Asia 2006: Random Bozo goes to Kerala

Ottapalam: Monday 8th May


Random Bozo in a lunghi

RB wears his lunghi short.

the monsoon strikes

While working through the previous week's events today, I also made several current blog entries. One of these was a question for my blog-readership. I also attempted to go a bit more native.


I've just bought some coat-hangers. There will be a wee prize for the author of the first comment which correctly says why I bought them.

The entries are here. None of these were correct, although they did provide several Random Bozo-rolls-on-the-floor-of-the-cybercafé-puzzling-the-bejasus-out-of-the-locals moments. The actual answer was 'to unblock my toilet'. (While cleaning up after yesterday's very unpleasant event, I threw my soiled grunties down the toilet. This morning I noticed the toilet was blocked, so I needed a contraption to fish out the cause of the blockage. Thankfully, however, before I could do so, the blockage gave way and the grunties ended up in the open sewer at the back of the hotel.

Still in Ottapalam

Breakfast today wasn't so satisfactory: the restaurant bod seemed to indicated that he only had paratta ready and no samosas. Paratta and chai would have made a reasonable breakfast but somehow they came with a weak and indifferent vegetable curry. Some blokes at the next table did get chai and samosas: waah!

Going native

For men there seem to be two 'uniforms' here

(The wikipedia article about lunghis doesn't match my experience of Keralan clothing styles. I certainly never saw a woman wearing a lunghi. For formal occasions they wore skirts and blouses, sarees or shalwar khemise and for informal occasions either old sarees, old skirts and blouses or floor-length, opaque nighties.)

I've been feeling a bit self-conscious in shorts. It's too sunny to go far while exposed and until I had lunch just now, I'd been feeling tired and out-of-sorts. I thought I might cure the self-consciousness if I got into 'native uniform'.

Of course, the looks a whitey in Indian uniform gets are even more intense! However, it feels much cooler and it's quite nice to have a garment that doubles as a bed-sheet and towel. Yes, I am wearing socks: it's either that or have my feet chafed by my sandals.

Most women here wear sarees - I've only seen a handful in shalwar khamise. Probably due to the sun, rather than religious affiliation, often the piece that loops over the left shoulder and down the back is arranged over their heads. I've also seen this piece used to cover all the back and then tucked in at the front. All styles look lovely and the material is so often beautiful. So tell me why they use the end as a towel or wash-cloth or sweat-cloth? It seems a sin to mank such lovely material. (Most men carry a towel or hanky for these purposes.)


Look here.

Lunghi news

I'm not really confident about wearing a lunghi without a belt. However, this is an advantage: I put on the lunghi, then put on the belt that carries my pouch and camera, then fold the lunghi to knee-length and tie it so it hides the camera and pouch.

I love the feeling of the breeze around my undies.

© (except the blatantly ripped-off bits) Random Bozo 2006