Terry's Indian Blogs

Fig 4

Early in 2006 Anita Alberts got some contract work in Trivandrum teaching English as a foreign language. Terry decided to go with her for the experience and hoped to be able to help locals in some way with his mechanical expertise. He also decided to keep a blog of his experiences and these are published below

Up to now we have been to Kovlam beach it is quit touristy but nice. We are living in an 11th floor flat in Trivandrum on the east side.  The views from the flat are stunning . We are about 150 feet up and  I can see the King's Palace from the study. All the buildings are surrounded by tall palm trees.

 

Terry RelaxingTerry Relaxing shoeless

I was stood on the Balcony yesterday and an Eagle flew to about 10 feet from to me with its talons outstretched and screeching to warn me off its territory. Our balcony is one of only two which protrude out from the building giving a panoramic view which I suspect the eagle thinks is his.  Anita didn't believe me until it frightened her  away from the balcony. It won't attack though it does makes a lot of noise and I have a Squeegee mop handy just in case it gets too near. I think it's getting used to my presence now

They are building a block of flats adjoining us and I have been watching the progress through my Project Manager eyes. The way the Indians work is a story of its own I will send you some pictures later. I have only got a dial up connection working as a temporary measure. Most of the workers are bare footed and in their early teens.

 

They work incredibly hard, you don't see anybody leaning on their spade out here. They sleep in a tin shack on the Site, The only mechanisation is a winch and a cement mixer. Every thing is done by hand, hammer pick  and spade, I watched them unload 15 ton of sand from a wagon by spade (No tipper lorry) Then they carried it like coolies to the cement mixer. I could have finished Sundon months ago with this lot.

A tuc tuc vehicle


We ventured out on our first weekend. We hailed a tuc-tuc (it costs about 30p to go one mile) and went to the local museum which is situated in a large park in the city that contains an art gallery and a large Zoo. The park was interestingly landscaped with lakes and lots of tropical trees but not as tidy as the parks in Thailand.

I am surprised by the  weather it is very nice not to hot yet, it is like August in Bolton.

The exhibits in the museum were mainly 16th century Indian God figures and some dated back to the  8th century. The building is an impressive tall purposed built wood and concrete Victorian one with the walls painted to look like it was constructed in red brick. The upkeep of the exhibits is poor but it was very interesting with  a lot of information in English. There was a beautifully carved cart which for centuries was drawn through the streets at festivals. This type of cart is  still used today.

We visited the zoo and it was well stocked with a good selection of miserable animals but they looked well kept and healthy. Their were lots of smartly dressed school parties visiting the park and Zoo. Every child was clean and smart though a large number of them wore nothing on their little feet. Some school kids were more interested in us than the animals and they made us pose whilst they took photos. A few little boys showed off their English by addressing us pleasantly and with a  smile   "Good morning and  how are you today sir?"

We were taken to a party on Saturday night. We were picked up by Anita's boss (James) his wife Abby and an old College friend of theirs Jane . There were several Indian musicians with their wives and children who were having  a band reunion as they had not played together for 10 years or so and wanted everybody to join in singing and to have a go too!  Some of the children used percussion instruments. You wont believe it but I got up with Jane and sang Hey Jude, making up the words as  we went along. I got everybody else joining in and it went down well.

A little Indian girl came up to me and said I was  a very nice singer (only me believes her!). She is my one member  Fan club. The party was really good fun and the band were fantastic. They played blues best but also did several songs from Dark Side Of  The Moon. 

For more information on Trivandrum check out http://trivandrum.nic.in

                                                                      Regards Terry And Anita