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INDIA PART 5 - Goodbye

Sorry guys for the long wait!
In Kuala lumpur my laptop decided to shut down and i was without all my data for some weeks.
Thanks to my new technician here in Bali its up and running again! YAY


So i was supposed to travel from Goa to Kerala on the 21st of december.
Note to self and everyone - You can NOT plan anything in India.

For some (higher) reason i simply forgot about my train. I think that that was a good thing due to too much relaxation n stuff ;)

So i got to spend Christmas with my friends Paul and Rebecca!
We dressed up all fancy and went out for dinner - so this means i dressed them and they looked all fancy ;)





Rebecca and me infront of our local "supermarket" called "Infant Jesus".
Infant Jesus is opend 24 hours (that means it closes at 9pm and opens about at 9am).
They sell beauty products, cigarettes and booze - such a blessing !


Anygay - i was not able to get a train until the 26th.
The Trainride was 18 (!!!!) hours.





Another note to Everyone who "warned" me about trains in india.
The Trains are totally okay!
there are 3 classes.

Non-AC:
No Airconditioning but bigger windows and you get a simple bed to lie down on
3-AC:
Basically means in one compartment there are three beds on each side. You get a blanket and a pillow (yes they are washed regulary) the only thing that could suck about this compartment is when ur the lucky one getting the middle bed ;) because you can only lie down.
2-AC:
Best class. Beds, sheets, pillows, Airconditioner. all good.

But even in my 3 AC bed my butt hurt after 18 hours of traveling ;)


Palolem Beach - south of Goa


me and my friend Mary from canada (shes not the cow duh!)


Colomb beach. My favourite.






There is one thing that i will never ever lay of - my love for dogs. I do not care how old, how ugly or how many fleas they have.
(by the way, dog fleas hardly EVER go on humans)


f.l.t.r.:
Lisa from Sweden, Maria from Finnland, Me (whitestboyalive) and Johanna (from Sweden)

Buying raw organic Honey at the beach - which i forgot back at the hostel - TYPICAL ME!

So before i left for my new home Bali on the 29th i was able to spend some days in the far south of India. KERALA.
Kerala was probably one of my highlights of the entire india trip. I loved the more tropical climate of the south and i really enjoyed going through the backwaters and - as usual - eating everything i didn't know ;) i am SUCH a foodie!



Amanda a Advertising genius from Canada and me






coolest finnish chick on the PLANET ! my new found friend for life!
Ladies and Gentleman! the great! the GRAND the STUNNING Ms. TUULI !!!

lunch break from our boat tour (the people next to us did not enjoy the food that much as we did)




So since the 29th of december i am in Bali.
I have no idea how long i will be staying here. currently i am looking for a house but i am sure i will find one soon!
i can already say that this is only the beginning of a great year!
of course i will be posting about the things im doing here as well!

What i would like to say about INDIA:

So many people (a lot of them have not even been to india yet) have warned me about this and that and the other thing, spreading their white western knowledge about the eastern world.
I do not judge you for your opinions (only a bit, well actually i totally do!) but i suggest you come and make your own picture of India!
India is not Europe
India is not the USA or Canada

And that is good!
just don't forget it when you travel here. India can give so much if you let your self drift and get to know the culture.

Goa:
Goa is not India. period.
its nice and beautiful but its not india.

If you want a realy India experiance - travel!
Forget everything people told you about and just DO IT and see what happens.

I do want to say that i am a WHITE MAN. and that i am sure it is something different traveling as a woman. I met great (female) people who traveled all over on their own.
I guess is comes down to: be streetsmart.
Don't do anything you wouldn't do back home, such as go home with strangers or take anything from strangers.




LGBTGGIAAP Info:
(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Allies and Pansexual)

- There is no such thing as GAY in India. Its called "MSM" (Men having sex with Men)

- There is no such thing as Lesbianism in India. Period.
 
- You can be transgender but only Male to Female.

I have talked to a lot of locals on my travels and of course as any place on this planet there is a LGBT scene. its just a bit harder to find.
In Mumbai it is pretty easy to find queer parties, i visited one at the Intercontinental Hotel on the beachfront road. It was loud. It was gay and it was fun!
No one got killed or hurt for making out with another man ;)

However i do not recommend walking the streets holding hands, woman and woman and man and women.
Men and Men can because it is also considered "cool" holding hands with your best (male) friend.
Don't ask, i do no know why.

What saddens me is that even in this community there is no room for emancipation of women. And as Men can not be openly gay they ofter - in order to be with their boyfriend/lover/partner - go Transgender because that is the only way they can be.
This is a point where India still has to learn a lot.
BUT - they are on a good way! there are politicians speaking out on these topics and (in mumbai) you can feel a change already!


India is amazing and definitely worth a visit. it will not have been my last visit!










MB


G O A

We pretty much all have a picture in our heads when we hear about GOA.
Long sandy beaches, cheap booze, great seafood and a lot of drugs.

My friend Laura has been living in Goa for the last 4 years and together with her boyfriend they run 5 hostels along the coat all the way down to KOCHI.

THE HOSTEL CROWD

Laura used to be the roommate of one of my best friends in Vienna.



I came to Goa via train, a "2 AC" train from Lokmanya Station to Margao Goa.
I was warned by several people not to take a train in India out of hygienic and safety reasons.
Well let me tell you this, the train i took was very much okay for me. You have two bunkbeds next to each other and bedding to lie down and sleep. Of course the coaches are not what we in europe are used to be as i also said so often before. It YOU as traveler who should adapt to the conditions here and not the other way around.

The beds where comfortable, the people in the train very helpdul - due to the fact that we had a delay and the stops are not written anywhere nor is there someone who announces the next stops.
So after a one hour delay i finally got to Margao, i was not exhausted i was not tired. I thought that a 12 hour train ride would wear me out but i was fine.






So i arrived at JUNGLE Hostel in Vagator at about 4 a.m. in the morning.
I have stayed in a single room for the last 4 Days now and i am leaving tomorrow.

I have met so many nice people and my time here - thank heavens - is not over yet. Im going to stay at several hostels by THE HOSTEL CROWED until my final leave to Bali on the 29th.





Nightmarket in Anjuna


Me in Arambol 




Sundowner in Arambol






The obligatory holy cow selfie
  

Me at Vagator Beach wearing my DRAGO Scarf ;)


What to expect when coming to Goa:
Well first of all one has to be prepared to see WAY more tourists then f.i. in Mumbai.
Pretty much every country is represented here.
Good thing is that almost every restaurant/Bar/Hotel has Wifi.
Life here is already pretty western i would say, you can get any food from Burgers to Mexican here, but also VERY good Indian cuisine! 
(i recommend Red Snapper Indian style - BEST fish i have EVER eaten!) 

When i took a bus to Arambol yesterday i saw that there are a lot of resorts and luxury apartment complexes, either they are open already or they are about to open.
I met a nice italian man whos been living in Goa since 1982. We could tell that i was kind of hoping to find the "real Goa" from back in the days. But according to him and what i have seen so far the Flower-power-hippie Goa has pretty much vanished.
Don't get me wrong, its beautiful and great here but Goa is not anything close to what India is.

So my journey tomorrow will bring me to one of the 5 star resorts for two nights, after that its further on down to Kerala.
I'll make sure to update as often as i can ;)

see ya!


MB

Mumabi Part 3

So i will try to keep this short but i have to many impressions in my head and i want to write them all down!
When i first arrived in Mumbai i was pretty overwhelmed by uhm... well everything! 
(See "Mumbai Part 1")  

When you fly in by Plane you fly right above one of the biggest slums in Mumbai. My first thought was "awesome! thats where i wanna go!"

I want to confront my to wealthy-know-it-all-oh-im-so-liberal ass with "the real world".
Because as a matter of fact, most of you people reading my blog are from western countries where water runs clean and everywhere and the pleasure of wifi is a public one.


Well guess what. 
Pretty fast i found myself being the stupid one standing like a donkey in the middle of the road with (literally) thousands of people crossing my way staring at me.

Why? because i am the alien in this country.


view from the window of my hotel, kids on the roof flying their kites


one of the market roads near my hotel


I remember the cab driver stoping and there was NO "Hotel Al Madina" (later more on the hotel) anywhere in sight. 


Typical "Baigent" move (sorry no offense) i freaked out and told the driver to bring me to the front door of the hotel.
Oh well marky mark - to bad he didn't speak a word of english.



So i walked in the direction he told me to.
Rats, Dust, Dogs, Cats, Donkeys, Chai Wallas(delivery men who bring food to your work from home),  naked kids, food, men, women, cars, more donkeys and an overflow of people on scooters where all rushing past the weird guy with the mohawk and his huge backpack.

I pretty much got lost in 2 minutes.
(for those of you who know me i have an EXCELLENT sense of direction)

I stood in the middle of a walkway and took a deep breath and said to myself to relax and just ask someone. 
At a barber shop in front of me i popped my head in to say "excuse me sir" and 10 men came outside to help me.



Not only did 3 of them walk me to the hotel, no the owner invited me to come to his shop for a free shave (which i never did oopsie).

From this point on i saw Mumbai differently.
It had been so long since i left Europe that i almost completely had lost my sense for adventure and the lightness of being and living in the moment.

Each day i grew to like this city more and more. I thought of several friends and people who i know would completely freak out here and would NEVER get this place because its nothing like Berlin, Paris, Milan, London or Vienna.
But thats okay because its good that its not.
Europe is not the center of Humanity and i am seeing this more and more.

So here you can check my 10 Points of 

"Should i visit Mumbai":
(If more then three Answers would be "YES" - then just don't.)

- Do you need space (excluding your hotelroom)
- Do you dislike being touched
- Are you afraid of beggars
- Are you afraid of stray animals
- Are you able to say NO
- Are you streetsmart
- Do you mind taking selfies with complete strangers
- Do you think Berlin is dirty?
- Do you need european food?
- Do you prefer luxury hotels and a quiet surrounding?

In only 10 days i went from the Dharavi slums to the rooftop of the four seasons hotel.

I was introduced to the "best" way of living and the "worst" way of living.


Seldom was the gap between both societies bigger then here in Mumbai.

beginning of this week i had the pleasure of working with Rusty who i met on Grindr and he has been showing me around Mumbais (gay)nightlife a bit.
Rusty works as fashion photographer in London and Mumbai.
So together with his team and beautiful model Shruti we set up a, what turned out to be a one day, photoshoot! I can't wait to see the pictures !!



i found a streetcat named Chimney LOVE


On my last day(Wednesday the 9th of December) i went to visit "Gharapuri" or "Elephanta" Island.
An Island which was first discovered by the Portugal invadors in the 16th century and renamed "Elephanta Island" because a huge stone Elephant they found in the bay of the island.
Seriously - which name is cooler "Gharapuri" or "Elephanta" ???

The Island served for the Ghara priests who honored the Goddess Shiva,
In my opinion this island is totally overrated. the caves are nice but not in good shape, which is sad because im sure this place could be awesome.
I liked the one hour boat ride there and also when i got there i was reminded how silence sounded like #love.







cute cow and even cuter doggy :) i miss mine!!!

 

Yes i am one of these tourists who take pictures of the monkeys AND THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT! 



Ah yes! and here are the caves ;) (yes animals are more important!)



 



Hotel Al Madina.
This hotel is located in Bhuleshwar near to Pythonie.
This is one of the Muslim districts of Mumbai.
The near by market are AWESOME specially at night time! nothing really is open before 11 am - GREAT for sleep-in-markys.
if you want to get up early then you will be woken by the morning prayer which you will hear at 6 a.m. from one of the near by mosques.
Food is available EVRYWHERE.

You can get a full meal (veg or non veg) starting at 40 Rupees (incl. drink about 0,50€)
you will not see any other white people here except maybe in your hotel.
If you take a cab home from anywhere it can be a challenge after 4 p.m. SUPER CRAZY BUSY time in that area.

The rooms are nice, no AC but a fan (was good enough for me)
No warm water but uhm yeah... don't need.
I had some roommates, roaches, geckos and a little anthill popped up during my stay in the shower which is also the sink and toilet.
I am a simple queen and don't need a lot to feel good. so this hotel was okay for me.
Next time maybe a different one, but i loved the area.  


MB



 

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