The Ghat

October 16, 2007

Indian train

I’m dreading this post, but I know it’ll end up coming out at some point or time so I might as well just do it now.  It’s the My-Most-Embarrassing-Moment post. 

The first time we moved to India as a family we lived in Madras.  Every season was extreme in Madras.  The lower castes (untouchables) had so many fatalities when the monsoons would hit.  They died by the loads during the cold season.  Cold to them was anything below 70 degrees.  Imagine people dying due to 60 degree tempatures!

We weren’t in India long when my brother, Hulkman, came down with an illness that almost killed him.  That is a story for another day.  After he recovered, the doctors told my father that Hulkman needed a cool place to recover.  The Assemblies of God had a compound in Kodaikanal and they offered one of their homes to our family.

To get to Kodai we had to ride a train through the night to the Palani Hills then a guy who lived in the compound was to meet us at the bottom of the hill (uh…more like mountain) and drives us up the Ghat.  The Ghat took several hours to drive and had like a million hairpin turns.  Now mind you the road was the width of a narrow lane and you had to share the road with goats, donkeys, cows, people, and lorries (looks like dump trucks). 

A few hours before we got on the train a friend took us to one of our favorite steak houses (only the holy cows aren’t eaten…and we’re not vegetarian).  This place had the best steaks, but it was practically pitch black inside for a reason.  The cockroaches that dwelled at this restaurant was nauseating, but when you need a steak…dang it…you need a steak!  We just learned not to touch the table much.

Apparently my steak had a little more than just steak sauce on it because about 2 hours into our train trip I was puking everywhere.  Poor dad was sound asleep and just couldn’t get the locks on the door open fast enough.  His socks took a beating.

(By the way, Dad…why exactly were you sleeping in black socks?!?!)

Even though most 12 year olds can get to the bathroom fast enough, I puked all night and didn’t make it once to the bathroom in time.  You see, when you get touched with the ‘Delhi-belly’ it’s like nothing most American’s have ever experienced.

Needless to say, by the end of our train ride I was one wore out little girl.  I don’t remember much about getting into the van.  I just remember laying in the back seat with my head propped on my mum’s lap.  About half way up the Ghat, it hit my bowels.  Here comes the embarrassing part….

I was wearing a salwar, which is drawstring pants with a dress-like top.  This particular top had a high slit on both sides so I had a front flap and a back flap.  Like this…


Thankfully, we were driving up an area that was mostly desserted.  I ran…yes RAN about a hundred yards down the hill, hid behind some bushes, dropped my drawers and let ‘er rip.  Talk about the screaming mimi’s!  I was dying!

Then I heard a faint rustling sound down the hill from me.  I froze.  I looked up at my mum, but she was facing the van.  I knew not to yell for her, in case the rustling was closer than I thought.  I was pretty much done with my business so I just sat there real quiet thinking that maybe whatever was down there would wander away.

No such luck.

The sound was getting closer…real close.  I needed to know what it was so I peered over the bush in front me and wouldn’t you know it…we both made eye-contact.  Or rather, I should say, we all made eye-contact.

A family of wild boars was VERY interested in my ‘business’.  I panicked.  I jumped up, pants around my ankles and turned to run, yelling for my mum.  I scared the crap out of the boars so they took off in the other direction and then I froze. 

Remember the back flap to my top?  Apparently I hadn’t gotten that completely out of the way when I was doing my ‘business’.  When I jumped up real quick, the heavily drenched flap, slapped itself on the back of my thighs with much dripping of goo.

I was embarrassed that the driver would see me, I was freaked out that the boars would come back, I was nervous that a bunch of Indians would come out of woodwork to help the poor little white girl…it was humiliating.  My poor mum was my hero that day as she quickly brought me another set of clothes and helped me clean up.

It’s a horrible experience for anyone, but for a 12-year-old girl, it was unbearable!  Thankfully (?) I did a lot of stupid things in my teen years which helped me appreciate just how dang funny that situation was.

So there you have it.  Ahhhhh…I feel so much better getting that out of the way.  Soooo….how about you?  Wanna share??  It would make a great post….really….and it’s theraputic….come on…you should try it.



  1. Hmmm…after a few minutes of tear-streaming laughter at your expense I have to tell you I cannot even BEGIN to think of anything more embarrassing than that. Or dirty–girllll you have a lot of poop stories in you don’t you? Is there a Freudian connection I wonder? I’ll look into it.

    What I wouldn’t give to have a collaboration of your stories written up and bound by leather–keep thinking about it. Gidget

  2. I can’t say that I’m surprised your MEM involves “crap” . . . I’m just not sure where the “bricks” fit in!

    P.S. On a different note, every time I see a bird I crack up due to the visual of your hubby whistling back at the –table–! I would laugh in his face, but I’m sure he would get me back. He may anyway if he knows I started that whole thing!

  3. I’m with Stacey – you need to make a book!

  4. Ouch! You poor thing! I could totally visualize the situation, understand the terminology (lorry, the roaches, salwars, train pictures). I didn’t laugh as I was feeling too bad for you but I DID sneak a smile. Especially staring at the boar’s eye part.

    We traveled a lot when we were kids and our family had a rule NEVER to eat non vegetarian food outside home. However appetizing it looked, we had to wait until we got home. So 23 years in India I never got sick with all the traveling we did. You know when I was reading your story where you mentioned you ate steak while you were traveling, I was like Oh NO! I knew what was coming even before I read what you wrote. 😀

  5. xExNPd comment5 ,

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