Tuesday, March 27, 2007


After spending 10 days watching the Indian team get thrashed, I desperately needed some cheering up. I had no intention of staying on in Trinidad, hoping against hope that Bermuda would pull of a miracle, so I headed off to Tobago.

Getting there was easy. There are 2-3 ferries each day, and take just over 2 hours. The docks were a short walk from my room, so I just walked. The only problem was that I missed the morning ferry, which meant that I would get there only by the evening. The wedding was in the evening, so I had no chance of making it. It was at the other end of the island, and for a while I thought about showing up in their hotel (I just knew the name), but decided I didn't want to show up and find out they'd all gone partying somewhere else.

Reached Tobago around 7pm with no hotel bookings. The previous day I'd met some other travellers who'd just returned from Tobago. They gave me the number of a cheap hotel, so I called it up. Turned out they were full, but they give me 2-3 other numbers to call. Finally got through to the 4th one, and they had a room available. Shared a taxi with some other rich tourists who were heading to the hotel (they let me tag along for free and seemed more concerned than me about not having a hotel booking).

The guest house I showed up at was amazing. It was about a 5 min walk from the beach, and my room was a self contained apartment, with a full kitchen, living room, etc. I checked again about the price, and the owner was sweet enough to lower it as she realised that it would be easier to convince me to stay on.

Woke up the next morning and headed straight to the beach. It was a Sunday, so quite busy and I noticed a bunch of kids playing cricket. This was something I had to join in, so I just ran up and joined them. I was suprised at how badly they all played though. None of them could bowl. They threw more like a pitcher, and their batting was just a baseball style swing. The wicket was an old tyre, so it resembled a strike zone in baseball. Anyway, I adapted and had a great time. There were no rules, no match going on and no competition. Anyone could bat, anyone could bowl and it was amazing to see a lot of women join in as well. People fielded in the water and each time someone hit a big one, they'd swim out to get it. I got a lot of sympathy after India's early exit, and at the risk of sounding immodest, was technically the best bowler and batsmen there. One guy shouted "Next world cup, he gonna be da captain!"

The last 2 days, I indulged in something I'd never done before - snorkelling. I'd been told about how snorkelling was easy, cheap and great fun. Even for a weak swimmer like me, it was supposed to be not too hard. And it wasn't. The first day, I joined a boat tour, where a guy gave me the mask and told me a few basic things. I swam close to the boat but it was quite mindblowing. Seeing those coral reefs, underwater plants and schools of fish, was beyond what I'd imagined it to be. Since it was a semi-guided tour, I couldn't do it for too long, so the next day, I rented a snorkel and ventured out on my own. It was great and had I decided to stay on in Tobago for longer, I would have done it each day. It started to get a bit expensive for me though.

I made a snap decision to come back to Trinidad today, and will head back to Venezuela tomorrow (hopefully I'll wake up in time for the ferry tomorrow). Living out of a backpack makes it easy to do something like this. I first went to the airport (I actually walked from the beach to the airport) to see if there were any direct flights to the eastern part of Venezuela. Realised the only way was to fly through Trinidad and then Caracas, which was too expensive. Went back to the docks to take the evening ferry back here and will hopefully be in Cumana by tomorrow evening.

Anyway, here are the links to my

Tobago pictures

Cricket articles


Sash said...

"Because they played like a bunch of girls."

Ah, hello!!! Women probably have more spirit than the Indian team against Sri Lanka.

Anonymous said...

it is not the spirit that matters, physical endurance, and strength matter quite a bit too...hence the phrase "because they played like a bunch of girls"...and they did..

Sash said...

Anonymous, correct me if I am wrong but physical strength and endurance were not exactly the only issues that led to the team’s loss. I thought it was more of buckling under pressure. Anyways, equating bunch of losers with girls is NOT COOL. Besides, the Indian womens cricket team has been doing much better than the men. (Of course they don’t play against big strong men)

shilpa said...

"because they played like a bunch of girls ie. sissies" - it's unfortunate that terms and phrases like that go on to reaffirm the kind of insecurities boys still have today... but India's loss can be due to host of different reasons, primary of which is not being able to handle pressure. as Dravid himself said, "one banana slip match and we couldn't take it."

Anonymous said...

I agree with Sash. The remark was completely sexist but Pondy is not.

It is unfortunate but we (presumably there are others like me) haven't quite developed a vocabulary of profanity which expresses how we feel but at the same time is not homophobic or sexist.

For instance.. calling someone a wimp doesn't give one the same satisfaction as calling them a fucking pussy. Or calling something lame is somehow not the same thing is calling it gay.

I understand that my using these words might make me appear like a prejudiced douche (see.. saying douche is just that much better than saying idiot.. but I guess douche is actually not sexist) who is insecure about women and homosexuality but I am not.

I suppose its a simple matter of being sensitized. Hopefully that will come with time.


PS: the indian team is a bunch of fucking douche bag wimps who showed no fighting spirit and were totally lame.

Anonymous said...

Minor Edit: Pondy actually is totally sexist and homophobic.


bandafbab said...

I don´t see the big deal in saying the Indian team played like a bunch of girls. Oddly enough, I wrote that because some women at the India-Sri Lanka match said it. It made a lot of people laugh, and unlike Indians, people in the Caribbean have a sense of humour and don´t get too upset if their team loses or someone makes a remotely politically incorrect remark.

If it makes anyone happy, I´m racist, sexist, casteist, homophobic, or whatever someone who´s too politically correct wants to label me.

Anonymous said...

I label you un-pedantic!


Sash said...

Afty, I am shocked! My intention in bringing out that line was two-fold: a) Equating bunch of losers with girls -- not cool; more importantly b) The inherent assumption that women don’t play good cricket. They do. They also follow cricket as avidly as men and know the intricacies of the game (at least women from the subcontinent do). So this patronizing attitude is uncalled for.

“It made a lot of people laugh, and unlike Indians, people in the Caribbean have a sense of humour and don´t get too upset if their team loses or someone makes a remotely politically incorrect remark.”
There are so many tardy generalizations in this remark that I won’t even go into that. All I have to say is that if I was to repeat the comment I hear quite frequently about cricket – that it is a game for sissies, watched by losers – I am sure all sense of humor would disappear with all of you springing into action to defend the game (and yourself).

Actually SOMETIMES politically incorrect remarks are quite funny…

Nishant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nishant said...

Cricket is actually a game of gentlemen. It is only in the subcontinent that it involves war like proportions. The whole match fixing and such nefarious activities related to sport are typical of the sub continent.
And women's cricket is now a legitimate sport? Really? Name the eleven players that play on the women's cricket team and I might take you seriously.
And just because it is on Wiki must mean it is true, right. Wait, wasn't there a kid posing as a prof..Never mind...
Next thing I will hear is that women are actually physically as strong as men...or that they can do everything like men can. See, I cannot give birth to children and more power to you for being able to do so. And I am glad that I cannot cause it allows me to not think about my next sexual partner. But to believe that there are no differences between men and women allow you to make absolutely inane remarks about women's cricket team.
Afty, you have become as sensitive as a much abused pussy yourself. That is what comes from hanging out with the Indian team and having a muslim name like Aftab. Haven't muslims taken enough from us already?
Tardy generalizations is not a phrase that I have ever heard before. Sounds a little "trying too hard"..


Anonymous said...

Kudos to Nishant on (in the true spirit of blogging)

1. successfully skirting Sash's point of how testicular fortitude has nothing to do with testes

2. launching into an unrelated and offensive tirade.



Nishant said...

it is not funny to me Anshuman. We have become so fuckin PC that we cannot say even the things that are right. Girls are not known for for their batting skills. "He cried like a girl" is a perfectly legit phrase. we did not watch steffi graaff only because she played tennis well.

shilpa said...

nishant: i'll spare being PC since you hate it so much but if you manage to get your head out of the sand you'll see that you're totally missing sash's point - she did not mention anywhere that women are as strong physically as men and that we can do everything that men can and vice versa - so naming the members of the women's cricket team, or why you watch Steffi Graf or why Aftab has a Muslim name... like so many ignorant people, you're full of hot air!! but if it was your intention to provoke (without any related point) then good for you.

bandafbab said...

The 4 of you need to get a life.

bandafbab said...

Also, if someone says cricket is a game for sissies it doesn´t affect me. It´s not as physically strenuous as basketball or running a marathon. I can see the humour in that remark.

Sash said...

My last words on this:

Afty: I have quite a good life, thank you very much. You might not be sexist but when you write something in the public sphere, you have to be careful of what you write. And if someone points out something in disagreement, it’s better to have a dialogue (after all that’s the point of a blog) instead of getting needlessly aggressive and offensive. You don’t need to patronize me by telling me to get a life just because I disagree with something you write.

Nishant: I won’t even bother… all I have to say is I am not trying too hard – it’s called not being stupid!

bandafbab said...

I didn´t mean to offend anyone, but I didn´t realise some seemingly funny remarks would degenerate into such a heated debate.

I still don´t see why you´re all so pissed with everything, but anyway, from now on I´m going to just block off comments.

The point of my blog was to avoid sending group emails, but still keep a few friends updated about my travels. Not get into debates on race, religion, gender, etc.

bandafbab said...

Last words on this issue. Mukul Kesavan wrote something far more than "playing like a girl". Hell hath no fury....


Tabula Rasa said...

oh please afty, that's a completely moronic piece - not worth the time reading, let alone fisking.