Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Travel Companions

It's getting hooooot. That means my school is also converting into its annual oven, slowly cooking us all like rotisserie chickens. The air conditioners still haven't been switched on by the main office, which means there is little relief from the heat in the middle of the day. The temperatures truly aren't bad outside - mid 70s - but it's always about 10 degrees hotter in that school. Knowing that it only gets worse from here isn't a very comforting thought, but I'd still rather take sweating to absolute death in the summer than being in that igloo it becomes in the winter. At least now I can have a pee without having to pull my pants down in a -10 degree tile bathroom.

Beach season is now in full swing and we're all pretty thankful to just be able to get out and sit on the sand all day. It's a little different this year, with faces missing and new faces in place of those, but we've still got a good clan of friends happening. Three very good friends whom I've known for a solid year have recently left, dwindling the "original" crew down to very few. Out of the 15-20 of us who would hang out constantly last summer, less than 10 remain, including myself and Al. We were getting down to the minimum so we all decided that we better start accepting applications for new friends (jk). A few of our friends last summer would flit back and forth between our group and another, and since a lot of the other group's numbers have also left we've sort of combined into one now, along with some newbies just arriving. Our friend Brittany brought her new coworkers Gina and Landon (a couple from Texas) around to meet everyone and told me that Gina and I would get along swimmingly. She was right, and Al and Landon hit it off also. The four of us immediately got on really well and now...we have India companions!

They were looking into places to go for their summer vacation knowing full well they wanted to get out of Korea for a week. It turns out they have the same week off as Al and I so we toyed around with them coming along to India with us. They originally wanted a pristine, palm fringed beach but unfortunately, a lot of SE Asia, along with those awesome beaches, are being drenched by the monsoon this time of year so their selection was limited. After weighing all their options they decided that India, in fact, sounds fabulous, and officially booked their flights yesterday. Al and I haven't travelled with other people since we went to Laos so I'm really excited, especially since this will be their first jaunt into the land of tuk tuks, chicken buses and all around a kind of chaotic beauty you can't find anywhere but in this part of the world. And India is the kind of exotic that I don't think any of us have ever experienced and now we get to see it together.

So far, the general plan is to spend a few nights up in the hills and jungles of Thekkady and hang out with the elephants:

We're totally doing this

We'll spend a night cruising the backwaters of Alleppey in a two bedroom houseboat:

Relaxation at its best

Then we'll spend our last night in Alleppey town where we can hit the beach or visit the markets:

Preeeetty stoked. Kerala (where we're headed) is also renowned for the Ayurveda massage treatments which Gina and I are definitely jumping right into. Although it's monsoon season and the weather might not be the greatest, from what I've read it'll rain a few hours every day then clear off. People also say it's the most beautiful time to visit southern India because the rains make everything so lush and green. Fine with me, I'll just load up on OFF! so I don't get Malaria and pray for a little sunshine. 

47 days and counting!

(all images found online, not mine)

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