Hearty Welcomes & Salutations! Originally an action-packed travel blog from a globe-trotting Scotsman, An Ache for the Distance has, over the years, slowed down (I post less often), mellowed out (domestic life has found it's way way on here) and become more of an expat/photo blog. Take a look around, leave a comment and share the love if you like something.
Stuart Mathieson, Lübeck, Germany

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Vodsky in the Sticks - India

"Every day in India, thousands of people eat with no food."

Despite the truth in it, Lucky's finely composed sentence had me tittering like a school girl. However, as the only native English speaker attending the alcohol appreciation gathering in Ranakpur, the imagery was largely lost. Although the stuff that was being quaffed by Lana, the Indian fellas and a Dutch guy didn't help either.

It was neither vodka nor whisky but apparantley something inbetween. Something which would likely fall into the "home-brew/cleaning product" category. Lucky had bought it from a oily-looking guy with a slick wave of hair, possibly styled using the alcohol, and yellow teeth, definitely because of the alcohol, in a signless doorway in a nameless town somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

The "rural" India experience was a shock to the system after a week and a half purely on the tourist trail. The previous couple of days we had spent strolling around the watery delight of post-monsoon Udaipur. Slurping on coconut juice whilst watching the sun set over the lake, strolling around the royal palace, enjoying celebrity status as locals asked for photos, chowing down on belly-swelling veg thalis and even a visit to a rather mundane vintage car museum.

But despite it's middle of nowhere status, Ranakpur offered a break from the usual traffic-logged streets of the India we'd seen so far. We decided to take the chance to get out into the countryside and go for a walk over a nearby hill to a lake with crocodiles. On the way there wasn't a single horn or screeching tuk tuk to be heard.

Instead, the silence was filled by the squelching and huffing of an unfit, perspiring Scotsman. It was easily over 35C and by the time we hauled ourselves over the hill to the lake, I had the appearance of someone who'd been attempting various swimming strokes in a shallow puddle.

Clearly put off by the overly salted aspect of the Scottish snack before them, the crocs decided we weren't worth the effort and stayed well hidden. I only know this because another couple went to the lake just after us and were actually stalked by two big papa crocs.

Thus, rejected by the reptilians, we headed back to the hotel, narrowly avoiding being pissed upon en-route by some urine happy monkeys, and settled down for an evening of beer, vodsky (my name for the home brew) and banter.

The rest is a little hazy...

From An Ache For The Distance
The crocodile lake

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