varanasi.

We stayed in a nice hotel overlooking the river and because we arrived so early in the morning we were able to watch the sunrise over the river! It was beautiful. It was horrifying how many people bathed in the Ganges because they believe it is holy (according to Wikipedia) 2,000,000 people ritually bathe in the water daily while the bacteria count is 120 times more than is considered safe!

We caught another train back to Delhi. We got to the train station by cycle rickshaw by a man that kept pretending he was a helicopter while not looking at oncoming traffic. Very scary! We stayed in the Tibetan area in Delhi for a few days before flying out. It was a very different experience of India. For a start everyone was Tibetan, it is tiny and there are ‘free tibet’ signs everywhere. Even the TV in our room had the message flash up before it turned on. We experienced a few joys of a major Indian city while we were there such as McDonalds, KFC and Connault Place which is full of western shops! Yay! After a month it was a welcome break.

We left for the airport at 4am to fly to Australia. In true Indian style the roads were as noisy and scary as in the middle of the day! It was a complete shock when we arrived in Melbourne at 6 in the morning and the roads were deadly silent (no crazy rickshaw drivers swerving and beeping.) It took me a while to realise what the difference was – it was quite unnerving at first. We got through customs fine too – a relief! I was worried because we were coming from India and they are so strict with what you can bring in to Australia (there is a whole show on customs) and dirt on your shoes (to protect their wildlife) I thought they might decide to fumagate us, but we survived.

Sibyl’s Travelblog – Issue 16

It begins with sickness and it ends with sickness…

My last blog ended in Goa as I was about to get our second night bus in India to Bangalore. Since then Lucy and I have been on more than eight, twelve hour night buses! We have fit in a lot of traveling. The night bus to Bangalore didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped. Lucy and I both got food poisoning and were very ill the whole way – we were not prepared in the slightest! The ride was extremely bumpy and we had ‘reclining’ seats that didn’t recline because we were sat up against the back of the bus. It was not a pleasant journey.

Once we arrived in Bangalore we went straight to a hotel. Although going ‘straight to a hotel’ in India is easier said than done. It was more like after haggling a price for two minutes and trying to explain to our driver where we wanted to go and that we didn’t want to go to a different ‘better’ hotel we wanted to go to this one in the ‘must be followed always’ guidebook and after wedging our backpacks into the tiny rickshaw (which were very much like the Tuk Tuks in Thailand – little 3 wheeled cars that you drive with a steering wheel type thing in between your legs) and squeezing in ourselves we were dropped at our hotel. It was actually a 5 minute walk away and we had no idea where we were going. We did eventually make it though and all that is very normal practice when traveling in India. Nothing is ever very easy and it feels a lot harder when you are ill.

The hotel people were very nice when we arrived, and the room was clean with a TV and everything! We even had towels and hot water – complete luxury! We had to fill out loads of paper-work before we could have the room though; it seems everything in India has some sort of bureaucracy involved. After a day in bed sleeping, watching TV and drinking sprite we felt well enough to go to the bus station and book tickets for a bus to Chennai the next day. We were very wary of buses at this point but when we caught the bus the next day it was very nice and they gave us sick bags (like they knew!) except we weren’t sick again fortunately. We arrived in Chennai very late in the evening. He then demanded a lot of money from us because he had taken us to the wrong place and had to drive us somewhere else, he got quite scary; so we gave him the money – it just wasn’t worth it!

I found Chennai a hard city to navigate because it is so spread out and huge. Rickshaw drivers seemed a lot meaner too. We only spent one night before we got another bus (I told you we did a lot of traveling) to Pondicherry. We thought we would have to get a train so went to book a ticket and the guy at the office (despite having a huge cue) invited us into his office and went through everything with us telling us it was better to get a bus. The entire office was staring at us and laughing and so were the cue of Indians outside the glass. You definitely get special attention as a westerner! A lot of the time it is unwanted attention though. We are constantly stared at everywhere we go no matter what you wear. Western men don’t seem to experience it as badly as we have. I bought Indian clothes thinking it might help but I think I get stared at more when I wear them and people walk past you making comments like ‘ooh, like Indian.’ We have been told several times that Lucy ‘looks like English’ but my face is Indian. Hmm…

I am glad we got out of the city because Pondicherry was beautiful. It’s a little town that used to be an old French colonial base and it felt more like the south of France than India. We didn’t really do much though which I was very happy about, we generally just relaxed in the roof top cafés and gardens that they had everywhere.

We had the most embarrassing experience when we arrived. We agreed a rickshaw price once we got off the bus to take us to our hotel. He told us to wait while he brought the rickshaw to us. He was quite an old man! To our horror when he came back he was pushing a cycle rickshaw! We had failed to notice that he had left out the ‘auto’ when he said rickshaw. We have never made that mistake again! We tried to protest (it was tiny and it would have been heavy with just us let alone with our backpacks as well) but he squeezed us on anyway. The next half an hour was the most embarrassing on my life. He was panting and sweating and had to get off several times to push because he couldn’t cycle any longer. We got off way before our hotel because we couldn’t deal with putting him through it anymore, or the humilation (everyone was staring at us horrified at what we were putting the old man through!) He overcharged us loads though so at least he got something out of it.

We stayed for two nights in an Ashram hostel. It was a strange place; I think Ashram might be a religion but it is centered about meditation and yoga. The hostel had a nice garden for this purpose but I only ever saw little kids running around and people sunbathing. It was very tranquil though as there was a sign saying to leave your voice, ego and shoes outside!

I met a very cute little french girl who was probably about 5 years old running around the garden. She decided that I was her best friend although I couldn’t understand anything she was saying (it’s amazing how much you can communicate through body language) She told her parents to go away, so they walked around the garden while she skipped around me collecting leaves and flowers to give me and putting on dance shows. She was so free! It was so lovely to see. She was such a hippie child, she had her hair cut very short and in the middle of her dancing and jumping around she would go into a yoga position. It was so funny! I ended up doing rolly pollys with her to her delight and probably Lucy’s horror. When it was time for me and Lucy to leave she burst into tears! I felt so awful. Her mum explained that she wanted to play with me again but they were leaving the next day. She was only consoled by me and her mum giving her lots of hugs. She was happy by the time she left of course!

Lucy and I had some lovely western dinners for the first time in India – steak and chips one night and pizza the next! The promenade was lovely and we found the best rooftop garden cafe with ice tea and fresh bread with humus and potato salad! Yum. By this point both me and Lucy needed a break from Indian food. We also found a great book fair where we stocked up on our book collection. We got the bus back to Chennai (because we had booked a flight from Chennai to Delhi to save a 3 day train journey) The bus that ran between Pondicherry and Chennai was a public service so it was very cheap but extremely squished and hot. All the seats in India are plastic so you end up with massive sweat patches on your bottom!

To give myself something to do on long bus journeys I have been thinking about and planning mine and Rhodri’s wedding in September. I am getting so excited! So amazing to think that there is only 6 months to go. I looked on Gary’s blog just now and the countdown was on 169 days! (131 by now! – Ed) Woah :) I am starting to realise that it will probably be quite stressful when I get back. Thankfully I have Katy, Rhodri and Eleri on the job back at home though. I feel so bad leaving it all to them! So so thankful though, not sure it would be possible to organise otherwise.

We had a day to sight see in Chennai before we flew out so we went to the fort but it wasn’t very impressive really. There was an interesting museum with some artifacts from colonial rule though. I didn’t really like Chennai that much though. We met a great Rickshaw driver on the way back from the museum though. He spoke good English, knew where he was going and let us decide the price! We got him to take us to the airport and he charged us so much less than the guide book said it should cost that we had to give him extra just for being the only person that was nice to us and didn’t try to force money out of us. Being hassled and asked for money by beggars gets very overwhelming, tedious and depressing at times. It was a nice break to have a good driver.

Our flight went smoothly – it landed in Hyderabad first picked up more people and went on to Delhi. It was funny – felt like taxi or bus service rather than a flight. I remember having the same experience in Tanzania with the planes – but they were tiny! We arrived in Delhi at 12 pm. We knew there was a train going to Jaipur leaving at 4:30 am so we felt it was pointless to get a hotel for that time – we were also scared about being in a city so late at night so we slept or more didn’t sleep in the airport. We managed to get the 4:30 am train and it was our first experience of a train in India! We only managed to get sleeper seats (you don’t get a reserved bed so you can end up sitting with lots of other people on one bed) but it wasn’t too bad because we hoisted our backpacks onto the top bunks and no one bothered us there! It was a bit of a cramped journey though but it was short in comparison to what we had been doing – only 8 hours! It was quite scary because we didn’t know when to get off as Jaipur was not the last stop – thankfully we asked someone just in time and we had to hurl our bags of the train before it started moving. Scary stuff.

As usual, as soon as we were off the train in Jaipur we were attacked by the rickshaw drivers and food sellers. One particular guy took us out to his (what we thought was a rickshaw) but actually turned out to be a taxi. Phew! He was also very nice and unusually not creepy. He didn’t stare and offered to take us to a nice hotel to just have a look which he did. The hotel was beautiful! It looked like a big house and the rooms were lovely and clean and got cleaned everyday! There was also a beautiful garden with a restaurant and puppet show. He also offered to take us around Jaipur for the next couple of days as our tour guide and driver. Which we also did starting that day! Over the next couple of days we got henna done on our hands and went to the city palace and fort and got taken to some factories where they made beautiful fabric and more money goes to the workers. We bought too much but it was lots of fun. Jaipur was also our first experience of the north and it was a shock how different it was! It is definitely cooler in the north which was a welcome change! Jaipur was a desert region and it reminded me of what I would expect Morocco to look like and there was elephants and camels everywhere! So cool!

After Jaipur we got a night bus to Udaipur to see Chloe! It was so lovely to see her after 7 months! I can’t believe how long it had been. It has made me miss her more though and miss home more! It was lovely to see her parents too – and just to have parents around; people that are older and look after you. We did loads of sightseeing because they are more organised and motivated than me and Lucy usually are. The city palace was amazing!

After two nights there we got a night bus to Agra. Unfortunately we were completely ripped off and told the bus was AC when it wasn’t! We had paid more than double what all the other Indians on the bus had paid. It was an awful nights sleep! I think I had started to feel ill before we got on the bus but by very early on in the journey I was feverish. I woke up at on point in the night thinking it was raining but it was someone throwing up out of their window. I won’t go into more details but after that it was an extremely hot journey because we couldn’t have the window open. Lucy was freezing apparently so I guess it was just me being ill. We had planned to spend no time in Agra (the only reason we were going was to see the Taj Mahal.) We wanted to arrive in the morning, see the Taj and then get a night bus to Khujaraho. Instead we ended up staying 2 nights because we were so ill (feverish, sick and fluey) only managing to scape ourselves out of bed on the last day to see the Taj. It was very beautiful (of course) so worth the pain!

Sibyl’s Travelblog – Issue 15

India

Our flight from Bangkok went smoothly and Lucy and I arrived in India at 10 PM on Sunday the 1st of March. We only made it out of the airport at 11:30 though after a huge passport control line and a massive wait for luggage. We got into town at 12:30 pm. Not a great time to arrive in India really. We got a very sweet Korean girl dumped on us at the airport by a Korean business man. He asked us if we were traveling and if we could take her to a hostel. SuJung 임수정 or Natalie is traveling alone in India for 3 months. We shared a taxi into town and ended up spending the next 9 days with her. Her English was not very good so communication has been hard (not that we can speak Korean – she is amazing for having two languages) – but she did improve loads over the 9 days.


Lucy and I were exhausted by the time we got to Colaba (central Bombay) as it was three in the morning our time. We had made a reservation at the Salvation Army hostel (tramps! – Ed.) but by the time we arrived they were closed and said they were full. It was 1 am when we finally found a hotel; it was very expensive for what it was, but we couldn’t really turn it down. The time spent wondering around that night was enough to have give us a bad impression of India! It had also given a bird enough time to single me out and poo on my bag. It would only happen to me! There were lots of men and beggars out though that did not make it very easy.

Monday

We headed back to the Salvation Army managing to get a room (for the three of us again). It was so nice seeing Living for Jesus calendars everywhere and Bibles out. There are lots more churches in India too! On our way to the Salvation army we were persuaded to be extras in a Bollywood movie, it’s set in a London night club and stars Kylie Minogue! We were skeptical about the Kylie Minogue thing but had heard it was common to be asked to be extras and they said we would be paid and everything else would be paid for. We agreed to do it the next day, despite the fact that I was quite nervous about the idea of dancing!

Kylie Minogue arrives at the international airport in Mumbai.

Once we were settled at the hotel, we went out on our own walking tour which was a great way to see the sights in Bombay. We walked along the Causeway, went to the gateway to India, the Taj Mahal hotel and Leopolds (both where the Mumbai bombings took place.) We also went to a modern art gallery and saw lots of the old colonial buildings.

Gateway to India (see if you can spot Sibyl!)

Tuesday

…was Bollywood day. We were met at 8am and taken by car to the studios. It was a long drive and we were told only when we were half way there that the day would finish at 9pm and that we could not leave! The distance back to town was enough to deter us from leaving though – the taxi cost would have been ridiculous! Once we arrived at the ‘studio’ (the very old shabby building with tents outside) we were taken to be dressed up and have hair and makeup done. We were wearing very casual clothes so they wanted to dress us up but they had hardly anything left. We had arrived late and there were lots of other extras already dressed up! They gave me a jewel studded top but I refused to wear the mini skirt they tried to force on me (too right! – Ed.). I was left in my shorts but told I had to sit down the whole time or I would ruin ‘the image.’ I was happy because it meant no dancing – they ended up making me dance anyway though! The day was so so long and most of it was just waiting around. It seemed like they only did about 10 minutes of actual filming. Our job was to sit in the background and bop to look like we were having fun. The set was actual really cool. They had created a giant blue bubble – maybe why the film is called ‘Blue’? And the stage had water running off it. I think the film has something to do with that too?

I read the book Twilight for most of the day, something which I have recently become obsessed with, so the waiting wasn’t too bad. Kylie Minogue was actually there! I couldn’t get my head around why though? We walked past her trailer situated outside an open sewer which had a piece of paper with her name on taped to the door – very budget. She is very tiny – small and skinny and an amazing dancer!

Kylie, looking good in Bollywood.

Kylie, looking good in Bollywood.

Maybe you will be able to see me in the movie but I kind of hope not (I kind of hope so! – Ed.) I dread to think. We finished at 8:30 pm and we were paid – 500 rupees and they took us back into town. I was so happy to finally get back and go to bed. I had been up very late the night before reading the second Twilight book. I couldn’t put it down even though I knew I would suffer in the morning! I finished it in 24 hours – like I have done with the rest of the book! Lucy keeps complaining that she has lost her friend to the series – I have finished them all now though.

Wednesday

The next couple of days were spent wandering around Mumbai again. We went to the Prince of Wales museum which is Indian history along with natural history. We also went to Chowpatty beach. We also got to see the extensive Cricket grounds (of course) and the University of Mumbai. All the buildings in Bombay are so beautiful! The Victoria Terminus train station is incredible. We also went to see Slumdog Millionaire at the ‘Regal’ cinema on the Causeway which is quite a famous building. I thought it was amazing and I want to see it again. We also felt very cool for having seen it in Mumbai and having been to many of the places in the movie.

The food here is incredible and there is so much choice. It is very different from South East Asian food too – which is a nice change after 7 months. I love the Indian sweets too. They are my favorite thing so far.

Thursday

We got a night bus to Goa (SuJung joined us) and arrived Friday morning. We have spent the last three days relaxing on the beach in Anjuna. The beaches here hilarious – they are full of cows, goats and dogs. Apparently they like to sunbathe too. The cows join you in sitting under the umbrellas in the shade!

We met two really cool travelers here – Pete and Sandra. Pete in from Swindon, England (oh, we thought you meant Swindon, Massachusetts! – Ed.) and Sandra is from Sweden. They were really nice to hang out with. They moved from Anjuna beach to Aranbul beach but we went to visit them there. We kind of wish we had gone to stay in Aranbul too because it is much more beautiful! We had a fun time visiting them there though. There is a natural fresh water lake by the sea which we went swimming in. Nice break from salt water although I am not sure how clean it was.

The Weekend

We went to a really cool market. Everything here is so amazingly cheap it is hard to resist buying loads. I am going to have to be careful.

I did not manage to get to a church on Sunday which I am really disappointed about. They only had Catholic churches and I failed even to get to their service in time! I will hopefully be able to find one next week. I am making good progress with Gary Brady’s book, ‘Being Born Again’ which I got as a present from him (Rhodri’s Dad) when I was baptised. It is really helpful to know what the Bible says about it.


We said goodbye to SuJung today as she is staying in Goa for longer than us. It was really sad, although it will be nice to just be me and Luce again. She wrote us a really sweet letter. I hope she finds some more people and continues to have a good time.