What A Pallava!

Your name sir?’ ‘Paul’ ‘I am Kumar. Your hair very good – very nice.’ ‘Thank you Kumar’. ‘Very handsome man’. ‘How kind’. ‘I am stone carver. I carve stone for famous Buddha temple in Exeter.’ ‘I had no idea there was a Buddhist temple in Exeter.’ ‘It new one! You want see my stones? First we go temple – you don’t pay – I don’t do for money, but I see you are nice guy. I know special way. Come. Come….’ And so it began. My ego up, my guard down, and I’d enlisted Andrew and I on another south Asian magical mystery tour. This time, chasing the young stonemason, at rocking speed, around the seventh century rock temples of Mamallupuram. We staggered precariously along ancient steps, ingeniously cut from a titanic piece of granite, recklessly attempting to keep up with the young Kumar, who was practically Simian. We learnt later that this acrobatic detour was in order to circumvent the normal gated entrance, thus avoiding the need to purchase a ticket. An artful piece of dodgery from our new found mate – though we both suspected the relationship may get rockier as the daytime heat began to rocket. ‘How the fuck do we get rid of him now?’ Andrew asked me far too loudly. ‘Oh just chill out a bit – we’re getting a free tour, and free entry’ I countered. ¬†Knowing deep down that we’d be paying for […]

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Escape From Horrorville!

As I attempted to clamber into the tiny rickshaw I winced in agony. My spine complained painfully at what I was asking of it, each vertebrae sulking from carrying the burden of two weighty rucksacks down an uneven colonial staircase. As I struggled into the diminutive cab, Andrew looked on unsympathetically. A damn cheek I thought, seeing as it was him that had dragged me into the massage parlour that had caused the said lumbar damage. The previous day, on one of our sweaty promenades through Pondicherry, the fierce temperature […]

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‘Get Us Outta Here!’

As Paul ambled purposefully beneath a torrid ‘Noel Coward Sun’, he wondered how it always transpired, that at the hottest time of day, in the hottest of climates, he was always the Englishman! He’d left the ‘Mad Dog’ behind, at the cool guest house. Andrew was terribly busy ordering new flavours for his Vapouriser! So Paul set off through the smouldering back streets of Panjim. As he made his way down narrow lanes, simmering with colourful heat, he dabbed at his brow with an old hankie he’d kept for that […]

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Delhi Belly!!!

New Delhi! India’s frenetic capital, can sometimes be hard to stomach. Especially when the jaded visitor is suffering from that most infamous of south asian complaints – ‘Delhi Belly’! If the forty degree smog and exhaust fumes fail to exhaust, the constant concern that a lavatory may be needed at the drop of, shall we say, a hat, certainly takes it’s toll. Despite sensibly taking plenty of liquid and dosing up with Imodium, I still have no respite. I long for my faeces to be in pieces! A little too […]

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