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31/07/2009

Vendredi 3 Avril - 18ème jour - De Hampi à Kochi en passant par Bangalore

P1070039 [800x600].JPGTo read the previous note to remember where you have ended, click HERE. (Native English speakers sorry for the grammatical and vocabulary mistakes.... Feel free to correct me with the commentaries).

I left Antoine and Linda after the breakfast, direction to the airport. I only took a small bag. It's so great not having to carry everything... But as I had already checked in, starting to cross the X control, I needed to go back checking again as I had the little laguiole offered by Lita with me. It was out of the questions that they kept it from me.

Trying to find a little something to Monolita who would welcome me for this evening, I finally took some After Eight Chocolates (sort of luxury in India, the chocolates) at the airport. I met her through Couchsurfing, as I wanted to meet some locals. She is an architect, and her husband as well. The have a little cute girl. Very dynamic woman, very active in several organization, she is one of the local ambassadors for Couchsurfing in Kochi. The evening I arrived, she organized by chance a couchsurfer's dinner, which was a great occasion to meet a lot of Indians.

She sent me all the indications to come from the airport. I arrived around lunch time. My first impression was : whatta fuckin' heat !!! ;) . SoP1070042 [800x600].JPG hot, too hot. My first desire was to escape immediately from Kochi to go up to the mountains. I was supposed to stay two nights in Kochi then go up to Munnar. I decided as I arrived to go directly the next morning  in Munnar as it was really unbearable down here.

Monolita - as Anouck and Karan did when I arrived in Delhi - talked directly to the taxi driver. I arrived approximately 40 minutes later at a cross section, where Monolita's husband came to pick me up with his acclimatized car !!! (of course the Taxi dit not have acclimatization).

Before he arrived, I - don't know why - decided to give a quick call to Betanum (don't laugh about his pseudo !). So great to hear from Home DP... Far away from Home, I realize how lucky I am to work with those people. Home DP is more than a company, it is a sort of little family which has structured me a lot those last years. Amazing hearing Betanum talking from work... Good though. He his probably one of the person I have spent most of my time those last (almost) 5 years, so that was good !

We drove up to their offices first to take Monolita then went to their House. For the night I will share my room with Pia who was a Couchsurfing's friend of Monolita and who was in Kochi. She is originally from Mumbaï. After a quick lunch, Monolita told me to come back to their office (10  minutes walkin from the house) around 3 pm in order to go to Fort Kochi where  she had a work meeting. Meanwhile, I would meet Pia.

I was able to have a quick nap, and changed my clothes to wear more suitable ones !  Walking 10 minutes to their offices make me feel as IP1070050 [800x600].JPGhad walked for perhaps 30 minutes as it was so warm. They dropped me down close to meeting point and I took a rickshaw to join Pia. It was an old man who was driving. I was quite surprised that he purposed directly a very reasonable price and not a foreigner's price. Honest or lazy to have a negociation. Don't know..  I love the liberty's sensation on rickshaw... Hope to find some motorized cyclo as well in Saïgon, but not sure that there are still have some according to what I have been told. (Note from 30rd July 09 : no cyclos anymore in Saigon but only motorbikes taxi)

Pia is a cool young woman who is representative of the new women's generations in India. Originally she have studied law, but then decided to create her own firm. A travel agency for women who wants to travel alone ! Which is quite revolutionary in India. She was there with her client, Myra, who is a great woman too. She works for a personnal fund, not married (quite rare in India when you are around 31), and this was a last day of those marvelous vacations she has decided to offer herself through Priya's services.

We were on the terrace appreciating the sunset, talking about Indian cultures, and the economic crisis. I told Myra hat I didn't feel that India was messed up that much by the crisis. She told me that there were some industries touched : jewelries, leather and of course all the international companies. Then it was time to go to the appointment in Ernakulam.

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Pia and Myra asked a rickshaw, and he gaves her the good price. Then just to show me something, they asked him why he didn't apply the same prices for tourists and herself. He answers because foreigners have money, and quite vehement saying that if they don't want to pay, they can go back in their countries. Pria and Myra were quite sad of this mentality, and wanted that to change, trying to explain to the rickshaw that elsewhere in the world there was only one price and that tourism for India was important for the economy.. Whatever. I asked her why they spoke in English to him. They explained thad they didn't speak the same language ! Hindi is official, but mostly spoken in the north. In the south you have many dialects, so how amazing it can be, but Indian are speaking in English in between them, what can be quite strange sometimes as Indians are not all speaking good English !!!

 

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We needed to take either ferry or bus to go to Ernakulam. I preferred the Ferry, we had time and it was less expensive. We wait a little bit before boarding, giving opportunities to the mosquitoes to have a great dinner ...  ;) . Landing to Ernakulam, that was really funny because we had to walf for approximately 10 minutes on the "Sound" Street (I don't exactly remember the name though), where there were mostly only men sitting together, few couples, and a sort of ambiant music all along (but oldies music quite unbearable in fact ;)). Arrived in the restaurant, Monolita was not yet arrived. As we sat, some others Indian Couchsurfers joined us. At the end we were around 10 people. This is where I met Priya who is a great so open minded and interested woman, you can read her blog there :) or there (for the recipees) ! They are now following the Tour de France with her husband who is so fun :)

 

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I discovered during this dinner the fabulous Dosa, South India Specialties.. and I still have the taste with me... :) The dinner ended we all came back home to a good sleep.. The day after I would woke up early to take the bus for Munnar....

 

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30/07/2009

Tokyo, 2nde session....

P1130785.jpgIt is already one week that I have came back in Tokyo... more than a week in fact... Will leave next thursday to Australia and I was so lazy to write a note on this blog. So lazy or so... I don't  really know in fact. I just take time to enjoy every seconds as I know that my trip is getting on its end.

I can't hardly realize all what has already be done... I can't hardly believe how lucky I was since the beginning of this travel. Sometimes I don't understand why and how the people I have met have all  been so welcoming, wonderful, helpfull.

Coming back to Tokyo after Saigon was so strange, as I was coming back in a city I already discovered and that in one month in a half in Vietnam I have lived so many things, whereas my friends here didn't saw (for most of them) the time going on.. Daily life. I remembered this very strange feeling at Narita's airport. Excited to see again my friends, quite perturbated by the huge cultural change between Sapa, Hanoi, Vietnam and Tokyo... and felt like I was coming back "home". I could see that my first crush to Tokyo was not ephemere but real. Japanese culture is so complex that it would take years to start to understand everything. Same feeling when I was in India....

For all my international friends and french expatriates) that have crossed my life since now, I want to tell them a huge "THANK YOU". Thanks to each of you, my journey have been so much richer thanks to you. One of my wonderfulest birthday's present was to see that most of the people I have met were still around (via FB) and that's was true relationships, even if we don't really know when we will be able to see all each other... But whenever will be allright. I already know that I will try my best to come back on some places or visit my europeans friends that I have met during those last months... Munich, Barcelona, Ireland, Switzerland, Croatia, ... Canada if I can as well...

I think this is the only thing which is on my mind nowadays and probably the reason why I don't really know what to write. This was/is such a crazy experience that words are missing... But I will update my blog with India (as promised.. what you're gonna be able to read just after). I write in french as well now, because I need to express some stuffs I can not in english (no in fact I could but feel a little bit lazy ;))...

Voilà donc retour à la case Tokyo. Depuis quelques temps mes proches n'arrivent plus à suivre mon parcours et je les comprends car j'ai P1140436.jpglaissé une place à l'improvisation et au feeling depuis mon dernier passage tokyoite. Au final durant ces 5 mois et demi (presque 6) j'aurais parcouru beaucoup moins de pays que prévus initialement (Inde, Chine, Japon, Vietnam, rapide passage en Australie, Argentine et New-York), mais je ne regrette absolument rien.

Sans doute vu de l'extérieur, ça parait moins "fabuleux" qu'un "vrai" tour du monde... Si j'avais eu plus de temps, j'aurais bien entendu accompli ce "semi-tour" de manière moins orientée sur l'Asie quoi que... La fin de mon voyage approche et naturellement je commence à tirer le bilan. C'était excessivement pénible au Vietnam de réaliser que j'allais "bientôt" rentrer. Il y a eu un passage à vide, cette réelle non-envie de rentrer. Pas de suite, pas aussi tôt. Trop tôt. Désormais, le chemin s'étant fait psychologiquement (je me suis imposée d'y réfléchir), j'aborde mon retour avec plus de sérénité, même si je sais déjà que ... rien ne sera plus comme avant, et c'est normal.

Je ne cesse de m'étonner chaque jour de cette incroyable aventure, de la chance inouïe qui m'a accompagnée tout le long de ma route principalement les rencontres... Les rencontres qui ont fait de ce trip, une incomparable aventure humaine. Des regards, des échanges, des visons du monde différentes. On change... On se rend compte de certains changements flagrants, mais il y a surtout ces milliards de détails, des quotidiens qui nous ont façonnés sans que nous le réalisions dans l'immédiat, mais dont on se rend compte en discutant avec ceux/celles qui sont "resté(e)s". D'autant que le temps ne s'est pas arrêté non plus pour notre entourage ce qui rend les décalages d'autant plus étranges parfois. Ce n'est ni négatif, ni positif, c'est ainsi.

Comment aborder mes proches lorsque je vais rentrer ? Cette très naturelle question qui déjà revient en permanence : "Alors comment c'était ? T'as vu/fait quoi ? Raconte !"... Raconter quoi au juste. Raconter l'inénarrable ? Raconter les odeurs, les sensations, le climat, l'atmosphère, les gens, les sons, les goûts  ? Alors, on reste sans voix devant un auditoire frustré désireux qu'on le fasse rêver ... Rêver à ces paysages exotiques, rêver à ces étrangetés, rire aussi de nos mésaventures lorsqu'il y en a, rêver de ces monuments qu'on a vus dans des films, des reportages ou des livres... C'est une requête légitime.

P1130750.jpgMais lorsque nous devenons voyageur(geuse) et non touristes, nous savons que l'essentiel n'est pas/plus là... Alors raconter les monuments, les paysages  semble au final très superficiel, car ce qui marque le plus dans ce type d'aventures, c'est bien entendu des beaux panoramas, et des "à voir", mais c'est surtout la vie au quotidien, c'est tout ce qui - sans que nous nous en rendions compte - fait que nous revenons avec une vision différente de concevoir la vie... Il y a un "avant" et un "après" mais pas nécessairement perceptible par nos proches. Car, nous/je sommes/suis toujours la même en apparence. Les traits fondamentaux de caractères n'ont pas changé et pourtant..

L'expérience est similaire pour les expatrié(e)s longue durée. Il y a toujours cette attente de la part de nos proches de "Quand tu vas revenir ça va être cool, on va pouvoir faire ça "comme avant""... Ce fameux "comme avant" qui est compréhensible mais impossible à concrétiser, enfin je crois. Déjà parce qu'après un tel voyage on ne veut pas un "comme avant" identique à ce qui était avant. On garde des choses, mais on en change d'autres. C'est plutôt rassurant quelque part aussi. Je comprends mieux certain(e)s à présent, même si je percevais déjà ces subtilités... Mais sans les avoir (re)vécues, on oublie parfois. C'est sans doute pour cette raison aussi que certain(e)s ne rentreront plus jamais en France. Non pas que la culture, la vie, le pays, les proches ne manquent pas. Car naturellement ça manque. Mais c'est plus parce qu'à un moment donné, les cadres nationaux paraissent trop restreints pour évoluer, particulièrement au niveau des modes de pensées. On n'y peut rien, ça s'impose de cette manière là. Ca dépend aussi des âges bien entendu, des envies du moment.

Le derniers mois va défiler... Très heureuse de retrouver les proches, très heureuse aussi de retrouver les gens croisés au cours de mon voyage revenus à Paris, très heureuse revoir Paris que j'aime tant, et la culture française mais.... l'International est une drogue forte à laquelle il est si doux d'y céder. Heureux qui comme Ulysse a fait un long voyage....

14:13 Publié dans Déambulations, Japon | Lien permanent | Commentaires (5) | Tags : tokyo

15/07/2009

15.07.09 // Departure from Saïgon....

2 am. Just finished to pack my luggages. I could have packaged before. I could. But I needed to wait until the last minute, to realise what was happening... I arrived in Saïgon on the 4th of June. I was so sad having left Tokyo, so excited by this new story.... And that was a complete new different story. Now I am about to be back to Tokyo in few days. It is going to be fun to see how I "see" Tokyo after one month and a half down here, after Vietnam....

Vietnam was a very rich experience : going to University, learning languages and the people of course. I remember when I arrived here the first evening. I remember that I didn't understood almost anything. Now... I can speak a little bit in the street, and understand. Now... I don't need a map to ride with my motorbike in the main districts. Now...  I can ride, and I couldn't before. Now... I have my first and advanced degree of scubdiving. Now... I know what is this such amazing feeling of being under the sea. Now... I have my "life" as well in Saigon. Now.... I have met wonderful vietnamese girls. My stay in Saigon has been so great thanks to : Minh, Phuong, Huyen. Now...  I wil miss my classroom and some of my new "student" friends" :  mainly Mark & Inukai (and Kohei, but Kohei is back to Japan). Now... I will miss my "vietnamese" family (friends of my father in fact) but they know how to cook crêpes, rosebeef, quiche, moelleux au chocolat & gateau au citron and they loved it. Now... I remember all the travelers I have met (Christiane, Raul, Steve, Adrien, Kevin, Colin,  Pascal, Melanie, Max, Olive.... ....) Now...  I have so many landscapes in my mind (Phu Quoc, Hoi An, Nha Trang) and still some to come (Sapa). Now... I have prepared myself to my near return to France.

Vietnam has been an essential spiritual step as well. Vietnam has made me closer to my family. It was important to leave in the city of my parents. And about to leave Saigon, I only have this sentence in my mind "Family is important", whatever family you choose...

 

.... Tomorrow : Hanoi.

21:27 Publié dans Déambulations, Vietnam | Lien permanent | Commentaires (1) | Tags : saigon