Saturday, February 12, 2011

Birthday on the Beach

Well, just for a change I'm writing this on the same day I'm going to post it.  I'm uploading a bunch of pics to Shutterfly, which is taking for-bloody-ever so I thought I'd kill time here.

I'm in Varkala at the moment, still officially on my GAP trip but at the last stop.  I'm going to stay at least a few more days and chill out here; a few others from the group are staying as well so I'm not yet completely solo.  I will be staying by myself, though, as the others have opted for a place more expensive than my budget will allow; it's a good deal, but too much when I've still got about six weeks to go before heading home -- and another few weeks after that before I see a paycheque!  It's the difference between a "holiday" and "backpacking"; the rest are heading back home after a shorter jaunt here.  After more than a year, I have to watch my pennies just a little bit more!  (If you know anything about me and money, you'll know how much I abhor credit card debt.  I refuse to do it!)

Long trip yesterday from the triple-identity Periyar/Kumily/Thekkady, back down through the mountains and to the coast.  Varkala is a small town that's starting to see development, but it's not TOO touristy yet and the ambience hasn't been ruined by big package-holiday-style resorts.   It's awash in ayurvedic centres (ayurveda is the traditional Indian medicine), so I may have to check out some of that one day while I'm here.

And we got here in time to have dinner and drinks, and celebrate my birthday on the beach, so life is good -- our tour leader Muthu arranged a cake, so I got the proper birthday ritual.  Felt far too mellow for a big night out, though, so I just had a few beers and chatted with the gang before heading to bed about 1 a.m.  (Hey, I'm old enough to celebrate however I want -- feeling pressured to go on a bender just because you're a year older is SO twenty-something.  And obviously I'm not actually one of those even though I'm claiming 22 as my current age.)

Enjoying the ambiance of Varkala so far -- it's got beach and sun and sand and most of the tourist services, but it's still Indian enough to have temples and authentic food.  Not sure how long I'll stay, but at least a few days to relax and read and swim; the Indian ocean beckons just down the cliff as I type this so I'm heading to the beach as soon as my damn pictures finally upload.  (You're only getting up to Jaipur for the moment, as I'll be sitting here till this time tomorrow if I try to do them all in one shot!)

Hope you're all well in your respective corners of the world.  Despite how much I love travelling, and how much I love being in India, I'm looking forward to getting back (in due course) to Toronto and seeing y'all there.  Whether or not I remember how to do my job is another question; fortunately the busiest season will be over so I should be able to get back into the swing of things slowly.  (I'll be looking for something else, anyway, as I've had long enough in that job -- four years is plenty.)

Age is a funny thing.  I don't know what I'm supposed to feel like at my current age, but I don't feel much different that I did when I was really 22.  Oh, I'm smarter about many things, I think, and I make better choices; I put up with a lot less shit (from men in particular) and I'm more willing to go my own way even if the world at large thinks I should be following a different path.  But I know that I'm older, sometimes; despite the fact that I swore I would NEVER become one of those people who was "too tired" to have a late night out, I seem to have become one of them against my will.  Oh, well, age does bring its benefits after all:  at least I can afford to buy gorgeous shoes now!  (It's all about priorities.)

Looking forward to a little shoe-shopping when I'm back in Toronto, as a consolation present to myself for having to go back to work.  But for now, I'll be chilling out on the beach.  It's a rough life, baby.

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