Friday, August 7, 2009

No vegemite but we have jam...

We’ve been told that the first 3 things you’ll notice about India is the heat, the smell, and the general craziness. I reflected on this as we disembarked the plane in warm but reasonable temperatures, sniffed the air and smelt nothing but airport and waited in an orderly fashion to retrieve our baggage. We had organized for someone at the orphanage to meet us and this went smoothly and at 3am we were on our way to Banbassa – 350km north east of Delhi.

We received our first taste of the real India about an hour into the trip when the driver must have pressed a button to make the car skinnier - fitting through a gap between two trucks that I wouldn’t have taken a motorbike through and as daybreak arrived so too did just about every Indian who had a car, truck, bus or motorbike. As the traffic got thicker and thicker the drivers antics became more and more adventurous to overcome it. Alas it was to no avail as we eventually were struck in the mother of all traffic jams. We had arrived on a Hindu festival day, which was something like Brother & Sister day where siblings pledge their allegiance to each other. It seemed like it was particularly good to do this at the Ganges and since we had to cross it to get to where we were going it meant we weren’t getting there any time soon. I had heard that a bus trip could take 10-20 hours to get to Banbassa, but didn’t understand how they couldn’t be a bit more accurate. After 4 hours and moving only a couple of kilometers I started to have an inkling. We finally got to the orphanage at 1:00pm after 10 hours on the road, we met a few folk who manage/work at the “Farm”. After the initial greetings and a delicious lunch we were shown our cottage and had a couple of hours of delicious sleep, having only had a few hours of shut-eye in the past 2 days.

We awoke after a few hours sleep and decided to take our first shower since Perth, nearly 3 days ago. We soon discovered that this was no easy task as our bathroom consisted of a toilet, bucket and ladle. After searching every where in the 1x 2 metre cubicle we decided that there was no shower head and that the bucket and ladle was indeed the substitute. The lack of hot water especially concerned Miriam but we soon learnt that it was a great way to cool down and is very water-efficient. I have it in mind to write to the South Australian government to include this measure in level 5 water restrictions so most of our readers can also partake of the benefits of this mode of cleaning.


  1. Well, the adventure has begun! We are really looking forward to experiencing India vicariously through your blog. That way we can still enjoy long showers!

  2. Yep, I'm with Matt, I'm afraid. :) Vicariously is great--I might just leave India to you! I'll be thinking of Miriam and the bucket of cold water every time I take a nice, warm shower over the next few weeks!!!

  3. Good to hear you got a room. The destination on the google map that you posted looked like a park bench.

  4. Looking forward to future adventures!

  5. You're very punny.

    Kate Bom

  6. I found spooning in the shower quite fun. Even if it was on my own and with a ladle.