So we're officially 'grubby' now. Our babies are sandy and brown (in the case of Dumpie), and covered in facial welts and biscuit crumbs (Egg). We've noticed a hilarious trend which pertains to our offspring. Everytime we set foot on the beach, we are beset with Indian tourists clamouring for photo's with the boys. The popular shot has thus far been little Egg building sand castles with his bright yellow plastic bucket and spade – clad in a camoflauge hat and red bathing trunks. However today, with the addition of three angry red welts on his face (likely bites of some sort) and the unwelcome addition of a sty in his left eye (possibly due to the flea-ridden kitten who's taken up residence on our balcony?) he has fallen in the photo stakes and it is Dumpie with his flaxen curls and huge toothy grin who is most in demand for 'souvenir photo sir'.
Jay finally had to appease his curiosity today, and with a mixture of broken English and bit-part Hindi, was able to ascertain that the Indian tourists simply find the boys 'very cute'. We wouldn't mind so much except that with each gaggle of tourists comes the necessity that each and every one strike a pose with the baby, and this is not only time consuming but irritates Egg and Dumps after a time, and invariably leads to tears.
Today we took a taxi to hippie enclave 'Vagator' and set up camp on the end of the beach where we were pleasantly harrassed by various beach hawkers and a rogue German tourist who was both nerdy and perverted. He spent the afternoon 'collecting' pretty young female sellers on the beach, buying cheap bits of tat from them to keep them hovering within arms reach, supplying them with bottles of Coke, and taking photo's of himself in various poses with them on his camera. Most amusing. Just when it couldn't get anymore ridiculous, he took up position on the beach and proceeded to do the 'hippie twirl' to a vast audience (a practise seen at festivals the world over whereby in the manner of rhythmic gymnasts two balls at the end of long strings are swirled recklessly through the air in figure eights and in all matter of intricate motions). This would have been merely amusing had it been ten or fifteen years ago, and had he possessed any manner of grace or rhythm. Unfortunately, this frizzy-haired would-be lothario, with his too-short legs and leering grin, possessed all the grace of a baby elephant and the exercise was nothing short of tragic.
Presently we're being eaten alive by mosquitos, it's time for dinner, and I've gotten sand all over our clean sheets. It's time to sign off.
You'll be pleased to know that my tailor and I arrived at the only logical conclusion given our seven days of recent shenanigans and disappointing 'fittings'. I am to pay him 400 rupees tonight (£5…or $10), take the black leather skirt, forget about any alterations on the original skirt I brought in (which shall be binned I imagine or sold to another hapless tourist this season), and basically bugger off. He is not interested in making anything further for me, and I am not interested in salvaging my original piece.
We shall leave each other in peace to pursue other business arrangements and take this particular one no further. I am happy. He is happy. The skirt is merely an amusing souvenir which will no doubt make me smile for some months to come. Whether I look like a cheap hooker in it shall be ascertained at a later date I imagine.