Sometimes it’s better just to leave. If you’re obviously not supposed to be where you are, don’t insist.
We didn’t want to travel directly all the way from Kanyakumari to Rameswaram. We wanted to stop halfway so we choose Tuticorin because it was lying conveniently on the map and has a funny name. So we took a bus to Tuticorin. Just a normal Indian city, it was. But why not? It can have its charm. The problem though with normal cities is that you won’t find too many hotels. But we were going to figure out something, for sure. We asked around, someone mentioned a guest-house near the beach. Perfect! And Tuticorin was a sea-side town, it would be nice.
One of us needed the internet. So we walked and looked for an internet place. Across the street was a sort of buffalo and its cart.
I wanted to take a picture of it. I gave one of my companions my guitar, went over with the big backpack on my back and the little blue one at the front. On the way to the buffalo I tripped and landed right in the middle of the street.
My first concern was: did my camera get destroyed in the fall? My mates’ first concern was: was I going to get run over by a car/rickshaw/auto-rickshaw/truck/bus or anything else you find on any given Indian street? I unclipped the big backpack and got up, all shaky. Got the backpack and myself over to the side. My trousers were torn. I had a look at all the places that were feeling strange: I had hurt one elbow and both my knees. I open my backpack, took out the first aid kid and starting nursing the wounds to the best of my abilities. I laughed.
The previous day I had asked myself why I had been carrying this stupid first aid kit so long. Now I knew.
Walking was painful. We took an auto to the sea-side, it was quite far away. On the way we thought we’d see the beach but it was all lined-up with some sort of industrial complex. Ugly. I didn’t take any picture.
We were wondering what we were doing there. The auto-driver left us at the guest-house. As it often is the case in India, “guest-house” actually meant “government guest-house for civil servants” and it was a big building probably with flats inside. Nothing for us. We stayed a few minutes on the one beachy beach nearby, enjoyed a sunset, looked at the little boats and the fish drying on the sand.
Then we took a bus back to the city center, had dinner – my first meal on a real banana-leaf, how cool – anf finally took a bus to Rameswaram, where we arrived aroudn 2 a.m.
Sometimes it’s better just to leave. Don’t insist. We didn’t.