Friday, February 13, 2009

Roughing it out is NOT in

For the LAST TIME, I told the smug snooty HR-girl-with-a-foreign-degree, book me into a hotel with a heated swimming pool, or I AM NOT TRAVELLING! She cursed in Scandinarabic and scuttled away.

Flashback movie style to my backpacking college days: I once slept all night on a railway platform at some unheard-of station in Rajasthan. The trains too hadn’t heard of it, because no train stopped there for hours on end, and when one did, we had to hang on to the closed door of a running train (told you it was movie style) for a coupla minutes.

Next shot : We’re in this flea-bag hotel in Sikkim, where the room rate was so low, till we realized it was sponsored by the long queue outside our bathroom window, with tickets being sold for a peep-in.

Next shot : We’re in a little car in breath-taking mountainside, with my head hung outside, hair trailing the dust, coughing, gasping, puking my insides out. Breath taken all right!

Hot meals used to mean pulling a leech off my leg, boiling it and eating it…(leeches are rich in Vitamin Something). And Room Service meant someone coming into my room to chase a rat away at 2 a.m. while I jumped up and down on the bed screaming. Travel Insurance : I once kept my boots on for 7 days and 7 nights out of fear that someone would rob them. Someone did – on the 8th day.

So the HR girl came whimpering back, with the heated pool hotel. It has Continental and Indian restaurants, she offered. NO CHINESE? I growled, I can’t be expected to stay in a place like that !
(After all, eating live leeches is definitely Chinese cuisine, wouldn’t you agree?)


  1. Yup. There was a time when you could holiday for a fortnight with a pocketful of change - including hotel, booze and food (what little you found time for). We took a catamaran out of Kovalam beach that time and dived into the sea to watch coloured fish. Many years later, we paid thousands of dollars to get on a bigger boat to cruise to the Bahamas to dive into the sea to watch coloured fish. I like to reminisce how I thought fondly of our Kovalam experience while reclined on a deck chair on that cruise ship to the Bahamas.

  2. yup srini, fun was a lot more fun when you were not paying that much for it.

  3. Hey - am back on your blog...great stuff. Could relate to all the puking happening around while traveling up the mountains in north east India. What a sight but what a smell!! I used to be proud that i dont suffer from motion sickness...:)
    Keep writing...