Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My debut

I'm writing from Goa now. It's nice here but hardly the paradise that I've heard so much about. I guess I've been spoilt at an early age in regard to beaches. Anyway, I'm shifting from the north to the south end tomorrow in search of white sand and blue sea (as opposed to brown on brown).

Mumbai, on the other hand, was much better than I expected. It has a very cool mix of history, yummy food, ocean front walks and interesting people. It's very clean and developed compared to Delhi and I spent a lot of time just walking around and taking the city in.

But the coolest thing was that I made my (small) entry into Bollywood. Okay, it may be a trashy film without any A-list stars but it does star the ex-wife of a very famous actor.

I was rounded up on the streets of the tourist district with a bunch of others who were were mostly European. We all started out very excited but the group grew restless as the day went on without anyone except me being filmed (I had a silent part as a security guard).

At 6pm (alleged finishing time) we were still waiting for a scene in which we were all supposed to play reporters and journalists. When it became clear that the shooting was going to run way overtime the Polish and Norwegians had an argument with our casting agent and ended up storming off without pay.

That just left me, a couple of French girls, two Canadian guys and an English lady. At 8:30pm our shot started, a scene where we burst in on someone's house at night. Because our number had decreased, our group was supplemented with several local extras who were supposed to stand at the back as we burst in through the front door.

I actually had a line to utter but I didn't even get to say it. The local extras were very keen to get their big bollywood break and most of the foreigners got pushed to the back of the crowd. It was funny really, we'd waited over twelve hours to be filmed and then didn't even manage to get on camera.

Anyway, I'm in Goa three more nights and then back to Mumbai for almost a week before flying to London...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


I'm in Singapore airport, about to fly to HK. Singapore being Singapore there's not a whole lot to tell. Everything smells of frangipani and jasmine and the food is delicious.

And it was cool to see my friends Joan and Saz again.

Oh! and there was chewing gum stuck to the bed sheets in my hotel room.

I'll be in HK for several days and then I'm flying to Mumbai.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Some more mountain photos

Here are some more photos from my own trip up to Kedarnath before Mim arrived. I still can't believe I did the trek twice!

The route I took up to Kedarnath was the same one that Mim and I came back on. There were some horrifying landslides along the way.

At one landslide our bus had to stop because bits were still falling. This was the same spot where a guy appeared selling 'softee' icecream.

14km from Kedarnath the road ends and the sheep are sorted from the goats. Pilgrims have a choice of going by foot, pony or palanquin.

An old man and lady on my bus from Rishikesh had advised me to stay overnight in a village half way up the 14km trail. I took an upstairs room in this guesthouse and had dinner with the staff and other guests, crowded around the kitchen fire.

The next morning I woke up early and continued to follow the river higher into the mountains.

Finally Kedarnath came into sight. I was disappointed that the mountains behind were covered by cloud.

Close to the top I met the couple who had been on my bus. We walked the rest of the way together and the sky started to clear as we arrived in Kedarnath.

We stopped so that they could wash in the water at the top. I dipped a toe in and it was freezing!

By the time I reached the temple sky cleared and the view was incredible. While my friends went inside I sat out in the sun with some sadhus, politely refusing offers of marijuana.