Arumbol: “Why like this?”

Posted by on Oct 10, 2008 in India, People, Purl Interrupted, Travel | 6 Comments

Purl Interrrupted

Our last night in Arumbol. Not sure if I am sad to leave. This morning I saw a spider with two bloated knees. KNEES, people! What was in them? Why only two? Ee gad.

So before I leave Arumbol I shall paint you a picture of our little home and as much of a day at the beach as I can before the internet crashes again, or there is a power cut, or the large-bellied owner of this internet cafe comes up and randomly takes my mouse to close all my windows and not explain why…

Our cliffside home

Our cliffside home

Our Arumbol home is on a cliffside, and from our perch you can see the endless ocean, palm-trees galore, and all manner of leaping chipmunks doing don’t-try-at-home stunts off of palm fronds and over the backs of cliffside cows.

We are so high up the cliff (and what a climb it is in the dark with only a torch to help your feet find your way past red-ant-ridden foliage and outdoor ‘plumbing’ (several hoses running from your room to the 20 foot well you are trying not to fall into) that you can see for miiiiiiiiiiiles. Fishing boats, stars, sunrise, confused backpackers telling streetside sellers no for the 400th time, crows with Toblerone boxes in their beaks (okay, I only saw one, but it was impressive in a bird balancing chocolate way).

So to the beach, just round here (watch that scratty dog sleeping on that side of the path, and avoid the fly-besieged cow pat, and don’t stop for a drink in there, we found a hair in their mango lassi), over this rocky outcrop, past the freshwater beach stream, and here you are. You’re right. It’s really very hot. How about a nice beach umbrella, sunbed, and a bit of rest and relaxation? Sat down? Shoes off? Suncream on? Ready to relax?


First you must decide if you would like a sarong, blanket, bracelet, necklace, smoke (wha?), set of silver salt and pepper shakers, bottle opener that looks like a mermaid, small silver elephant that weighs more than everything you own, henna tattoo, ankle bracelet, toe ring, mango, watermelon, papaya, cococococococonut, sometheeeeeeeeeeeng, stuff, things, giant MC Hammer trousers, peace and quiet (not offered but would be grand), gems, rubies, square foot of Taj Mahal, compliment about your handwriting as way of making selling conversation (mine is beautiful apparently, worth 100 Rps just to hear that), or maybe a beach umbrella to lie under so you can refuse to buy things in the shade instead of mad-dogs-and-English-us sunshine. Phew.

Evil haggling face

Evil haggling face

Safely relieved of at least some of your money, it’s either that or a “Why like this?” the seller lament that leads you to much soul searching. Why am I like this? What’s wrong with me? Should I want a mango? Am I lacking something? All that and a bit of sunburn (not me I hasten to add. I wear suncream at all times. *Looks accusingly at M and Rupee*), and you’re ready to return to the cold shower of your room, to douse yourself heavily in mozzie spray that occasionally works, and venture out to eat more of that lovely stuff they call curry.

I give you good price

I give you good price

But I’m not whining really. I love it all. It seems to amuse them more than us. I replied to one beach seller saying I already had one (a sarong) and she said “You want two?” and dissolved into giggles for some time at her joke.

But enough of that and just look at this. Oh yes. Soak it in, folks. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand relax…

Aaaaaaand relax

Aaaaaaand relax

And one more before I go because these ladies impress me more than I can possibly say:

Bottle ladies

Bottle ladies

Back to Bombay with us. And maybe faster Internet so I can show you the beasts I have encountered. It may take some time…

(PS I have fixed my RSS feed link now. It was broken. You may not have noticed.)

(PPS I started my socks! Woo hoo!)


  1. BNM
    October 10, 2008

    Great photos. Those beach vendors (‘you want beach?’) must drive you insane. Ones we came across in Africa tried to sell us all manner of crap, sorry, locally-produced handmade traditional ornamentation, culminating in one of them waving a small stick at me. ‘You buy!’, he ordered. It is to my eternal regret that I didn’t and now have not a single stick from Africa.

    I trust your beaitful handwriting is at least as good as your typing.

  2. The Whale Shark
    October 11, 2008

    Hello Lauren,

    I have yet to encounter you, but don’t think I am not thinking of you all the time. For as long as you stay by the sea I will be there, lurking in wait. I do so hate for you to be travelling alone. Lurking in wait fot you gets lonely sometimes, so I have bought some dolphin friends with me. We read your blog so we will always know where you are.

    Until next time

    The Whale Shark

  3. Shaquonda
    October 11, 2008


    Hooo eeee girl! I love reading all about your adventures. I hope your enormous ‘fro is taking over India – we know how your hair loves the humidity.

    I have just finished watching Lilo and Stitch (did you weep when you first saw it? bet you did) remember ohana means family and family means you have to buy me all the presents.

    Hope you are enjoying eating lots of pulses just like I told you to (DO IT or you will keel over from lack of iron!) Have a big bean for me.

    Have you tried paneer cheese? It’s yum.

    Lots of love and rice and peas

    Shaq x

  4. Purl Princess
    October 15, 2008

    Hey hun,

    Glad to see that the travels are most fabulous. Live it up lady.

    I’m just back from the moon made of honey and am chillin with with Mr sleeping beside me. Jet lag sux.

    Loving the blog, but there’s just one question… have you cast on yet? Looking forward to some sticking stitching situations.


  5. Deadly Knitshade
    October 20, 2008

    Dear Whaleshark

    Was it you I saw in the Ganges this morning? I think it may have been. I hope you aren’t swallowing that water…