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March 13th 2018
Published: March 13th 2018
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Day 11-13 -New Year’s Eve – Beach time

The trip to Odayam beach meant we passed Hindu festival in Varkala town where everyone wore yellow. It was an amazing sight which I don’t think we got photos of! We also passed men’s store “Hitler – King of fashion”, ahem.

We finally met the famous Baba at the Palm tree Heritage resort. He was lovely. Looked a bit different to everyone else -possibly Andaman? Very warm and welcoming and nothing was too much for him. There was no bureaucracy like handing over passports or money or anything. He gave us a welcome drink and we hung out at the café/restaurant which was right on the clean beach which was rocky but had a nice enclave where you could body surf & wave jump. After some watching some check out activity / the world go by our 2 bedroom villa was ready relatively quickly. This was not a salubrious as our other accommodation but it was what you’d expect at the beach and our 2 rooms were connected by a shared bathroom aka family accommodation. We had a/c & fans and it was clean and comfy. The lighting wasn’t great but hey. The house keeping manager even checked with me each morning what my requirements were. This was the girls favourite place.

After a lovely light lunch of what was, essentially, starters (you can get tired of w2w buffet you know!) we all went for a sea swim, which I don’t know when the last time I have done that was. The waves were strong and both adults got grazed somewhere along the line but it was fun. After some exploring (and resting for poor sick boy) we got ready for the New Years’ Eve gala – but not before my princess hit me up for an appropriate beach party outfit!! She looked great in her new Sarong and the rest of all got some fun jewellery – wristlets/anklets etc. - for the occasion. The gala was good and Babu went all out with chairs covered in white satin and red bows. A local dance troupe provided Bollywood style entertainment. The DJ was brutal though! Beer was easier to get here but the bottle had to stay on the sand under the table – so dunno was that to get around licencing laws. Although we did see the local constabulary eat there too, so who knows? Loads more Europeans here – Russians, French, Brits, Scandos (all fairly foreboding actually) and I even chatted to an Irish woman in the sea who was travelling around with her young daughter for a few months.

The poor kids didn’t make it to midnight but were delighted one of the stray dogs adopted us and slept at our door. There were fireworks at midnight which myself and himself got back up for and then we went back to bed with our respective children – we decided 1 more night monitoring was needed for the boy wonder.

New Year’s Drama

New Year’s Day the girl and I went for a really early morning walk in our pyjamas and watched the fishermen take in their haul from the nets, fascinating to see. Spent the day in the sea and taking it easy. At 4 pm on my insistence we headed to the next beach, kids took a short cut, the boy stumbled on rocks and fell onto a huge cactus. Cue blood, tears and many many spikes in his little body. We went straight back to the villa but as the light was poor inside had to pluck the spikes out with a tweezers in the sun on the veranda. This boy is a great patient when it comes to gastro related illness but he is terrible with needles and tweezers. 2 hours and much screaming and wailing later super Dad had all the spikes out of his back but he wouldn’t let us near his hand which had 8 or 10 black looking thorns. People must have thought we were doing some weird corporal punishment as we had a bit of a concerned looking audience outside the villa (at the bottom of stairs that led up to our veranda – which was good for doing yoga on during non-crisis time).

At dinner I asked Babu’s advice on what to do and he said tomorrow bring him to A&E if the boy won’t let you take out the ones from his hand. No point going to pharmacy or local GP. He said he’d send a driver with me.

So next day, as his hand was stiffening up, we did just that. We all went in a tuk-tuk after breakfast with a lovely grandfatherly driver and he told the reception guys in the hospital what was up and then they led us into A&E. The doctor who triaged him was nice and I felt like a big white twat with her boy with a thorn in his hand when I saw a small local boy on a stretcher after some sort of horrible accident! I was apologising profusely and they said don’t worry you were right to come but that we’d need to see a surgeon. Paid for A&E which was like 170rps ($3.40au) and was shown to surgeon’s pre-fab office, waited maybe an hour – boy feel asleep in my lap. Surgeon was lovely but said he’d need to do a local anaesthetic later that afternoon; else we could take our chances that the thorns would work their way out naturally. We were going to mountains the next day and he couldn’t really move his hand so we booked in for 4:30pm. But not before he had to have blood test for HIV etc. for which he screamed the house down and a security guard had to hold down his legs while he sat on my lap (me crying) and 4 nurses attempted to get a sample! That cost around $1000rps ($20). Then grandpa tuk-tuk man took us back to base where we had lunch etc. At 3:45pm the boy, me and grandpa tuk-tuk man headed back to the hospital. Dad & the girl went to the beach and exploring.

Back at the hospital we collected the blood results and were brought fairly quickly to minor-op theatre. They put some anaesthetic cream on his hand and he showed grandpa tuk-tuk man some cool robot game on his iPad while we waited. Surgeon got delayed by maybe an hour and was very apologetic and I was very apologetic back - for us time wasting when he had people much more in need of his help than us! There were around 7 people in scrubs and they told me wait outside. After 10 minutes (of silence) they told me move to the next hall. Okay…. Then I could hear the screaming from 2 halls away. The original Bedlam wasn’t in it! I felt so bad. But after 10 minutes it was all over and the surgeon showed me a piece of gauze with 8 or 9 black thorns on it. He said there was more pale ones in there but enough was enough for the poor 5yo and he’d give me some antiseptic cream and they’d come out by natural exfoliation – which they did. I was very grateful.

Grandpa tuk-tuk man reappeared and brought me to the pharmacy and the cream cost around another 1000rps and that was it, I do not know how the surgeon got paid.

So we headed back Odayam beach and resumed our holiday where left off and went to the aquarium which was great and was open till 7pm J

At dinner that night there was a weird vibe and it turned out one of the staff had been found drowned at the bottom of a well that afternoon! He had drunkenly fallen in. 29 years old, the staff and Babu were gutted and in serious shock. Put things into perspective for us I can tell you.


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