Drew Kidger

Drewkidger

Drew Kidger

India here I come! (with the little lego 'stig' for memorable photo moments)

22 November 2009 - 3rd April 2010

5 months in India, living in the chaos of the largest democracy in the world. Over 1 billion people and 20 times the size of our beloved UK!

Gonna be doing a fair bit of volunteer work, teaching english and learning about sustainable living. Really want to see whether yoga and drama can work together in education as well - and what better place to find out than the birthplace of yoga, with some of the most dramatic people on earth! :-)

So far I've got plans to go to Amarpukashi, a small village 5 hours from Delhi. Website is below if you want to check out what they do. Will be teaching english and experiencing life in the 'real' india, the rural areas.

http://www.ivcs.org.uk/

Will definately be in Bodhgaya in Bihar from Jan 5th - 10th. The Dalai Lama is doing 5 days of teachings on all things buddhist and 'world peace' related. Just turn up with a cushion and an FM stereo (that's assuming I'm not fluent in Tibetan by then!).

Will be heading up into Nepal, hopefully getting a glimpse of Everest, experiencing the ghats in Varanasi, doing some yoga in Kerala around February, and staying at the ashram set up by Gandhi on my way back up the west coast.

I'm sure my plans are going to change, but there's a few ideas in the air at the mo. Everybody says to expect the unexpected, and never plan your journey yourself...but allow India to plan your journey for you instead!




Asia August 10th 2010

In my first blog post I laid out my detailed plan of my time in India. Yoga this, drama that...plans plans plans. Ironically, 10 months after arriving in India I have yet to quote from shakespeare, and my lotus pose is slowly degenerating into more of a struggling weed pose. At the end of that first blog post I said that I needed to 'expect the unexpected' and be willing to let India change my plans for me. Writing this post from a secluded location in Goa called 'the tree house', and sharing my space with 30 rescued monkeys, 14 extremely vocal cats, 6 adopted dogs, and dozens upon dozens of amphibian friends that love to test their vocal chords (and my patience) well into the night! So I can safely say that India definately changed ... read more
...and a renewed Baldrick making new friends
Can you spot Snatch as a baby?
An older, wiser, and 'rounded' snatch deep in thought

Asia August 5th 2010

Is it irony, coincidence, or just a sign of my often touted naive attitude of ‘all or nothing’, that after leaving England last November for a 6 month trip, it is now nearly almost 6 months to the day since my last entry on my travelblog…and I am still in India. My last entry saw me spending a month in Nepal, ending up with a dilemma of what to do and where to go next. Should I extend my visa in Nepal and enjoy the laid back cultural delights of an excited and passionate nation, or do I make the arduous journey south to Goa, the one place I said I would never visit due to my distaste for anywhere abroad selling itself as ‘just like being in England but with guaranteed sun’. Think Benidorm, Costa ... read more
Family subscribe to this blog so no Mr Karma or Mrs Sutra photos will be added
Temple carved into the rockface - unbelievable size!
Educational outing for the children...

Asia February 12th 2010

Am sat here writing this from a very very wet, festival-fuelled, muddy and smelly Varanasi...so a nice welcome back to India after the peace and tranquility of Nepal! My clothes are drenched, feet are wet through and caked in mud (and other stuff im sure), all my bags are locked away at the train station the other side of the city, and i'm stuck here in Varanasi for the next 12 hours waiting for an overnight train to Khajuraho. It's moments like this that I wander why I came out here in the first place, but then I see the buzzing atmosphere on the streets, with the hundreds of pilgrims lining up to pay homage to their lord shiva, drenched through one hundred times more than me, with nothing but a loin cloth to cover their ... read more
Himalayas
locals resting in the heat
the most scenic shower (and public) ever!

Asia » India » Bihar » Bodh Gaya January 15th 2010

This one is for you Mr Edward Purle, after all your constant questions and nagging I'm finally heading to Nepal! :-) The decision to go sums up exactly how things are done in India...on a whim! I had all my plans laid out for going to Goa (south India) on the 18th Jan, train tickets booked and ready for my 35 hour extravaganza of a journey! Two nights ago I was helping a friend of mine decide where to go next on her trip, and we ended up on Nepal being her best option. After two hours of 'Nepal talk' I'd talked myself into going with Cathy as well, and so made quick plans yesterday to get the 24 hour bus journey up to Kathmandu, cancel my train tickets to Goa (30 pence cancellation charge - ... read more

Asia » India » Bihar » Bodh Gaya January 12th 2010

Welcome to Bihar, the poorest and most troublesome state in India. So it should have been like living in Moss Side for the past few weeks then, not likely! The people here are amongst some of the friendliest I've met. Yes they have their troubles, and the poverty level is on full show, but it's definitely not as bad as people say. Bodhgaya, a small town of 30,000 people becomes a town of 30,000 locals and 30,000 tourists and pilgrims every January. The place is awash with Tibetan refugees, Buddhist monks and foreigners getting a slice of the action. In a way it's more hustle and bustle than Varanasi, and I never expected it to be like it has been. Streets lined with 'beggars' from other villages. Some genuine, many not so genuine. Old ladies sat ... read more
An ant next to the 25 metre Buddha!
Mr Scrooge and his 'friends'
Showing off the new socks - colourful!

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Varanasi December 25th 2009

"Brace yourself. You're about to enter one of the most blindingly colourful, unrelentingly chaotic, and unapologetically indiscreet places on earth. Varanasi takes no prisoners. But if you're ready for it, this may just turn out to be your favourite stop of all." (Lonely Planet guidebook) Nothing can seem to prepare you for what Varanasi, one of the oldest continually inhabited cities on earth, has waiting in store for you. The Lonely Planet's explanation is spot on, I've never experienced anything as challenging and demanding on the senses as this, and yet i'm mesmerized and strangely attached to all that this city stands for. Shouts of 'boat friend', 'like a massage?', 'rickshaw rickshaw' and all other things going are constant and you find your finger acting as if in the early stages of parkinson's, a constant shaking ... read more
Typical riverside scenes
The tiny alleys with the hectic pace
Learn-for-life project: painted the a,b,c's

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra December 20th 2009

So out of the rural and into the radical. India really has it all, and i'm starting to believe that my 5 months could well be 5 years and still not enough time to understand this crazy, wonderful land. Learning basic hindi in the village has helped me more than i could have expected, and gets you some respected recognition among the locals. The phrase 'Mujhe dari barani hai', translated as 'I am growing my beard', has got me so far into looking like one of the hairy bikers! :-) A bumpy, bum numbing bus journey from Chandausi to Agra got us to the place people call one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal (after 8 hours on potholed roads my bum was full of wonder...wonder at why i'd put it through ... read more
An early, and cold start before the sun was up
The stig takes his pride of place!
Perfect symettry from building to water

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh December 18th 2009

So my first 3 weeks are up. Ive experienced a tiny bit of what life is like for 70% of India's 1 billion population. It's not easy, the people work such long days, often starting before sunrise and finishing past sunset. its definately a dusk till dawn life for everybody, the elderly included. to see 80 year old men and women carrying heavy loads on their heads for miles is a strange thing, but then they wouldn't have it any other way. if a younger member of the community offers to help, they are politely shrugged aside as the duracell-loaded pensioner marches on, often with a large metal dish full of cow dung balancing beautifully on their head. life in the village has been testing at times, and you can often feel quite far from being ... read more
Catching a ride to the village
Early morning wake up call
Not looking forward to the cut throat shave!

Asia November 28th 2009

Delhi Amarpukashi (uttar pradesh) Rishikesh (uttarkahand) First week in India, senses overload! The smells, the sights, the sound and the taste...just incredible! Delhi is the most chaotic place imaginable, but the chaos seems to be organised. roads filled with trucks, rickshaws, pedestrians, cows, horses and goats. People give way to bikes, bikes give way to rickshaws, rickshaws give way to cars, cars give way to trucks, and trucks give way to...cows! yep, if there's a cow on the road your not going anywhere! the holy cow of india has the rule of the road, even in Delhi, with it's 15 million people! so i reckon the way to go is to buy one of the pantomime cow outfits and get around that way, problem solved! :-) So far, in my first week in this beautiful land ... read more
Shiva Temple in the Himalaya Mountains - Rishikesh
HUGE Mosque holding 25,000 people...and the Stig!! - Delhi
River Ganges and the Himalayas - Rishikesh

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Lincolnshire » Lincoln November 6th 2009

First big decision before I leave in 2 weeks...what lego figure to get to go with 'the stig' to india? They will be hogging the camera space for many of the photos out there, and can't wait for a shot next to the taj mahal and a camel! I'm thinking maybe yoda, or where's wally, or indiana jones?...... read more
the stig sizing up a camel
the stig braving the close feet




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