Friday, June 07, 2013

Last day...

Today is a sad day.  For many reasons

My favourite crocodile baby died this morning.  He was a wee Morelets croc of about 9 months old.  He never grew very well and when I arrived he had a small lump on the base of his tail which grew quite a bit over a couple of months.  He was struggling to survive in the tub with 5 others so we separated him and he had his own little penthouse to himself.  

We started to feed him every 2nd day.  Sometimes he ate well and other times he nibbled, but usually something went down.  We were giving him some vitamins and supplements to help him along, but he was weak and often listless.
Mini-Morelet a few weeks ago
A couple of weeks back he seemed to perk up - he attempted to nip another person who was feeding him while I was away and then he did the same to me when I was cleaning his tank when I got back.  I was excited by this change in attitude.  Sadly it was short lived and the next time I had to feed him, he couldn’t even climb onto his basking tile.

It turns out he had a lung infection and a large infection on the base of his tail, he wasn’t destined for a long life, but I enjoyed my time with him and he will always be my favourite Mini-Morelet.

A shared TukTuk, from the bus window
This afternoon I had to take public transport into Mahabalipuram to withdraw some money so I went out to the bus stop.  Either a bus or a shared TukTuk would come along.  A Tuk Tuk came first so I checked he was going to Mahabs and he said yes and tossed out the very old man who was sitting in the front so I could ride in the front.  I objected but he wouldn’t have it, saying I would have to ride with ‘local people’ in the back who may be drunk.  I rolled my eyes and we set off.  

When we got to my destination, I opened my wallet to pay him and he said Rupees100!!!  I was shocked and I said exactly so in unrepeatable words!  I usually pay about 25-30 for this journey. I threw him the money and left.  I regret not giving him a 50 instead.   I thought I wouldn’t see him again but lo and behold, when I was waiting for the bus home he drove by!  He stopped reversed and said he could take me back in his shared auto, but with no other passengers (thinking I needed a private car I guess).  He said it would only be Rupees100!  I said no and that the bus was only Rs15.  He then told me there was no bus stop where I was standing and I needed to walk further.  I said I knew this was bus stop and I wasn’t going to travel with him so good bye.

I didn’t trust him one little bit.  He was a young’ish, unpleasant creature who I don’t ever want to see again.  I’m sure I wouldn’t have made it home safely if I travelled alone with him.

To make me even more pleased about taking the bus home, I forgot that I was catching the bus slightly closer to the croc bank so it was in fact only Rs9 for the fare!  I saved myself Rs91 plus heck-knows-what...
Our local bus stop

Today is also my last day at Madras Crocodile Bank Trust in India.  As ready as I am to leave, it feels slightly bitter sweet.  There are so many things I would like to have done or things I’d like to have done again.  I was here about 2.5 months and have loved the experience so much.

There have been challenges and achievements.  But as a whole I would do it over again in a flash.  
It feels very odd to be preparing to leave now.  I get 2 nights in Sri Lanka and then back to NZ to plan my next adventure (hoping this planning will be done in front of a very warm log fire with lots of delicious winter treats.)