Saturday, February 14, 2004

Saturday Morning, I wake up, cause the sun is blazing into the window, which I cannot figure out how to close. In the process, I trip and fall out of the bedcovers, but catch myself on the chairs, before I saw the bright red light of unconsciousness. I still cannot figure out how to close the blinds, but I am happier knowing I am not lying in a pool of my own blood.

At some point in time last night, I decided it would be a good idea to shave my head, but apparently my razor was not charged up, so I still have fuzz on top. Larissa suggested at breakfast that yes, in time, it really WILL grow out, as long as I do not shave it.

Finally woke up properly, showered and shaved with the freshly charged shaver. My shower door did not fall off and break into a million splinters, so that was a plus. Checked email, to find out that Rebecca has signed me up for the SheetIron Motorcycle rally in late May. Dual sport bikes ride on road and dirt, to go a few hundred miles. It should be very fun, she pressed me to commit at the last minute, so I did. Usually I hate making hard decisions, but this one will only cost me $45 if I flake at the last moment.

The rally involves some strenuous riding, and some nasty, muddy, downhill sections of poopy. We feel Sara may not want to go. L But understandable. Speaking of the lovely one, she got the valentines gifts I left in the closet, and she is in Tahoe now, snowboarding. She’ll return Sunday, then ride north to our pal Cdoor’s house, sleep over, and ride motorbikes north of SF. YAY Sara. I leave, and she has too much fun.

So, fortified from email, Larissa calls, we go downstairs for breakfast, then as we are making dinner reservations, our car pulls up with Aparna and her kids. We all pile in, and head to Dakshinichitra, (misspelled, I am sure of it) a cultural village and museum dedicated to preserving South Indian history. It’s quite brilliant, and there is a Parrot Teller there. Larissa wanted to have a parrot fortune, but missed out at the Coromandel, so got one in Daks.

A parrot comes out of a cage, picks a card from a stack of cards, then makes sure it is the right card, then goes back in his cage. Afters, the teller looks at the card, and tells your fortune. He told Larissa the bad times were behind her in January, she would be wealthy and independent, she would travel much for her job, she would enjoy her work, she would be happy in her husbands house. All in all, it was a pretty accurate, and good fortune. Well, he did not tell her where to find the husband with a house, but other than that, very close.

We took an oxcart ride, Aparna’s kiddoes were very fascinated when the ox pooped. Somehow, Aparna managed to get ox poop on her pants. I made a joke that it would be hilarious if she collected animal poop everywhere we went today. (foreshadowing! I should be a parrot teller)

After Daks, we went to the Crocodile park. Hundreds of crocs, and snake venom extractors. Very VERY cool. Got photos, will post them when I get to an office with fast internet. This hotel is soo slow. Saw Cobras having venom pulled. Cobras! Real Cobras! Very cool. Then we saw so many alligators and crocodiles, the crocodile hunter would have loved it. Then, a crow pooped on Aparna’s face. I am not kidding, I will post photos. Fortunately, Larissa had one of the travel packs of toilet paper, and cleaned Aparna up.

Back to the hotel for lunch. The service was horrible. I am so pissed about this place, I can barely contain myself. The food was okay, but I practically had to BEG the waitstaff for water and fresh plates. I am so upset, I will be leaving a letter for the management.

Anyhow, what would Jack do? Right? He’d say “Turn the binoculars around, change your point of view, bubba!” Do I did. Think happy thoughts! Aparna’s son did not want to go to Mahabalipuram, the temple site with the stone carvings. So I thought we could stay here, play at the beach, play at the pool, then hang around and wait for the girls.

The beach was too cold for him, the pool was boring. He wanted to ride dune buggies. There was a sad little Suzuki 4 wheeler for the staff to work on the beach, and he badly wanted to ride it. But I had just no interest. We came up to the room, where we spent the rest of the afternoon watching cartoons at maximum TV volume. 13. I remember being 13. Nothing is right at 13.

I tried napping. Aparna got here, and her daughter, Larissa and I tried the beach again. They had red flags up, indicating too strong waves, and swimming not recommended. So Larissa ran directly into the surf, and swam out to sea! Woo Hoo!

I joined her out in the water, and swam and played in the waves. VERY strong current. She thought it was cool cause the water was warm, AND salty. I thought the water was nice, not as hot as the Gulf of Mexico. After a while, we drifted too far, and Aparna was hollering for us to swim back. So we did. For a moment, I thought the current was pulling me out, which it was, and for the briefest few seconds, I started a panic. Larissa was way ahead of me getting to the beach, so there was no worries about her. But me? HA! My brain is still not working. I was a lifeguard for many summers. What do they teach? Just like management, be calm! Make calm, strong, smart decisions. Slow down, breathe deeply, calm down, swim! Swim forward, float, pull, and voila! In ya go there buddy!

Back to the pool, sat around a bit, then Aparna and family split for home, and we went up to rooms for showers and rest. Dinner reservations at 8:30, then Manicure/Pedicure tomorrow at noon. 2PM driver arrives, 5:30 flight to Bangalore.

So I’ll post more later, but wanted to catch up. Yes, the hotel is still not great, but Jack would spank me for not remembering to enjoy the gifts I have been given. And I do wake up every morning, just damn happy to be alive, and be able to wake up!


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