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23rd Nov 2014
Day 4 - part 2 - Rickshaw Repairs

Part 2

Ok so carryng on from where i left off. Ive realised there was a part of the story i missed (again) yesterday.

Before we got to the Dam in a town just outside of Poovar, not long after sandy had been to see his tailor, we had been thru this place a few times now, on the way to various places, sandy testing me asking me if i remember the name of the place.

Poovar i replied with enthusiasm, wasnt sure if i was right, i knew it was either poovar or varrya. Well done he said, looking quite pleased that i clearly do listen.

Now, Danny, he went on saying. The man, you remember Ajith, who Paul from your country comes to see. The one who does Khaladi.. Ooh yes i said excitedly.. He has one house in this town, we go there now to see if is possible for you to do some training.

Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes! I said very egerly, ok, we go. And with that we took a few turnings off the main road down a dirt track where sandy pulled up outside a big house.

You wait here a moment and i will go and see if its possible for you to train today! Ok! I exclaimed.

Today, i thought... Oooh dunno if im ready for it today. I need to prepeare, stretch my limbs, wear the right shorts.. Actually i thought i'm being silly, if its today.. Then today it will be and i will just get on-board!

After a few minutes after sandy left, he called me and asked if i would come and join him. I grabbed my bag (you dont leave anything behind else it may not be there when u return) and walked up the driveway to the house where they both sat chatting on the porch.

Danny, this is Ajith, he said, his flat palm out-stretched. I shook Ajith's hand and he offered me a seat, he spoke a few words of english but his vocabulary was no where near as good as sandy's so he began talking to sandy in malyalam and then sandy would translate for me.

The upshot of the conversation was that i was coming back tomorrow to train at 10am, brilliant i thought. He went on to show me some old black and white, almost sepia photos, they're being very old and all.

Some of the photos were of his father who taught khaladi to him, and others. He would go and fight in tournaments with,  sandy translated to me. 

I was so excited i wanted to jump up and down, i was actually.. Officially, gonna be doing some marital arts training (videos appearing shortly)..

We spoke for about 15-20 mins at which time we agreed the time for tomorrow, i thanked Ajith and did a little prayer sign in my solarlplexus and bowed as is customary to show respect, not to everyone tho, most people are just a wave, but he was getting a full bow, sandy was showing me how the night before when we were getting deep on the religious stuff.

Once we set off once more for the 'surprises which lay ahead we were on track at the the lion safari bus, driving back towards the jetty where we meet the boat, there was no boat so we sat about talking each group of people in their own little pack all talking away in their foreign tongues.

It began to rain, quite firecely, we all took shelter under what looked like an english bike shed, where there was a moped parked. I told you it was going to rain, i said to sandy, and you dont have any wipers, i said wagging my finger with a jovial 'disaappointed-in-you' look on my face. 

A short while later the boat arrived to take us on our next journey, we call climbed aboard once again taking the privacy issue in hand invading each others personal space.

The boat set off whilst life jackets were distributed. The lady of the couple who were from Bangalore looked very uneasy by the water and i enquired if she was afraid of the water. Yes very much, she replied, slipping the life vest over her head. I reassured her telling her i was a quallified life saver in water. 

Now obviously i havent done any 'life-saving' since i was very young but i still remember how to do it.. Ok the 'qualified' bit was an exxageration of the truth but she didnt need to know this.

Reassured her face relaxed and she began to enjoy the journey, her husbands too, as im guessing he's no massive fan either, with less tension. I snapped away with my camera.. Ooh look another king-fisher.. 

The boat circumnavigated three quaters of the island on which the lions were housed (i later learned it was not an island more so a peninsular with a small causeway with a road running down from the mountains. 

We stopped alongside another jetty, we climbed ashore and then some steps where a lady pointed off to her left (my right, as she was facing me). We took a path which was among the tress and shurbs that lined the walkway,

Ooh another king-fisher... Yeh thats so last season now! I said after he pointed it out! Ive seen 4 now today, gettin a bit boring! I joked. 

As the path twisted round, over rocks and past some very strange looking trees. Almost 3 or 4 singular trees, plaitted together to form one big trunk. When the tree gets to a certain height, branches fall downwards and route into the ground as if to support the branches which also grow horizontally like a 4 dimensional spiders web, each branch supporting the next and routing either back to the tree, forming a strong isossolese triangle shape, or back down to the floor, forming a right-angle triangle (or equalatteral if you wonna be technica) between the two branches. 

Eventually we came to an enlosure, where there were it seemed, 2 herds of deer, doe's stags and fawns all gathered in the group forming the individual herds. They were eating grasses and leaves off the ground in a very deer-like manner.

Some of the indians began to offer the deer some grasses and ferns which were growing on our side of the fence. The deer cautiously came over and gently took the leaves and fern from the indian mans hand. So the grass IS sometimes greener on the other side i said.. 

Awww they're ever so gentle, quite tame allowing us to strok them thru the fence separating us. After this we walked back along the path to where the lady once stood. There was a plaque commemerating the life of Ozzie wildlife's answer to David attenborough; the late great, Steve Irwin, who had apparently visited the park himself before taking a sting-ray to the chest several years ago. We followed the path further round in the oppiste direction when we arrived at the croc-pit.

There was a very staue-esque croc who lay in the middle of the enclosure, mouth wide open as if waiting for some prey to wander near. A park warden with big heavy welly boots was spraying the croc with a powerful hosepipe. The croc didnt budge an inch, enjoying the cool water he was being washed with.

I noticed another man inside the enclosure where there were also more life-less crocs, the other man looked like a gardener pulling shrubs and weeds out the ground. He had no welly boots just a paid of flip-flops. I joked with sandy asking do they take it in turns to wear the welly boots swapping over daily.. Noo it's not like that, danny. He replied. This man is a ranger and so he has the boots. This man is just a gardener. Ohh i said, realising my joke was lost on him.

There was a swing hanging from a tree which was tied to a branch with a metal pipe for the seat. Sandy jumped on and began enjoying himself, pushing thru and going really quite high. I took a vid, as it was nice to see him enjoying himself, not just standing watching me enjoy myself. 

There was another short wait while the absent boat took other holiday-makers to each of the stops along the way. I wanted a go on the swing but others had jumped on, as we heard a boat coming thinking it was for us.. It wasnt it was just another ranger coming over from somewhere else.

I waited patiently for the swing to become free and i asked sandy to film me as i swung, sure, sure he rellied as i handed him my camera and reminded him which button to press to take a film, rather than a photo. I remember i remember, you showed me yesterday.

Oooh ok, clever clogs! I said, both of us laughing once more.

It was my turn so i got on and walked back as far as possible with the bar tucked under my bum, i jumped back and leaned back, as you do.. And swung forwards and backwards, standing mid swing to pump more power in to go higer. Sandy filmed me and a short time after, my time was up as someone else was waiting so i climbed off. Handing it to the aqua-phobic lady. 

The boat then arrived to take us back to where we had first boarded, where the rickshaw was parked. Where we began our excursion.. We climbed the stairs we had firstly upon arrival, where we got sent back to buy tickets, if you recall.

Beyond the steps were several concrete enclosures all with wire fencing as a roof, each enclosure containing one, two or more crocs, the most that was in one enclosure was three, which looked like a mother father and infant. Ahh thats nice, i thought.

Once we'd seen all the crocs and i'd photographed as many as i deemed necessary, we left the park and got back in the tuktuk. We zoomed off, sandy wishing well his friends who he had met there.. One being from his own stand in kovalam where i first met sandy.'

After a minute or two we were at the point where the reservoir turns into a dam, and the bridge to cross it if you wanted to. There was a big tall building with just steps leading up to a platform. It reminded me of the towers you get at a fire station, allowing the men to practice rescuing people from a great height.

We climbed each staircase as it spiralled round in a square fashion. Reading the graffitti that was scribbled onto the cream paint, there were people who had written stuff from india, and china, and america, and scotland, and ireland, england, south africa.. Many places and names were scribbled and scratched into the surface of the tower.

On top, the view was pretty spectaular as we could now see above the trees on all four sides. We had a bit of a photoshoot me posing as usual and sandy snapping away like the good little photorapher that he is.

Back in the rickshaw, reversing out of the parking space, sandy said to me. Danny, i have one more surprise for you. 1 more he repeated... Oooh ok, this one is a little further on first we go back to the bridge, you remember, where i stop the ricksaw. Yes ok, i said drive on tour-guide extrodinaire. 

Soon we had arrived at, said bridge, and crossing back to the main road we journeyed on, he navigated our way thru the busy streets and a little wile later we were back on the bumpy roads again made mostly out of dirt. The road was windy and bumpy so sandy drove slowly navigating the pot-holes in the "road". 

I wonder where we're going, i thought, excitedly. The bumpy road finished and we were back on tarmac. Ooh thats good. Smoothly sandy accellerated as if the tarmac were his runway. 

We turned off the tarmac'd roads and back onto the bumpy roads after driving only a short distance on the nice tarmac.

Oh well that was nice while it lasted, having eaten all of the bananas from the mornings drive i said to sandy as we approached the cross roads. Shall we get some more kapaparam. He sharply pulled over and parked right on the apex of the corner facing the traffic, slightly down a hill, created by the apex of the corner,

I dont think tuktuks have hand brakes, or if they do it doesnt work, which is probably morelike the truth, as many things in sandys rickshaw dont work..  in fact the only thing that DOES work is the engine, wheels and head-lights. And trust me when i say for some people the head-light is still considered a luxury item as many drive round blindly fumbling their way in the dark, like a mole. 

As he was buying the bananas, the tuktuk kept jerking forwards slightly, slipping in gear. After it had done this about 4 or 5 times, each time i was thrown about a bit. i jumped in the front and put my foot on the brake.

There were a few indian chaps who were sat down inside the shop, as if the shop were a bar, and they, its patrons! they began laughing loudly, i heard them talking in hindi and realised they were laughing at me jumping in to put my foot on the brake. I heard the word Brekala which is as ive come to understand is Brakes. 

We all had a big laugh and sandy told me you dont need to put ur foot on the brake, its ok the rickshaw wont roll away.

I know i know i said but it was jerking forwards and not so comfy in the back.. I informed him, still laughing as we drove on, we took the road now in front of us, making it a right turn,

Still on a dirt road, on either side was what looked to me like jungle, big palm trees and shrubs leading to peoples houses and farm-lands. We drove past an open prison and sandy was explaining to me how if someone had done something criminal he may end up

In prison, he will serve whatever time the courts have ruled, but in order to rehabillitate the men they go into an open prison where they have to wash cook clean, etc, whereas in the clink everything is done for them. Then moving to an open prison where he has more freedom but has to work to provide for himself.

Yes we have a similar system in england i said reassuring that i understood. Yes he said, our system is most likely based on your governments system as lot of rules and regulations still exist from before india was granted independance from england in 1947 - two years after world war ii had ended. 

We had spoken about the independance issue before and whilst ive forgotten to mention (like with so many things, to be honest) it was discussed in great detail.

So after about a further 20 minutes we pulled up outside another kind of wild-life park. 

Not catching a glimpse of what it actually was as sandy had quickly pulled in to the left of me, meaning the entrance to the park, was behind me.

Before we got out of the rickshaw he swivelled round in his seat in order to face me and said; Danny this place is an Elephant sanctuary, they take elephants from the wilds, bring them here, give them the foods, medicines, and they attach a metal clip to the ear of the elephant for identifications. 

Then once the elephants are more healthy, they gradually release them back in to the wilds. Sometimes they stay just a short times, sometimes many years depending upon their condition. There are two elephants here who will never leave as they cannot be rehabillitated due their not being accepted by other ephants when they try to release them, these two elephants you can ride as you like, as i know you were disappointed to not have photos at the other place. Thats not exactly how he said it but words to that effect i think. 

See, attention to detail, always remembering i thought, it was really nice that he had thougt of this and considered that i might like to ride another elephant purely for photographic purposes.

We paid the entrance fee, and i paid extra to ride the elephant. Firstly we walked around the estate (if u will), where all the elephants were, at first i thought there was maybe one, or two but as we kept walking more and more elephants appeared baby ones, teenage ones, adult ones and even some which would be grandparent age too.

Each elephant had, like at the zoo, a plaquard depicting its name, where it was found, age and a few other details. What they most enjoy for food etc.

I asked sandy, how do they know the elephants name, jokingly, does someone communicate to the animal with a trumpet, you know like a brass instrument, making sure he got the joke.

Hahhaa no its not like that Danny, the name of the elephant depends on the name of the person who found the animal, maybe its his own name, sometimes maybe they name it after their mother, or son. He who finds the animal, names it. He said, for clarity! Got it ! I said.. Ahh thats nice.

We continued down the paths visiting each elephant, they were, all chained up, to a post which was cemented into the ground, the chains binding one ankle giving them enough freedom to walk all about the concrete square on which they stood. Also giving the mahoots the security, as they could easily be trampled on without it.

Piles and piles of palm leaves were placed in front of each of the elephants as each elephant was munching away on the leaves, first stripping them using their tusk and their front foot to do so.... foot? Erm.. Paw maybe? No not paw.. Hoof then.. Oh whatever his elephant body stabliser! 

We saw each and every elephant and i took lots of pics and a video of one of them. One of the elepants was 76 years old, and i thought back to my breakfast companion.

It was time for me to ride the elephant, so we found the man, gave him the ticket and he went off, up the path to get the beast.

I climbed, as before on a platform, where another Mahoot stood, smiling at me with a warm welcome, among a pile of what appeared to be, saddles! 

Yes! I said, to myself in my head. Comfort! 

The animal whose name was Jayasree and she was a 41 year old who was once used at an eco-camp, whatever that is. The government apparently transported her to the sanctuary and now because she cannot be re-admitted into the wild she is one of the animals they use for riding on. I think i have said all of this, im not sure if i'm repeating myself or not (its very late). 

Once she was saddled with a purpose-made blanket i climbed on top, hooking my feet into the rope as before. We walked off a little way, they told me to hold the rope, but i found with my feet tucked in i didnt have to.

Pics and vids and a short walk later and it was time to get off and leave. We arrived at the tuktuk, sandy yanked on his lever and engaged reverse, we backed up, when a little white haired indian man appeared jabberin on in hindi. 

Danny, do you mind if we drop this man to the place where we stopped to buy kapaparam. No not at all i said. So i slid over and in he got in. 

Sandy was talking to him in malyalam, then talking to me in english. We got back to the cross-roads, we were at previously, where i had put my foot on the brake giving the men in the shop their daily entertainment. 

The man paid no money and as he got out. I slid back over as the man was waving good bye and thanking sandy. Sandy pulling away, turned his head, so to face me but looking forwards, so his voice would reach my ears over the engine. 

He said to me, i didnt charge him anything cos he is very poor and old and frail. I like to show kindness to people when i can. I have to say it made me feel very warm. I thought to myself he shouldnt really have to pay anyway as my 'fare' is covering it, but i guess he would've done so normally, this making two fairs. 

Anyway we pootled off down the road tuktuktuktuktuk went the engine as he tried to pull off in the wrong gear. Ahhh thats why they're called.. A Rickshaw. Lol

I decided i wanted to do something nice for sandy, i thought about it for several minutes, sandy asking me occasionally,

Ru ok danny, yes very good sandy, i'd reply. 

He had been telling me when we were at sunset rock all about the costs incurred with his rickshaw, the licence the 'health check' (M.O.T.)  Btw i put "M.O.T" in cos it took me a while to get what he meant by health check. I initially thought 'HE' himself had to have a health check to ensure he was still fit fo drive, and this would be costing him about £100 which is 10,000 rupees. (Quite hard for him to comeby and really quite expensive for a health check). the list went on and on with many jobs needing doing to his rickshaw 

It also seemed as if it would soon be savaged for scrap. If he could not afford to pay to have the many things repaired as required.

I say, Savaged, i do mean savaged not salvaged..  his rickshaw would be stripped by other vulture-like rickshaw drivers, 'pimping' their own rickshaw, (as his rickshaw would not be allowed to move from where it was parked, until it passed the test)  

He went on to tell me how he has some gold in a safety deposit box worth quite a bit of money, (about £5k) which he adds to on a regular basis as he is saving for a taxi. (Which costs £7k) 

He wants to drive a taxi, so that he can drive further and therefore earn much more money, so he can provide a better life for his family, 4 sisters, 1 brother (who is also a rickshaw driver) and his mom (who is fairly frail by the sounds of it). 

The point was that, If he doesnt pay the fee for the deposit box he could potentially lose a lot of money.

I had a dash of inspiration and inspired i spoke to sandy inpiratiously. I spake thusly.

So you know when you were telling me the other day about your health check, what does it entail, disguising my enquiry as general chit-chat, he told me a list of all the things he needed, some of which id pretty much gathered.

A battery was evident as his, horn, side-lights, indicators and windscreen-wipers didnt work, 

He carried on listing items he said he needed a spare wheel, he said.. Carrying on talkng my mind whirring away like a cement mixer, i asked him after each item, how much it would cost totting it up in my head. For all the many many jobs he needed it came to a grand total of 4250rupees

I allowed the conversation to drift off naturally, secretly plotting and planning to change some money, find out where to get the parts from, think about where we could do the work, as i wanted to make sure he spent the money on the rickshaw, not on say beer.. 

Afterall if I was gonna 'Pimp' his ride, Well, make it legal at least, so he will pass his health check, i had to be sure we could fit all the parts he had bought.. Especially as this will be ensuring his safety and also the customers well being, making him more likely to retain his passengers long term, which is how he likes it best.

Its perfect i thought, had gold stars all round it in my head. Just gotta work out the logistics of it all.. 

We came back to my hotel room and i decided to give him a good meal too, as i was starving and he eats very little anyway but is as thin as a horse-hair! 

I have to be honest, i was a bit worried at first, ordering food, just in case he was a messy eater (as indians tend to be) i thought it might put me off my food but nevertheless the decisions were made, once i gave him the right menu as i had given him the menu for the spa treatements at first. 

I phoned down to reception and soon enough our food arrived. He had fried rice with veg not very exciting, or expensive! 

Now, I had hit upon a bit of a gold nugget before going to bed the night before, when i discovered a steak & cheese club sandwich, which i ordered, and by god it was good! It had been such a long time since id had something i enjoyed, I wolfed it down and it oooh it was bloody lovely! And only about £4 too #bonus! 

There was an extra plate of chips i didnt order or pay for (as it wasnt on the bill) and so the food was plentiful. Good i thought! 

He can eat and eat until he was full and so can I. 

Over dinner i asked him where to go to get the parts for his rickshaw and whether there was anywhere to go where with good light ? 

It was dark by now and so we would need good lighting. 

He said danny we dont because the men they fix it. How do you mean i asked. He said you no pay for labour, only for the part. The men they fix it for free cos they are my friends. Ha that figures i thought, he does have friends all over the place you know!

We were almost done eating, so i turned to him and said. After dinner we are going to kovalam junction to your friends shop, where we will get you a new battery, so you have a horn & lights, a wiper motor blade so your wipers work, a new spare wheel as you dont even have one. And it will be my pleasure to pay for this for you, as a thank you for your friendship and kindness and help, this week.

He sat dumbstruck, speechless and stil for a moment. I wasnt sure he has understood what i said, so i asked him, do you understand? 

He said, no explain it to me again. I think he did, but wanted to be sure. I repeated myself virtually word for word, with great sincerity in my voice.

By the end of the sentence, he had tears in his eyes, and he leaped up out of his seat and hugged me really hard. Repeating, you dont know what this means to me, you dont know what this means to me, both of us now in tears like a couple of girls at an engagement party. 

With excitement in his voice, he said so we can go to do this now? Well finish your dinner first and we'll get going. I've finished he said. Jumping up to put his sandals on.

No c'mon sit down finish your dinner, theres no rush. Ok he said sitting down and began ramming food into his mouth like a kid at a kids party. 

Slow down man! Theres no rush seriously, assuming the place isnt going to close. I was almost done eating myself to be fair but was enjoying every bite.

The place will not be closed yet he said but ive really lost my appetite, i picked up the last of my steak sandwich, rammed it in me gob standing up as i did. 

Im just going to use the toilet, i said. I was actually going to sort out me cash too but i didnt want him seeing necessarily. Not cos i didnt trust him, u understand, but as it is a gift i didnt want him to see the money. i do trust him, i im still cautious to an extent but he is very good at protecting my belongings.

We left the patio where we had eaten our dinner and as we both jumped in the rickshaw i said, ok, money exchangings! Mocking the way he says it in a jokey maner 

We powered off down the road, and i nearly broke me neck as the rickshaw did a 180• turn on a 5pence piece, as rickshaws have a good turning circle.. Woaah easy tiger! I said returning to my sitting position. 

Sorry danny but you do not know what this means to me. He repeated several times, Quickly we arrived at the exchange place, i went in got £40 changed and left. Got back in.. The right tuktuk and we sped off. 

Sandy is a very good, cautious driver, at times, more cautious than i give him credit for, when i dont think he's seen something but then he makes a minor adjustment and a problem doesnt arise.

Im telling you this cos right now i was being thrown round as if a rag doll in the teeth of an excitable puppy, trying desperately to rip his head off.

Within about 3 minutes we were at kovalam junction and a further minute and he stopped at the side of the road, glancing behind him to the right waiting for a gap in the traffic where he quickly pulled accross the road and let his engine come to a stop with his foot on the break, as normal. I thought if only you knew what u were doing to your poor engine! 

He spoke to the man at the shop, for a moment or two, when he vanished accross the road to another shop facing the small workshop. I looked at sandy with confusion, he said to me, i dont know i think he has gone to get the part. I asked him, did he say he was? No, he just said hold on, and ran off.

Oh! I thought. Well there y'go u cant always get good customer service i suppose.

We waited and waited as the man served some other customers who had since come to the shop over there when i noticed, no what he's actually doing is lighting insence sticks.. WTF! Ok thats random, I thought we order some parts off you but the joss sticks are out! I actually found it rather amusing that his priorites were a little distorted. 

Meanwhile another younger chap had approached in a dark blue shirt, i thought he was a customer, but this was actually sandys friend who he'd come to see. They chatted for a few minutes before sandy had obviously asked him for his assistance as he too ran accross the road.

I thought.. Anyone else wonna come and 'not' serve us?! I was chuckling away to myself. As these thought popped into my mind, do we smell, was it something we said? What is it.. 

Unbeknown to me the second chap had gone to collect a wiper motor blade, and a few other parts from the shop opposite where the other man was still sat waving his joss sticks around whilst his customers impatiently waited.

The first man, who shall be known as 'joss-stick-boy' left the shop, hitched up his sarong so it was only down to his knees not his ankles, ran accross the road where he began lighting more joss sticks for this shop! 

I thought this guy is a wako! He's obsessed, no maybe addicted to insence. I asked sandy, what is he doing, is this normal is it cos of some ritual or something, maybe he has to appease the gods in some way.

No no, i dont know either danny, he replied. I think he might be a little, y'know.. He spun his fingers around his temple three times in a clockwise direction, the international sign-language for 'cooo kooo'... (U have to do it in the voice of the bird else it doesnt read right.. Oh you did, good)! 

Anyway he left the shop once the insence was burning and went back to serve his customers who were by now becoming more than impatient, more like a rowdy rabble. 

By now the entertainment had distracted us from the fact that sandy's mate had already done the wiper starter motor, battery and was now working on the horn and windscreen wiper, making sure it was working. Wow! That was quick i thought, seconds later his two tone horn did a little 'didle-iddle-diddle-iddle' awww so cute! I thought! His tuktuk slowly coming to life as each job was sorted.

The one horn, as there are two actual sounders one above each wing mirror, wasnt sounding correctly so, by now the crazy insence man had returned, and began to take the horn assembly apart, a bit of a tweak here and bit of adjustment here, a good blow.. and all was done! 

He re-attached the horn and then it came down to price. Sandy told me all we'd had done should cost 2800 rupees, £28.00 ok no problem i said. But do you think you could haggle and get him down ? Yes i think maybe, i think i should say i have only 2500. Noo if your gonna haggle go in Low i said (thinking a bit about my own cash balance) go in at 2000. Ok i try! We see, after it is finished i say 2000.

The men working as a team now, tweaking his tuktuk and even the engine in places, re-wiring a battery housing and also curing an oil leak with a new rubber seal. I was very impressed, not the kind of service you get at a uk garage thats for sure! 

Soon the work was done, so sandy looked at me nervously, i made the peace sign, signifying 2000 rp and gave him two thumbs up, and exxageratively winked at him as I gave him 2000 rupees. 

He went to talk to his friend and words were exchanged and i could tell haggling had ensued by the expressions on sandys face, disagreeing with the price offered.

He came back over after about 2 minutes and said 2200 is this ok! Good work i said, patted him on the back and handed him the additional'£2 in rupees, of course.

What about the spare wheel sandy i asked as we pulled off. We have to go somewhere else for this. You see? Ok !

We journeyed on, sandy now pressing his horn at every bike, person, goat, dog, cow, car, tree, house, bridge, watermelon we passed. Diddle-iddle-diddle-iddle it went, each time.

Why did you sound your horn at the watermelon i asked.. Cos it might jump out at me, he laughed..

You have to understand danny, barely stopping for beeath, i havent had a working horn for 2 years. No more.. I missed it! Thank you danny, thank you so much! 

Its my pleasure i replied with a big smile in my heart. Seeing before my eyes, they joy it was bringing him.. Diddle-iddle-diddle-iddle.. 

What were u beeping then, i asked; the fire, he said.., the fire i said back in a high pitched voice.. Yes he said i was showing the fire my new horn. Okaaaay.. I said. Maybe i should take you back to the.. I did the 'clockwise-temple' thing, as he looked at me in the mirror, to see why i had stopped talking. 

The fire incedentally is the way they get rid of their rubbish. They all just throw it on the pavement somewhere, then when the pile is big enough, ignite it. Spose it does solve the problem really! Im not saying india is clean, not by any stretch, but im saying its a good method. Each town responsible for its own clenliness and the disposal of rubish thereof.

We pulled up at the tyre place and i sat in the back as he went off and spoke to the man, as per usual really.. Its best cos that way i dont get people coming up to sell me their whatever, im not really interested, in, thank you! 

He came to my door.. Well there is no door but to my side, and related to me a slight problem, they cant get the wheel now but im gonna have my front trye changed now, have the tyre thats on my bike reconditioned and that can go on the spare wheel when it comes in on wednesday. Ok ! So how much do u need.

Remember i'd got a figure of £42.50 or 4250rupees. Having spent £22.00 there was £22.5 left in his budget. 

1350(r)p ok no probs, and this includes the cost of the wheel? I wanted to be sude inhad left no stone unturned. He nodded in agreement. Inhanded him the money over and he paid the man, and they bagan to get to work on his rickshaw.

I got out as at some point i assumed they would need to jack up the rickshaw.

There was a beautiful dog who was by the tyre place and the dog had a collar on. Now i know what ur thinking you should never touch foreign dogs, esp in india as they are mostly savages, but this one was different. So playful, placid and such a cute doggie.

I played with her for a while play fighting, and the indians were watching me, the dog belonged to the man who owned the tyre shop, hence i knew she was not rabid or anything. 

For quite some time i was giving her fuss, allowing her to jump up me and pushing her away, as i do with all doggies everywhere. 

The owner of the dog, and of the shop, came over to talk to me, he asked me if i had a dog in england i was missing as he'd seen how much i'd enjoyed playing with susie, her paw prints now all over, both my t-shirt and my shorts, like some muddy paw-pattern.

I told him that i had a dog but he had died 4 years ago.  i dont think he understood really, but i agreed, i do miss him. You are very good with her, he said, she doesnt normally take so quickly to strangers. Oh I love dogs. Dogs; to people, in england are what cows; to people are in india, i explained, we love dogs and cats, and keep them as pets, they live with us and sometimes even sleeping in our beds. I told him. 

He was shocked by this, in your beds? He said. Sometimes i replied smiling.. I showed him a picture i have of max on my phone and they passed my phone round as each one awed at max, as everyone always does. 

Eventually getting my phone back restoring my temporary anxiety as my new iphone 6 got passed around a group of 12 of so men, who seemed to be sitting inside the shop, as if the shop were some bar and the men its patrons.

The work was now done and sandy went to pay the man, i was now shaking hands with all 12 men who wished me well all smiling and wobbling heads.. 

Incedentally i asked sandy why they do this and he doesnt know. He does it himself sometimes he obviously dosnt realise it. I think its something to do with emphasis of conversation ive come to realise.

We jumped back in the tuktuk, and sandy handed me 300rp. I asked.. Whats this? I didnt need it he said. Oh howcome, did u haggle i asked. No i didnt need to. He liked how you were with his dog, not caring bout the muddy foot prints, allowing her to bite you (in the same playful manner max used to, not hurting one bit)

He say to me 1000 rupees. Fantastic!! #BONUS! 

So where to next sandy i asked, what else? Nothing he said, all is done now! Ok then i think its bed time for me.

We drove back to my hotel, he thanked me profusely, telling me over and over how much it meant to him, and with a big hug, he left as i waved him goodby and turned to go down the really steep slope, to the not so steep slope (yet still deadly, u can never let ur guard down, especially in flip-flops)

I unlocked me door, turned on the air conditioning, made meself a cuppa tea and went to bed! 

The end.. (Of day 4)

Next: Day 5 - indian martial arts training begins!
Previous: Day 4 - Lion Safari Park (Egg man saves the day)

Diary Photos


Kapa param


C&A poss #1

C&A pose #2


About to pounce Eeeek

She's Lion

Scrappy doo

Scrappy don't!

Mmmm. Lunch (she thinks)

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