Saturday, 27 December 2008

Trivandrum Trip

Well, this photo amused ME, if it doesn't you! But thereby hangs a tale. This is the notice on my water tank which is on the flat roof of this house. It's a big round plastic drum with a capacity of 500 litres and about waist height. The neighbours' tank is 750 litres and taller. Guess which one they use to water the plants on the roof? Mine, naturally! They dip a nice unhygienic and dirty bucket into it, no doubt putting it on the ground in between fills, and God knows what else it is used for. I've told them that this is not acceptable, and it stopped for a while, but it's started again. I did think about just padlocking the lid but that's not very friendly, is it?! I'm wondering about showing them how a syphon works so that they can syphon water out of their tank, but syphoning would be pain to do frequently. Or I could buy them a hose to attach to their outside tap near the back door but, with the length of hose needed and a low head, there may not be enough flow. Or I could plumb in a tap into their tank's outlet pipe on the roof. It's 32mm plastic piping but it should be easy enough. Actually, if I just tee'd off to a hose they wouldn't need a tap, would they? They could just keep the end of the hose above tank height. But then if it fell down the tank would empty itself... Hmm, maybe not!

Today I went into Trivandrum to find the Sri Lankan Airways office to find out why they wanted to see me. The bus was really crowded - so much so that I couldn't see where we were going as we jolted, swerved, accelerated and braked all the way to East Fort. Lucky we stopped when we did or I would have been very sick! I felt really rough. The first thing I do when I get there is have a chai at a stall near the cinema, and that helped restore equilibrium. A tall and friendly, bearded, dignified Indian guy always serves me and recognises me now.

I walked up the chaotic, noisy and polluted MG Road (Mahatma Gandhi Road - a common naming in most cities and large towns). Eventually I found the SLA office and was told that there had been a minor time change. No big deal. The girl wondered why I had bothered to come and not phone - so do I, now! Anyway, I saw today as a day for exploring.

I found the famous Connemara Market, went inside but then wished I hadn't. The fruit, veg, snack and oddsandends stalls were OK, but the fish stalls... what a dreadful STINK! The big fish had been cut in two and someone was dabbing blood onto the spines, to make it look fresh and healthy I suppose. I would have liked to have taken photos but I just had to get out of there before I heaved my guts up!

Outside University College I found a pavement display of Indian greetings cards and just had to take a few snaps. The owner and his mate were quite bemused and didn't mind posing for me.

A little further on was the Victoria Diamond Jubilee Library outside which a guy was selling fluffy dogs, Father Christmas-ish doll things, and crash helmets, as you do!

I made my way up to the zoological gardens and visited the Napier Museum - housed in an interesting timber building.

Very airy and spacious inside. Lots of bronzes of Indian gods, very decorative wood, stone and ivory carvings, Japanese shadow puppets, and so on. No photos allowed inside and the ones outside didn't come out too well. Partly due to the extremely high light contrasts I suppose, and partly due to my cack-handedness. I managed to have the camera on the wrong settings. Actually, it's surprising that it's working at all after I spilled a glass of sweet tea over it a few days ago. The stickiness has affected the lens cover which now only half-closes like a half-shut eye.

One of the goddesses was Parvati. Having seen her, you can keep your elephant gods! You'll understand why if you look at these library pictures. BTW, her name is Sanskrit for "she of the mountains" :-)

Oh, and some colourful houses snapped between Kovalam Junction and home:

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