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Old 14th August 2009, 20:06   #346
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Guys, I went through the thread yetiholiday-theone-visits-india-first-time after the entire narration by Sam was over. I read each and every post and was wondering why people are so anxious, restless and impatient.

I realise now. Now I am very much restless, anxious, impatient and what not to know what happened next.
Come back soon Sam
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Old 14th August 2009, 20:49   #347
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lloydofcochin View Post
@ Thad - You are spot on.
The bilge needs frequent "de-watering". The hand pump IS connected to a mechanical pump, which is always running when the engine is running. The engine of these bots - "MB Harsha" and "MB Bharath" are Ashok Leyland 370 engines - same ones on trucks. (iirc). Only first few "hand pumps" require the hand pump. Once water starts coming out, the mechanical pump takes over, and starts pumping out water.

I have seen both boats on the dry docks for routine maintenance and "caulking" - packing oiled cotton between the planks to keep them water proof.

Quote:
They had experimented with a Steel boat probably a decade or so back but that had some serious structural & engine issues
Plain mis designed. Ordinary mild steel hull (body) in sea water is a sure call for disaster. The public are lucky that the boats did not go under water.

While the ALM370 engines consume around 12-13 liters of diesel per hour, the newer boats were twin engined, and were much bigger from Greaves Cotton, IIRC. Obviously, fuel consumption went up exponentially.

Additionally, if you look at the pics, you will notice that deck of the wodden boats are below the water line. leading to better stability. The steel boats had higher decks, and wider bodies to compensate the increased center of gravity. The wider bodies meant the newer boats took about 3 times more time to traverse the same distance.

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Don't you get uhh modern mundus? Like ready-to-wear with elastic and so on? Like a skirt?
Heh. You may be better off using a belt, or tie an "angavastram".

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
But by the 2nd and 3rd day, a visible change is seen. Not in the Chennai auto-guys, but the Calicut auto-guys who change from their honest ways to the Chennai way of overcharging passengers.
Sadly, have been overcharged at least twice in last 18 months when I caught a rick from Calicut railway station. That is still way better than Ernakulam, where I will be charged Rs. 50 for a trip which runs Rs. 19/- on the meter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
The Kerala garment that looks like a sari is actually a two-part dress, of which the lower part also carries the name Mundi,
"set mundu", it is sometimes called. A mundu, plus a piece of upper garment.

A proper sari which looks like a set mundu, but with far more embroidery / designs is also available. This would obviously be more expensive.

Quote:
I think the ladies wear an underskirt, and they make very sure that mundu malfunctions
do not occur!
Well, the underskirt, which is called "pavada" or sometimes, in Malayalam, "underskirt" (hahaha) has a bigger function. It lends shape.

And anybody wanting to undergo an ayurvedic massage should (1) avoid joints around tourist hubs. (2) go to a proper ayurvedic hospital.
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Old 14th August 2009, 21:29   #348
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What does surprise me is that God has blessed Portly George with sandpaper on his palms. Did I come here looking for a half-body scrub? To watch my dead and living tissue be mercilessly ripped from half my body under the guise of a massage?

If his hands are rough, he is not a masseur. The logic of having a coconut based ayurvedic oil over your palms on a daily basis leads to the assumption that your palms will be soft and supple.
I'm being conned.
may not be entirely correct i guess. i have undergone the ayurvedic massage for a week in an ayurvedic hospital in a non tourist location. that masseur was trained in a proper hospital. his hands were rough. the thing is constant massage with oil will harden the skin to an extent that it would feel rough. it is not actually rough but the skin is quite thick. this is applicable to female masseurs as well. so i guess you were given the proper care not conned. may be others who have done this can reflect.
i guess skin develops the thickness due to the fact that they deal with extra hot oil on a day today basis.
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Old 14th August 2009, 21:41   #349
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i guess skin develops the thickness due to the fact that they deal with extra hot oil on a day today basis.
I have serious doubts. Proper ayurvedic treatment will never approve of doing anything which "stresses" any part of the body - including the care giver's body.

Here we find a massage center which lacks even basic amenities - like a stove to heat the oil.

But I am no ayurvedic expert, and am out of this; at least till Sam completes his thriller serial.
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Old 14th August 2009, 23:33   #350
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hands feel like sand paper not because the skin is thick, but because skin has cracks. and there are many reasons for that. still one would expect it to be crack free if it gets in touch with oil daily.
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Old 14th August 2009, 23:57   #351
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First Mundu-talks, then chhakda-talks & now Skin-talks. Yeti has got amazing abilities
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Old 15th August 2009, 11:41   #352
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Default The massage continues

While the massage is on I hear the faint sound of a mobile phone ringing. It's not mine but it comes from somewhere further away. I also feel Robust Sam move slightly and then whisper something in Malayalam and..

leave.

I'm alone with Portly George who tries to compensate for Robust Sam having left by somehow massaging both sides of my body at once. The only good thing is that the dead skin layers on my right are removed instantly.

After a few minutes Portly George asks me to get up.

Up? You mean turn over?
No lie down, over there.


I look "there" - "There" is a rexine covered thin mattress, like 2 inches thin, the kind they throw on beach and lounge chairs before they put a towel on top. There's no towel there.
It lies on the floor and looks a bit oily.

Down there?
Yes.


OK I guess. I get up, walk over to that thing and lie down on it on my back, face to the ceiling. Everything that has occurred so far has been a complete disappointment. I wonder how it must be for Jenny who has been led away to another section.

The massage continues.

My eyes are closed. I feel two hands on both sides of my arms and the movement continues down to my waist. Ordinarily I would have not reacted as this is a dual abhyangam.

However both hands are very rough.

Out of curiosity i open my eyes. I wish I never had.

I am lying down, naked as the day I was born on a slippery weird black rexine thing. Portly George is on me. Like on me, with his legs on either side of me.
He bends over me, in some weird Kama-Sutraesque position and runs his hands all the way up to my arms, thereby bringing his face a few inches away from mine.
For a moment I can even smell the coconut oil on his bushy mustache.

I shut my eyes quickly in a sort of semi-prayer and wince. I feel violated.

Unfortunately Robust Sam never returns. Portly George continues the most appalling massage I have ever suffered in my life. Being brave souls we have opted for the 15 minute head massage extension.
After what seems like an eternity, it stops.

I feel awful, neither relaxed nor pleased. This is positively the worst massage I have ever experienced. Things could not get worse. Perhaps Portly knows this, for he does not even ask how it was. To make matters even worse, we have been cheated on time too. A 45 minute massage and a 15 minute head massage have together amounted to less than 45 minutes.

Shower?

Now let me get this straight. Like any good Indian, I have absolutely no qualms about bathing with a bucket of water and a mug. I have done it before, can do it again and find no issues with it. In fact I even consider it to be conservation of water.

But a cracked bucket with mold all over it is another thing.

The bathroom is filthy and really tiny. Cobwebs everywhere. I clutch my thin towel and little medimix soap as I try desperately to wash off the oil with cold water and soap.
Now I close my eyes for a minute and try to imagine Jenny's plight in a similar situation. This makes me laugh for the rest of the washing off.

As I get dressed I hear a familiar voice outside. Has my husband finished?

As I step out to the reception area, one look at her face and we both know it was horrible.
Still. One must ask.

Und?
Scheiße!


I nod and pay.
Honey it was awful. She says outside.
I know.

We walk quickly now. It's 5.45 and I want to be at the Kathakali Academy.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 15th August 2009 at 11:44.
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Old 15th August 2009, 11:47   #353
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kutlee View Post
may not be entirely correct i guess. i have undergone the ayurvedic massage for a week in an ayurvedic hospital in a non tourist location. that masseur was trained in a proper hospital. his hands were rough. the thing is constant massage with oil will harden the skin to an extent that it would feel rough.
No Kutlee, I do not agree with you. I refer to dry and rough skin which does not occur if you apply oil to your hands everyday.

I have experienced many Kerala massages. The abhyangam is my favourite form of massage, rating far higher than the Swedish, Thai and other varieties.
What I experienced was at the very best, a poor inexperienced massage.
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Old 15th August 2009, 13:44   #354
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Ah !! Finally we wait for Sam's report on the Kathakali show !! Looking forward to that.
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Old 15th August 2009, 15:09   #355
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You paid, Sam? In full? After that?

Goodness...

Still, I suppose that, after a dreadful massage, the last thing you wanted was a row over money.
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Old 15th August 2009, 16:57   #356
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Great narration and amazing pictures! I am so proud of my home town1
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Old 15th August 2009, 22:17   #357
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The Hindu : Spotlight on massage parlours

I am not being alarmist; just pointing a news item from 2002. There was some good publicity about some govt. initiatives requiring some regulations for massage parlours. Now, we have concrete evidence that the steps have come to nought.
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Old 16th August 2009, 10:19   #358
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
No Kutlee, I do not agree with you. I refer to dry and rough skin which does not occur if you apply oil to your hands everyday.
Sam, it may not only due to the hands are rough. I hope they used the heated oil. Coconut oil can be the base and there may be some additives in this. Which will make the oil bit rough and sticky. So, mostly you got the flavor of both..!!

In northern part of Kerala, the traditional Kalaripayattu Massaging, legs are used instead of Hands. The person who massages will be hanging on a rope while his legs on top of us. Last year, I had undergone such treatment for 15days for my back pain.
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Old 16th August 2009, 10:39   #359
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Sam,

Quite grudgingly I say this, "I quite envy your narrative skills"!

Cheers.
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Old 16th August 2009, 14:48   #360
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Smile yeti got it seriously wrong

hi Yeti

I'm really sorry about your experiences in Kerala, and just wonder how you found those places to get such a ****ing experience???

Next time, in my opinion go to a Kalari instead of these massage centers to get a professional to do it. (Preference: in north kerala there is Indian Dynamic Kalari at Pattambi lead by Jamal Gurukkal, in south CVN Kalari at Trivandrum). They know what is massaging and how to do it.

Apart from that, please find a local friend before you get into trouble with restaurants and hotels, coz cheats are everywhere...

Hope you will get the impression changed nxt time with a refreshing experience

Aneesh Anand
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