Thursday, February 08, 2007

South India

Namaste to you all, I'm well behind on my posts so I'm going to show you mainly pictures for a few of them. There's one story though I'd like to share with you, while we were in Bangalore getting Frank's camera I witnessed a very strange experience.

Frank was in the camera shop purchasing his camera and like anything in India it takes a hell of allot of time. So I went outside for some fresh air, just as I was going to sit on the steps, right in front of my eyes, bang! an old, poor man was run over by a truck. Well as like any person your first reaction is to go help. A few Indians gathered around the man as well as the truck driver, he wasn't moving at all. I was just about to cross the road when a very well dressed and spoken Indian grabbed my arm. 'don't go over there' he said, squeezing my arm at the same time, 'why not?'I said, 'my friend you'll be in more trouble then you could ever imagine, especially being a foreigner', 'what do you mean?', 'my friend he is a fellow countryman and there's no way I'd go over there. The police when they come will try to pin it on someone, that truck is a government truck, If you or I went there, they would try and get as much money out of us as possible, that's how corrupt the police in India are'. 'But surely they couldn't do anything to us, we weren't driving the truck, so how could they possibly do anything?', 'this is India my friend the police can do anything they want, do you think it's easy for me to stand back?, well it's not but it's not worth them taking all your money, keeping you in the police station for god knows how long, then my friend you'll have to go to court and so on, it never ends'.

By this time some men had picked the old man up and lent him against a tree, they pored water on his face, then suddenly he moved. Next thing they all quickly dispersed leaving him there. We could hear the sirens coming down the road at this point, I turned back to the man,' I feel bad for not helping', 'how do you really know what happen?, how do you know he didn't want to kill himself?, he's very old and very poor what sort of life is that, every minute of everyday people just like him in India walk out in front of moving traffic to end their miserable lives, you cannot fathom what they go through'.

The next thing Frank came out of the store, I explained a little of what occurred, the man slapped me on the back and said, 'you cant save them all my friend', and walked off. As we started walking away an ambulance pulled up, I don't know what happen as we walked away, it didn't matter I felt ashamed, gutless, it played on my mind for a days.

It also reminded me of a story that two English people told me when I first got to India, they told me about a story that happened last year in England in the tube. They said that a group of people wanted to prove a point on how closed off English people had become. They told me that the group carried out three mock rapes in three separate train stations around London. You know the sad thing about it was nobody stopped to help any of the women, they just walked on by. I don't know but I think they said that maybe only a few people called the police.

Later on they stopped some of the people and asked them why they didn't help a woman who was obviously getting raped.'They all replied, it's not worth getting involved'. I'm not judging myself or these people or anyone else here, but boy we have become a very lost lot of people. Everybody has become so isolated, so cut off from each other, I cannot change a single person in my life other then myself and I know no matter what the consequences I will never, ever walk away again from a fellow brother or sister.

Here are some more pictures of my adventures.

We arrived in a little town called Ooty, its situated in the mountains of Tamil Nadu. It certainly was a pleasant change going back into the mountains, the air was crisp and the countryside was very green and lush. The highlight of Ooty is to either get there by this little train or leave by it, the train makes it way around the countryside, giving you some wonderful views of the landscape.

Ooty is surrounded by tea plantations, it's also well known for its delicious chocolate.

Me playing with my camera on the train journey.

This is Fort Cochin, as you can see the seafood on Fort Cochin is plentiful. Its very cheap, you can select from many types of fish, prawns, crabs and scampi, when you do there's restaurants right near the markets and for a few dollars they cook it straight away.

After Cochin we traveled further down south, this part of Kerala is well known for its waterways. We caught this ferry from Alleppey to Kollam, which is about eighty kilometers, it took about eight hours.

Alleppey is full of canals and every type of boat you can think of, from floating restaurants to speedboats. Sorry guys but the disc with some wonderful photos of Kerala has a virus and I cant open it anymore, hopefully I can add some more photos in the future.