Monday, January 18, 2016

18 January 2016

Ooty sounds like a disease of some sort, doesn't it? Well, it's actually a place- and one of the most famous places in all of Coimbatore. I took a million photos, which will be included in the multitude of attachments. That's handy to know about cheap courses at Ivy Tech; I'll definitely keep that in mind. The week here was pretty eventful, due mostly to (yet another) Hindu holiday, Pongal. It's a farmer's festival, largely celebrated by decorating your walkway and outside your door in the early stages. Inline image 1
Guess what that lovely brown and green stuff is? You guessed it- cow poop. They actually paint outside their doors with cow poop. And it gets better:

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In case the cow poop wasn't enough, they then decorate that by putting dye powder on top in colorful patterns. Some streets, such as this one, were completely covered in poop. Mm-mm!

In other, unrelated news, I started cooking again! For the last few weeks (or maybe months), I haven't really cooked much. But, last P-Day, I picked up some ingredients, and made fish rice. I used to make it all the time in California, but not since. I'll admit, that's largely because we don't have rice cookers here that do all the work for you. I did learn some interesting things about the fish stalls here. For one, they leave all the fish out all day long. 

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Delightful, right? What's more, they'll even chop up the fish for you if you ask them- in slices across the fish, just to make the bones harder to pick out. People here really love playing Where's Waldo with their food; it's the real reason they eat with their hands. Regardless, the rice turned out surprisingly well. 

We also had another bit of unexpected news: one of the branch young men, Gibson, was riding his motorcycle and had a nasty accident. He hit a telephone post with his face. He's far out of danger, but his right eye swelled shut and the doctors say that it'll probably stay like that for the next 3 weeks, because he fractured his eyebrow ridge in 2 places. 

More about Pongal: it's a farmer's festival, and is celebrated over four days, the last day being the most exciting. It's when they have bull races, people races, and all sorts of fun. We just came out of it, and so they are still clearing up all the decorations. One of the celebratory foods is also called pongal; it's a mix of rice, brown sugar, and a bunch of other spices. A member gave it to us, but it wasn't all that great. 

Anyway, we went to Ooty today. That was a 3 hour drive out, that we started at 4 in the morning. We found some HUGE dosa (picture included later) for breakfast, and kept going. We made it all the way to the Boat House, an amusement park. That was way fun, and very surprising. We all got a combo thing that let you ride 6 rides for cheap, and went on. I was surprised by most of the rides- the boring-looking ones tended to be fun; the exciting-looking ones were boring. We rode the Dragon Coaster, which was a simple oval, with one tiny hill. That ended up being one of the most fun: it went super fast, and actually scared you on the turns because you had to wonder if it would fly off (the whole place looked cheap and sketchy). We also tried the 7d movie theater, which turned out to be the sketchiest place of all. The "seat" was a bench held up about 5 feet off the ground with cables (the door that led into it was at the same height as the bench). There was a big padded bar that dropped to chest level for you to cling on to for dear life. And, to top it all off, there were several intimidating items on the ground: a fire extinguisher, a box full of loose, rusty tools, an ax, and several fire buckets full of sand. The wires and cables for the bench were hanging loose in plain sight, and looked generally disreputable. We got on anyway, and settled in for the ride. It was just a psychedelic minecart ride underground, with loops and jumps and all sorts of craziness. There was even a hundred-foot plunge into a lake of lava, which you only narrowly avoided. The motion of the bench was the best part: it would actually drop you a few feet, lurch back and forth, and do all sorts of nausea-inducing maneuvers. We had fun with that one. All of the rest of the sites we visited were just photo sites, of which I will include the pictures. That was basically it for the week; I'm in a bit of a rush. See ya!

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