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Old 03-10-2016, 07:27 PM   #451
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

OP Ive been supporting you from the beginning. Time to say thanks Fran for believing in me. Lets face it, without me, you wouldnt make it.
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Old 03-10-2016, 08:05 PM   #452
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

I work with a bunch of Indian guys and I talk to them about your blog. They love hearing about the places you've been and talking about them. Reminds them of home.
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Old 03-10-2016, 10:18 PM   #453
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

@ Box : Glad you enjoyed thos post !
@Fran : Thank you Fran !
@Boat : I'm glad about what you're saying. Indian people are very nice indeed, I love them everyday more.
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Old 03-11-2016, 02:43 AM   #454
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

Quote:
Originally Posted by biggerboat View Post
I work with a bunch of Indian guys and I talk to them about your blog. They love hearing about the places you've been and talking about them. Reminds them of home.

tell them about airplane too
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Old 03-12-2016, 02:16 AM   #455
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world



ONE DAY IN MANGALORE

Mangalore... Decided to leave Benaulim to keep going south. At first I intented to head toward Kochi but it was a long ride with many stops in between so I thought that I might miss some interesting stops, reason why I went to Mangalor firste.

It was my first train trip and I will dedicate a post to that in the future.

As soon as the tuctuc dropped me to my hotel, I immediately knew that I would leave the following day.

What an ugly indian business congestioned city ! Coming from Goa where I lived in plain nature for 2 weeks, it was a huge shock (and disappointment). I was back in some random indian big city, polluted and noisy, and it really sucked.

Mangalore was so uninteresting that I didn't even waste my time taking pictures.

The hotel was so so and their wifi sucked. Each page would take 2 minutes to load, it was a real pain in the ass.

Still I had this day to spend there so I decided to walk around and eventually I visited 2 temples.

The 1st one was the Kudroli Gokarnath Temple. Don't expect me to tell you the story of this temple, I don't know **** about it. I just went there because I had nothing to do and it wasn't far from the hotel. Only this I know is that it is dedicated to an avatar of Lord Shiva.

I had to take off my shoes at the entrance as in every indian temple. There were lot of people and it was a hot sunny day which would make the walk be painful since most of the floor there was tiled. So I let you imagine how it is to walk on hot tiles.. Like walking on burning coals. Not pleasant.

Temple was nice but we don't have keys to understand what's going on. So, unless you're some kind of Wikipedia warrior and very well versed into Hindu lore and mythology, you don't understand a damn thing about what you see. You just see indian praying, which is still nice don't get me wrong, but you miss too many things to really have a real flavour and understanding of what is going on.

Result is that you leave the place with a feeling of unfulfillment and for sure you know that you're not gonna visit every temple that you will cross during your trip. You've seen a couple of them, you've seen them all.

Anyway, I spent some time there and it was still nice.














At some point there were indian people bowing and praying in front of a statue. I wrote down the name of the dude : Sri Shidi Sai Baba. He must be quite important - kind of a saint - considering how many indian came to him to pray and make offerings :



After maybe spending one hour there, I went to see another Temple which was 5 miles aways (more than 3kms) and it was quite an hassle to get there under this damn burning sun. But I had to fill my day with something so I went there.

Kadri Manjunath Temple, both a Buddhist and Hindu Temple. Couldn't say more about it.

Again, I took off my shoes and ended in some more private and discreet place. I wasn't allowed to take any picture tho, which was frustrating (but I understand and respect indian religious policy). Only pic that I was allowed to take was the one of that big Hulk's brother which actually was quite impressive :



I asked to an old indian male who was nearby :

- Namaste ! Excuse me, who is he ?
- He is Hanuman !!

He told me that in a tone as if it was obvious. How couldn't I know who this statue was representing ? A bit like an alien from Mars comes to Earth and ask you who is this statue representing Jesus. I guess that we would be shocked and would respond using the same tone : "It's Jesus !".

So, I dont' know anything about this Hanuman. Only quick recap that I found on the internet is this one :

" a Hindu deity who is an ardent devotee of Rama, a central character in the Indian epic Ramayana. A general among the vanaras, an ape-like race of forest-dwellers, Hanuman is an incarnation of the divine and a disciple of Lord Rama in the struggle against the demon king Ravana. Also known as Anjaneya, Maruti, Pavanputra, Kesharinandan, Arbiter, Anjaniputra, Bajrang Bali and Hanumat, Hanuman's exploits are much celebrated in a variety of religious and cultural traditions, particularly in Hinduism, so much so that he is often the object of worship according to some bhakti traditions, and is the prime deity in many temples known as Hanuman Mandirs."

But again, and as you see, we miss too much of the Hindu lore knowledge to fully understand what all this is about.

I wandered then in the lower part of this Temple which was more crowded and not that pleasant. Few buildings, indians praying or just tchatting, nothing really spectacular. So I went back to my hotel.

Evening uneventful again and I woke up the following morning ready to leave.

Again, I had the choice to directly go to Kochi or to stop in another in between city.

After some thoughts, I made my mind and took my second indian train..
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Old 03-12-2016, 09:26 AM   #456
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

I have no idea why you're in India.
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Old 03-12-2016, 09:34 AM   #457
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

Are you heading to burma soon?
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:28 AM   #458
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

Oh I should be a temple addict to be allowed to go to India ? I went there cause India scared me and I wanted to fight my fears. Also was intrigued by indian culture. Plus maybe looking for some spiritual thing that I have not found yet.

No I wont go to Burma so you can stop right now to read the blog

Last edited by Psychonication; 03-12-2016 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:53 AM   #459
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

The way that you are sharing your experiences is delightful! Some things you love, and these things excite and engage you. Other things, meh. Nobody enjoys EVERY ride in an amusement park. I think it's fantastic that you have the opportunity to learn all of this about the world and yourself.

I said meh when I saw the Eiffel Tower. But, when I saw the Mediterranean? Breathtaking.

Keep posting.
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Old 03-12-2016, 01:09 PM   #460
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

Thanks a lot Granddam !
Yeah, we can't equally appreciate everything. Plus, I do think that disliking that much Mangalore played a big role in how I did perceive this afteroon in those temples. I wasn't in a very good mood.

Thanks for reading the blog !
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Old 03-12-2016, 11:56 PM   #461
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

Enjoy your black tea
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Old 03-13-2016, 05:25 AM   #462
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world



MY 1ST MONTH AS A WORLD TRAVELER


My 1st month as a world traveler ! Yes, since the 11th of march, it’s been 1 month I’ve quit my country to travel. I am therefore now in my second month.

So, what can I say after this 1st month ?

1 – Indian people

They are the warmest and kindest people that I’ve met since a very long time. I’m amazed to notice how friendly they are.

Indians are also very curious too. They come and talk to you on a regular basis asking you lots of questions : “who are you ?”, “where are you from ?”, “What is this ? What is that ?” are common questions. And I don’t even mention that they love to have a picture taken with you.

I’ve yet to feel any evil intention. No agressivity, no unsecurity. You can walk with your smartphone in your hand all day long, no one will ever try to rob it.

When you need some help they are happy to provide assistance.

I’ve met some scammers (amongst tuctucs and taxis of course) but so far the huge majority of Indians have been very honest.

They are both shy and blunt. Shy – or maybe should I say prude – because they don’t talk easily about personal affairs. Blunt because if they want to know you more and talk to you they will come without hesitation. I like that. You always know where you stand with them. No game being played.

Indian kids are great too. Many times I met a bunch of kids or young Indians and they would all come to me to shake my hand, ask me questions, have some picts taken with. The other day a bunch of maybe 16 years old kids came to me and we had a nice talk. 2 hours laters they were playing cricket, I was just passing by. They all turned their head and noticed me. I waved my hand and in the second, they all waved their hands too with a big smile. Very very friendly people.

They love when you get interested in their culture and I have countless encounters where asking some questions about India or their city was a nice ice breaker to get to know them.

I guess that there are bad people everywhere, but all the indian people that I’ve met so far have been very positive and good people.

2 – India



India has been great so far too. Another planet. Bénarès was a blast but not as disturbing as I thought it would be. I had read so many accounts about people becoming crazy or not handling the culture shock. Even with a start in one of the toughest city of India, I never felt that I could lose my mind because of the culture gap.

Sure Bénarès has not been an easy destination. I enjoyed many things there while disliking many others. But starting my world trip there has been a blessing. I’ve immediately been swimming with sharks so to speak. I would come back to Bénarès without hesitation, this city worth many visits.

Going to south Goa was very relaxing. But what I enjoyed the most besides the beautiful landscapes was to see the difference in term of lifestyle between the north and south Indians.



I would say that Indians from the south have been more friendly. But again, this is not gospel speech and I remember of very very friendly Indians that I’ve met in Bénarès.

What is certain is that south India is easier for a traveler. Less hassle, less pollution, cities are less dirty, life is more laid back.

3 – Solo traveling



Not scary at all. Just weird at the start. Realizing that you’re on the road, alone, free, gave me some of the strongest feelings of happiness and fulfillment and under no condition I would come back to France.

Any I’ll tell you what : if I’ve been able to handle a start of my world travel in Bénarès being sick as **** with salmonella and dysentrie without coming back to France, then never will I. Because it was the worst that could happen to me : being very sick, alone, far away from home, and in a tough city. If I’ve been able to handle that, I can handle anything.

That freedom can become “a problem” sometimes. I’ve learned it while being on the road. You have so many possibilities that you’re stuck not knowing what to do, what you really want, and what you’re gonna chose. I’ve felt that in Goa, when I had to leave for some others places. It took me DAYS to decide what my next move would be. I was clueless, had too many possibilities, and was unable to make a choice.

You meet many people on the road and I confirm that you’re alone while traveling abroad only if you want to be. Other than that, not only you meet locals on a daily basis but also others westerners which is refreshing from times to times. They can be world travelers too or just tourists, or even expats. And when you say that you’re traveling the world starting there in India, it interests them so much that you’re in for hours of tchat.

I miss my gran mother. We’ve been able to discuss 3 or 4 times on the phone and it was nice and necessary. Never forget where you come from and where your roots are. I love you gran mother.

Staying in touch with friends via whatsapp or via emails is important too. Because they are all people I love and it is important to me to keep the link alive.

4 – What solo traveling taught me




Patience and tolerance without any doubt. Time is not the same in every country and what can take 30 minutes to be performed in France might take 2 hours in India. No big deal. I accept all those differences even if some can be annoying at the start.

But I’m not in my country, I AM the one who has to bend to the rules of the country I’m visiting. So, whatever happens, I accept it. If there are things that I don’t understand I am tolerant and understand that things are different here. And actually those differences are what make my world trip in India awesome.

Also I can now say for sure that nothing is impossible, you just have to make your dreams come true and they will manifest. It’s been a very long way to get where I am now, but I did it and now I can enjoy this life of travels.

I realized that many people are scared to travel because they think they wouldn’t be able to handle this huge change. It is more than doable. Just book a flight ticket, clear up everything before you leave and leave. If you keep an open mind and heart, you’ll be just fine. We’re not living in a world full of danger where everyone is hiding in the shadow ready to rob or mug you. We’re living in a tough world indeed, but it is not a evil and dangerous that sometimes we could think it is. So, just letting go, living in the present moment with an open spirit will go a long way.

Another thing is that you CAN’T see everything and this is pointless. World traveling is not about visiting all the tourist sights. It is learning how to fully enjoy where you’re staying. So, instead or rushing trying to visit every place without enjoying them, visiting a few fully and taking my time is what has been rewarding so far.

At last, I’ve had my share of troubles : salmonella and disentry in Bénarès, bike accident and skin infection in Goa, or I’ve found myself lost in a city with nowhere to sleep, or waiting trains for hours. But all those events taught me and made me be stronger and more self confident.

5 – Money


My first month cost me 920€ everything included. And actually in those 920€ I have to include my flight ticket from Bénarès to Goa after I’ve been so sick in Bénarès. Without this extraordinary expense, I would just have spent 750ish€. India is really cheap.

HOW AM I FEELING ?


You’ve guessed it, I’m feeling great. This journey is awesome and I’m learning everyday. Deciding to quit everything and travel is the best decision that I could make and never would I return to live in France. I would go back to see friends and my grand mother but to live again in France ? It will not happen.

I could say many more things I guess but this is it for now. I will update my thoughts about solo world traveling each month.

*all pictures have been taken during my 1st month of traveling
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:56 PM   #463
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

merveilleux. what's wrong with France? where to next?
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Old 03-13-2016, 02:24 PM   #464
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

Thanks !

France is weak, its politics are corrupt, its foreign policy sux and has contributed to the rise of terrorism, lot of anger/hate, robberies, attacks, prices are expensive, weather su, people are sad and stressed.

Where I should go after India ? Dunno. Maybe Sri Lanka if this is not the moonsoon. Sri Lanka is the most obvious choice in term of distance from India.
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:35 AM   #465
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

Thanks Rubeno. Indeed we are free people, but we don't know it.

ARRIVING IN CALICUT




After a very disappointing stay in Mangalore I left for Calicut.

Calicut was a crossroads : I could stay there for a while if I enjoyed the place and could decide whether go to Karnataka or keep on going south in Kerala.

Before leaving Mangalore I had checked some hotels but didn't book any. So, after another 4 hours train ride, I arrived at 7pm in Calicut with no booking at all.

Found a tuc tuc, quite friendly dude, and I asked him to lead me to my 1st hotel pick, a nice guesthouse with gardens in a courtyard, clean rooms and affordable.

We started to drive in the city and my 1st impressions were not that great. Without being as ugly as Mangalore, Calicut was another urban busy city. At this point I still didn't know if I would enjoy it tho, because some things were not that bad so I had to give it more time.

After some good 20 minutes ride we arrived to the guest house. I asked to the tuctuc to wait for me while I went and ask to the guest house if they had any available room.

I arrived in the lobby and was welcomed by the front desk clerk.

Namaste, do you have a room available ?
I'm sorry sir, we're full.

After a tiring 4 hours train ride it was a really bad news. I thanked the guy and left.

Back to the tuctuc I asked me to drop me to the second hotel that I've had picked. We arrived there and all doors were closed. Not good. Then an indian male came to me.

Sir, this hotel is under renovation, it is closed now !

Damn it ! Definitely not my day ! It was maybe around 8pm and I was tired and with no place to sleep for the night.

Then the tuctuc told me :

Sir, I know a very good hotel, I can show you !

I knew that he would get his commission but told myself to let go and see what life had in store for me so I agreed.

The tuctuc drove for maybe 20 minutes, and oh boys, he got into some kind of ghettos, with lots of constructions nearby and quite far from the city center. This place was a dump and I knew that I would not stay there. But we were arrived so I still got into the hotel.

Unfortunately (or thanks god !) they didn't have any room with AC so it was easy for me to get out and to ask to the tuctuc to get me to the 3rd hotel that I had picked. It was 8:30pm and now things were getting really ugly. I really had to find a place to spend the night.

We arrived at the hotel which was in a big busy road with lot of traffic jam. Really not pleasant. My god, could I repeat the same hassle the following day taking a train to leave ? I couldnt do that everyday !

I got into the hotel and spoke with the front desk clerk. Bad news is that rooms were beyond my budget (2000 Rs a night and I had been paying between 650 and 1000 Rs a night so far).

The guy, feeling that I was not that thrilled with the price proposed me a discount. 1800 Rs. Still beyond my budget but at this point I just wanted to drop my backpack and rest, so I agreed.

Their wifi was lame. You had to connect to the hotel wifi and instead of putting a code, you had to wait for a login page to appear to enter both a login and password. What I did find out later on is that my notebook would tell me that I was connected but the login page would never appear, so impossible to be connected.

When you're traveling with no plan, accessing the internet is crucial. It allows you to get to know what to do in the city you're visiting but also to keep on planning your trip and book some train or flight tickets.

Room was not bad. Nothing fancy but still clean and on good size :




on the table my best friend : the roll of toilet paper


Anyway, after leaving my backpack I decided to go out to walk a little and get a flavour of the city. Also, I was getting hungy and needed to eat something.

This evening walk was not thrilling and I didn't like the place. I walked through a muslim area with lanes and shops and this place was nice. Other than that, it was just without interest :

http://i1.wp.com/psychoworldnication...ize=576%2C1024




Anyway I was hungry so I stopped by a restaurant full of indians :



They didn't speak english so ordering food was tough. And they had no menu so I had to look at the stall and chose. I picked up some chicken, curry peas and some fried rice. It was a bit overpriced but good

I didn't drink any water tho. The waiter brought me a bottle of water but when I opened it clearly this bottle had been already open. So no way I drink it.



I ate with an indian male, or let's say at the same table, and I watched him eating with his hands. Something that I have to learn while I'm here !




Came back to my hotel, ready to book a train the following day to leave this city. Really had no luck since I left Goa. Both Mangalore and Calicute were not cities I wished to stay.

Unfortunately the wifi didn't work, I couldn't get this login page ! C'mon ! Ok, let's keep cool no big deal let's go to bed and I will book a train tomorrow early in the morning.

I slept quite well and woke up at 6am. Immediately tried to connect to the wifi but still impossible to access to the login page !

I went to the front desk and explained that I had to book a train and that I couldn't connect to their wifi. 5mns later I got it. Weird. I suspected them to control the wifi connexion.

I checked the train website and guess what ? All train booked ! **** IT ! I had no other choice than stay 1 day more in that city and pay 1 more expensive night (for my budget) in that hotel with unreliable wifi.

I was really pissed. But hey, what can I do ? That's also part of the travel.

So I decided to do some sight seeing. But first, I got to the breakfast room.

Guys, it was the most horrible breakfast I've eaten since I was born. Toaster was not working so impossible to make toasts, poor indians dishes and not good at all, food was not fresh neither, no choice other than the 3 or 4 meals there. I ate very little and was still starving.

Ok let's goo and do some visit !

Reached a temple - forgot its name - and getting there was not easy. When I stepped inside, a monk ordered me to leave (????). I tried to understand the reason why but he just told me to **** off (??? bis repetita).

Ok, so I'm stuck in a ****ty city, in a bad hotel, I'm hungry, and I'm denied from the 1st sight I want to visit. Call me "lucky Angelo" please.

Lunch time. I got into a restaurant full of indians and there was only 1 meal proposed for lunch. Guys it was so good ! And you will never believe me when I tell you that it cost me 1€.. Really good food.




Then I decided to visit a famous park in Calicut. Got there, and well... ok... nice park but nothing fancy and clearly not worth a visit to Calicut just for that. Many indians people there.




tough life right ?

At some point, I heard a voice call me :

hey you, come here !

I turn my head and see 4 old indian males. 65ish years old. Funny men. Ijoined them.

Who you are ?
My name is Angelo, sir !
You from ?
Ah ah ! Guess !

And we played that little game. One thought that I was french, the other one austrian (wtf ?), another one Swedish (wow !) and the other told UK.

Congratz to you Sir, I'm from Paris !

They all laughed and contratulated the one who guessed.

This what ? (he showed me my ecig)
Electronic cigarette !
Want try !
No sorry
Try !
No !
Please !

There was no way another dude put his lips on my ecig so I genty refused. He moaned something.

Then we kept on talking for 10 mns before I decide to leave. I thanked them for the tchat and shaked their hand. They old man who wanted to use my ecig didn't want to shake my hand at 1st.

don't want me use cigarette and now shake hands ?

But he didn't say that in some rude manner, he was smiling.

C'mon, shake my hand Sir, be a friend !

They all laughed and he shook my hand. Really nice old men, they made my day !

I exited the park and decided to head to the beach. Went there and..



it started well...



... and ended badly

I was so disgusted by this dump that I left. It broke my heart to see how indians don't give a damn **** about environment. Not something they are concerned about.

Went to dinner in some very good restaurant. I loved to be in such places where there were no tourists ! Oh and btw what I enjoyed in both Mangalore and Calicut is that I was the ONLY non indian. No kidding ! I loved to be the only tourist, it really gave me a feeling of ful immersion in some foreign world !



Went back to my hotel and had no wifi problem for the entire evening and night. How odd is that ? Clearly they were doing something with their wifi. The guy was aware that staying 1 day more was a pain and also an additional expense so before I left he asked me for the number of m room, did something to his computer regarding the wifi and all worked fine.

I had a good but very short night and woke up at 5am the following morning. I was done with Calicut and decided to take a new train for a new direction.
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:08 PM   #466
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

lol at freaking out because you don't have Internet. Come on man, you're old enough to remember how to survive without it.

I guess you'll have to hit a few more developing countries before you realize it isn't "Indians don't give a damn **** about their environment", but rather that cleaning public spaces is a first world luxury many can't afford.
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:25 PM   #467
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

Please quote me where I said that I "freaked out"
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Old 03-15-2016, 03:49 PM   #468
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

But you do think cleaning space is related to poor culture and education
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:03 PM   #469
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

Don't remember that I said that it was because of the "poor culture".

I mentioned an education issue, I never judged their culture as being poor.

In my "1 month as a traveler" I even said that I was glad that I was approaching their culture I didnt know and was learning from everyday.

Last edited by Psychonication; 03-15-2016 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 03-17-2016, 03:44 AM   #470
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

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lol at freaking out because you don't have Internet. Come on man, you're old enough to remember how to survive without it.

I guess you'll have to hit a few more developing countries before you realize it isn't "Indians don't give a damn **** about their environment", but rather that cleaning public spaces is a first world luxury many can't afford.
Can you stop being a dick for like 2 seconds? jfc
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Old 03-17-2016, 06:43 PM   #471
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I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

nice

I'd lost my appetite next to that hands eating guy though, but other pics are really nice, keep the stories coming
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:52 PM   #472
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

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nice

I'd lost my appetite next to that hands eating guy though, but other pics are really nice, keep the stories coming
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struggle to order then eat across from a stranger using his hands while looking like a zombie.

way better than france ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Old 03-18-2016, 09:48 AM   #473
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

I often eat my hand to eat when I'm home. You have a better feel of the food. Also taste different. Wouldn't do it in public obviously, western social convention you know.
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Old 03-18-2016, 09:56 AM   #474
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world

Quote:
Originally Posted by brandoncla View Post
Can you stop being a dick for like 2 seconds? jfc
Thanks pal !

@Fran&Box : yeah it is not that yummy to see how indians eat. I had to eat like that yesterday since they have no fork/knife and to be honest, I HATED it ! It disgusted me to eat with my hands, really disliked the feeling.
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Old 03-20-2016, 02:09 PM   #475
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Re: I've decided to quit everything and travel the world



MEETING SOME NICE PEOPLE IN FORT KOCHI

Arriving in For Kochi was a relief, especially after the disappointing experiences in both Mangalore and Calicut.

Couldn't stretch my legs in the train since another indian had booked the same berth as mine, sleeping during all the ride :



I arrived there exhausted. After all, it was my 3rd trains in 4 days and each time it was a 5ish hours ride.

I got scammed by the tutuc, paying double price for the ride to the center of the town. Screw this guy. Other than that, my 1st impressions of the city were quite positive, which was not that surprising considering how much I disliked Mangalore and Calicut.

Fort Kochi appeared to be a little beach town with a port and some pleasant little streets

I hit the guest house which was nice, in a good neighborhood and with lovely owners (a married couple). Unfortunately I thought that my room had some AC and instead there was just a fan which was powerful but not powerful enough to cool down the high heat.

After I unpacked my things I walked around in the city and found myself delighted.

There is an important christian vibe here, surely because of the past colonisations :


Basilica Santa Cruz


Sister Teresa


St Francis church

I stopped to drink a chai. Guys, I could drink thousands of them, they are so good ! Some street stalls serve better ones than some others but I always enjoy them in any case.

Spent the day wandering around. A feeling to be in some sort of village with a very laid back atmosphere :



The famous chinese fishing nets are nice, and if fishermen still use them they are more like a tourist thing.





I walked along the main road and hit the beach. It was nice. Couldn't compete with Goa's beaches though, and especially because as usual indians do not take care of the environment. But there were some nice parts :





And Princess street was like a french country side little town. This is where you find hotels and shops, especially those selling handcrafts artefacts :



I stayed 2 nights in this guest house and I met an indian girl living now in the UK. She was here to spend 3 weeks in a yoga retreat in a few days, and not being allowed to have any communication during the whole stay with the 'outside world'.

I also met a finish guy, and he was.... well... very finnish. Both friendly and cold, pleasant but shy. Not fully expressing his feelings as mediterranean people do.

We used to have our breakfast together every morning and it was a nice opportunity to have some nice tchats.

One morning I saw that the UK indian girl was totally absorbed by her smartphone.

-what are you looking for ?
-I'm trying to see how I can get a dongle (aka a wifi box)
- You're going on a yoga retreat where any communication with the outside world is forbidden, why would you want to get this ?
-Well, that's the reason why I'm looking for one. So that I can keep connected on the internet.
- I wouldn't do that. Big mistake if you're interested by a sincere opinion.
- Why so ?
- You've come here from UK, spending time, money and energy, just to go to a yoga retreat. You will not fully enjoy your experience if you break the rules having a wifi box with you.
- ....
- Look, it's up to you I'm just giving an opinion. I would have more respect for someone who quit after a week cause it's too strict and tough than for someone who would do all 3 weeks being connected to facebook.
- Yeah, you're right, I won't buy any dongle. I came here to have a genuine experience so this is what I'm gonna get.

I enjoyed meeting them both, they are nice people.

One afternoon I went to a street shop to buy a drink. A 25ish year old white female arrived to also buy something. With the head I told her that she could order before me. She smiled back at me and ordered while I was looking something at something on my smartphone. I then hear (said in english) :

-Where are you from ?

I raised my head to answer her then I looked at her and told myself that she could be french.

- Are you french ? I asked

She stayed 5 seconds without responding, just smiling at me.

- Im from Quebec, she replied in (canadian) french.

We talked for a good 30 minutes. She was traveling in India on a budget with only 500 Rs a day (which is really not much), giving english lessons. She had been coming in India for many years and was planning to go to Nepal in a couple of month to do a trekking with a friend.

We really went along quite well and I asked her many questions about India. To be honest, it wasn't always easy to understand her because canadian french accent is so strong ! Would have been easier if we had spoken in English.

This year was tough for her : This is the 1st year that kids conider me as a slut. They are very rude. Sometimes I go back to my hotel very sad.

I was surprised. Indian people are so lovely.

After half an hour I decided to get back to my hotel.

- My hotel is just across the street Angelo. Come and see me anytime ! Ask for Marina !
- Sounds like a plan Marina ! I replied before going.

That evening I went in a restaurant. A british couple arrived. The lady went to the bathroom. Then the guy turns to me and asked :

- How is the food here ? This is our first time.
- Same here pal, so I couldn't say ! I replied
- Ok nice, so maybe we could share our meals !
- No problem !

His girlfriend came back and what happened is that we had dinner together. Really nice people, here on vacation for another 2 weeks.

At the end of the dinner the lady asked me if I would like to join them to have a drink in some bar nearby. I agreed obviously, they really were cool persons.

And this is how I ended the evening in a bar with them and 6 others people from UK. We all were in a corner inside the bar, drinking I don't remember how many bottles of beer !

When we got into the bar I saw a woman waving her hand to me. It was Marina. Hey, world is small isn't it ? She was spending the evening with a young indian.

When we left the bar we talked a bit on the street. Marina went out as well with the indian dude.

- Angelo, don't hesitate to come to my hotel !
- I will !

And she went away on the indian's young man scooter.

I walked with the UK couple until we had to part ways. They were going in one direction and I was going in another one. They were leaving Fort Kochi the following day so I wouldn't see them again. Too bad. But it was a very nice evening.

Went back to my hotel and had some trouble to find sleep because of the heat.

After 2 days I went in some other guest house and booked a room with AC, private balcony and ensuite bathroom. The balcony was overlooking a sport field where indian kids and young people were playing cricket. I sympathized with some of them and it was again really nice. One day I went back to my hotel, I saw them playing, they all turned their heads and saw me. I waved my hand and all of them in the next second waved theirs with a big smile.

I love to meet indians, they are so friendly. I really do love them. They are genuine. Not like in some asian countries where people are smiling at you because they want your money. Here in India people are friendly because they ARE nice. Period. I've yet to meet a friendly person just to find out that he was acting this way to take advantage of me. I'll tell you what : indians are the friendliest and nicest people that I've met so far for quite a very long time. Again, I really do love them.

Walked in town the following days. Actually I stayed 4 days in Fort Kochi, which is a bit tool long but I needed to recover some strenght. 3 trains in 4 days was too much and I felt the need to slow down. You shouldn't spend more than 2 days here because Fort Kochi is pretty small and there's nothing much to do there.

I met some very nice fishermen. Told them that I would take a pic of their stall near the port and put it online. They were very excited about the idea ! They wanted that I advertise their shop as follow :


T.S fish stall, "we buy we cook !", Cafe del mar, Reggae Cafe


Also this guy owning a shop selling body paintings and incense (interesting combo !). His shop was beautiful !



There is one thing that I disliked in Fort Kochi : tuctucs. They were constantly asking me whether I needed or not a tuctuc. I had the feeling to be back to Varanasi with the annoying touts. Seriously, during all my stay I couldn't walk for 2mns without being bothered by one of them. Besides, I learned that one of their business is to bring a customer to a shop and get a 100 Rs bill in return so that they can buy fuel for their tuctuc. I agreed to play this game with one (actually you don't have to buy anything in the shop), but when I did realize that it was a business and that every tuctuc was asking me if I could "do them a favour", I refused each time. Otherwise, I would have spent the whole days in tuctuc going from one shop to another.

Oh and by the way, Fort Kochi (and Kerala in general) doesn't joke with smoking and drinking :



Spending 4 days there could seem a bit too much, but as I said I really needed to rest and it was a nice break. And I enjoyed meeting westerners. In both Bangalore and Calicut I was the only non indian.

Now was time to go. And I knew that my next ride would be quite exhausting.
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