Welcome to my first attempt at a blog! I figured now is as good a time as any, having moved halfway around the world to Hubli. While I didn't know anyone on day one, I've since met many wonderful people, both those who have come from out of the country as I have as well as those who are native to India and have been teaching me a lot.

The plan is to update the blog somewhat regularly so that none of the posts get too lengthy (which is the case with the first several, as they were originally mass emails). We'll see how well I do at keeping up. Miss you guys!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fun in the Sun - with a real beach attached!

Perhaps it has a lot to do with the major disappointment that was Goa (yes, yes, Goa-lovers, I’m SURE it was the time of year, and I promise to give it a second chance!), but Gokarna has earned itself a spot in the “will be back … many, many times” category. The sky was clear, the water was bath-like and the beaches were long enough and sans rocks to the point that the ocean was inviting and beckoned to us for a swim many times a day.

The trip was not entirely uneventful. After our first morning in the cabins, I awoke a bit earlier than Noelle, and the room was still relatively dark. When I went to rummage through my bag for my suit, my fingers curled around a plastic tube that ended abruptly in jagged edges. Upon closer inspection, I noticed small pieces of plastic atop my clothing and realized that the now-dry tube had once been filled with lip gloss. It wasn’t mine, and it looked old and dirty, so at first I thought it was leftover from the last person and that the pressure from the fan had knocked it from a narrow shelf above and into my bag.

But, oh no! Not the case. In fact, it was Noelle’s brand-new chapstick from the US, and it wasn’t cheap either. Apparently, the rats in Gokarna have expensive taste. It had also managed to chew a hole in her brand-new Northface handbag.

We were pretty grossed out and the next night were moved to a new cabin (that had actually been arranged prior to the rat discovery), one without holes in the wall. But that rat, oh, he’s crafty. He followed us there, and this time chewed a hole in her OTHER bag, the sports bag carrying her clothes. We later discovered it had chewed through her iPod head phones. What Noelle had ever done to this rat we’ll never know, but the rat sure had it out for her.

(Rebecca laughing at me after I freaked out about her brushing sand on my arm right after I'd toweled off. I admit - a tad ridiculous.)

Noelle wasn’t the only one with bad luck; Kate had been sick for the last few days and was hoping the sun would cure her woes. However, when Kate developed an extremely uncomfortable-looking red rash all over her body on our second day there, we were prudent enough to journey into town to see a doctor. Kate had barely walked through the hospital door when the doctor said, “You had weak limbs two days ago.” “Yes?” “And a fever before that?” “Uh huh.” “And a sore throat and nausea before that, right?” “Yeah … okay. So, what is it?” “Hand, foot and mouth disease, of course.”

Not being fully familiar with the disease, a few of us immediately associated it with hoof and mouth (or foot and mouth), a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease that has had a devastating impact in some parts of the world … on cows. It’s rarely found in humans, so Kate was given some medication and sent back to the beach with a smile.

Of course, it would not really be a post on my blog if I didn’t tell you about the food, which was pretty delicious, particularly the part where I ate fresh seafood at both lunch and dinner every day we were there (thanks to the guys and their nets on the beach). You don’t get much seafood in Hubli, and the seafood you do get is totally eat-at-your-own-risk.

We ate most meals at our hotel (since there was only one other option) and spent every night there, too. (See Noelle about to dig into her seafood steamer.) The same server made it his business to serve us every meal, no matter where we sat on the patio on the beach, so by the end we were old friends. The hotel staff was kind enough to play our iPods, so we had dance parties on a nightly basis. We’re headed back next weekend for the official Deshpande Sandbox trip, and I’m expecting the same!


Megan said...

Haha, no -- hand foot & mouth disease is something babies get a lot -- involves blisters, aches, rashes, and fever. (Only know that b/c the baby I was sitting for had it, then they thought I might have had it... long story.)

Glad to hear the beach was so amazing! I'm jealous of the sun & sand. :)

Miss you.

Chris Johnson said...

I will also say that I am jealous of the sun and sand. I have just been happy that we climbed out of the 40's and 50's the last few days; swimming in really warm water sounds pretty good to me right now.

Anonymous said...

Hope you check your comments in time for us to wish you a Happy Birthday.
Your blog is wonderful.
Aunt Dolly and Uncle Bill

David Williams said...

Glad to hear things are going well there. I am slightly jealous of the warm weather, Ohio had 30s and snow flurries today:)