7 June #savvytraveleraj224asia2016

7 June

Day 8 of 10 of Sarah’s treatment. She says her treatment has been the same. She doesn’t feel a huge difference. However, when the doctor comes to visit, he says that she looks better than the day of arrival. After checking her pulse, the doctor informs her that she has more energy as well. Sarah asked me if she looked different/better/healthier than day 1, and I said I’ve seen you everyday all day, so it’s hard for me to tell. She’s following all of the rules (with a 30 min nap in the middle of the day) and prioritizing her health right now. She continues to wake up early to take her medicines, lies down after treatment, eats the hospital food delivered, stays off of electronics, and reads for 15 minutes at a time. Honestly, I’m not sure how she does it. I’ve been exploring new adventures every day (outside of AVP), and I think the stir crazy sets in. I’m ready for another adventure in another city, but I’m trying to make the most of this opportunity. One thing that keeps me sane: the thought: Sarah’s health!

We ate brekky: idly for me, dosa for Sarah. We ate. During breakfast we discussed day trips in and around Coimbatore. As I’ve been looking for things to do in Coimbatore, I haven’t found much. However, I do enjoy ‘taking it all in’ and people watching the locals. With my research, I did find Kovai Kutralam- it’s a place with waterfalls. As I biked out the other day, it did mention the water falls up ahead, but I had already biked an hour & didn’t want to continue. This morning, I researched the bus schedule to find a bus out to Kovai Kutralam. After breakfast, I biked out to the bus station to inquire about tickets and trip to Kovai Kutralam. At this point, I don’t like traveling alone in a city where I can’t speak the language. I explored the area after not obtaining information at the bus stop. Sarah continues to ask me if I have found the tourist information center in town. Nope, I haven’t & trust me, I have tried. Number 1: this city isn’t a ‘tourist’ city. Number 2: this city doesn’t strike me as a wealthy city. Number 3: English is not the language of majority. I’m struggling a bit. If you research Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India and find a fun thing to do: text me, email me, send me a telegram! I try to stay off electronics when Sarah is not in treatment, and I update this blog when she is in treatment.

I returned about lunch time to eat cumin rice and chapati for lunch with Sarah. The chapati is tortilla like, so naturally, I created a taco. However, the chapati isn’t as think/sturdy as a tortilla, so it caved. Don’t worry, it didn’t affect the taste.

After lunch, we did the usual: chit chatted, walked, lounged, read, etc. Sarah didn’t sleep today! I think this is the first day since we’ve been here she didn’t nap! While she was outside reading and visiting, I researched Kovai Kutralam. I found plenty of websites . . . with conflicting information. Kovai Kutralam 35 km outside of Coimbatore on the trio advisor website: things to do in Coimbatore. Another website explained the beauty of the falls as the Spa of South India near Tirunevitil with Tenkasi as the closest railway station. Yet another website claimed the falls were north of Coimbatore. Yes, all of these websites were in English, and they all seemed legit. I continued to research, but I couldn’t decide. Therefore, I’m going to head out later this week and follow the signs I saw the other day as I biked. I’ll start out early in the morning and return by dinner time. Stay tuned!

Afternoon tea arrived with pomegranate for me and tender coconut for Sarah. Sarah switched up her routine and practised yoga after tea. She scheduled me for a 4:30pm massage.

Massage in full detail: the therapist enters your room and informs you it’s massage time. They collect the oils, the bowls, your towels, shampoo,and lead you to the treatment room. Today, I had a ‘main’ therapist and another lady- we will call her the apprentice. You walk into the treatment room where you strip down to your birthday suit. The take this cotton ‘rag’, tear it into a T with the base of the T being very thick (8 inches and falls 12 inches down) with two little strips (1 inch). You place the thick strip over your womanly-ness then wrap it behind you, up your booty, and tie the two little strips over it in the back. Therefore, you womanly-ness and booty are ‘somewhat’ covered. They ask you to sit on the wooden treatment table. While you’ve been stripping down and attempting to figure out how to out this ‘rag’ on, they have started heating the oils in the portable stove. As you sit down in the table (back straight, legs in table slightly bent) they start applying the oils to your hair. Before they start, they hold the oils in their hands, facing you, say a ‘prayer/blessing’ (I’m assuming) in Tamil (the spoken language in this region). After they apply the oils to your hair and start a head massage, they have you lie down on your back. For me, my shoulder blades hit the table- it’s not painful for me, but Sarah does complain about her pain due to her back and spine issues. The apply spa small amount of oil to your face as well. They take the warm oils and slowly start to massage your entire body with strong, soft, long strokes all. over. your. body. They start in the sternum to the stomach, back up ther sternum to your arms, lift your arm, massage your arm down to you armpit, and work back to the tips of your fingers and individually caressing each finger. They continuously apply more and more oil with every stoke. They then work down to your legs with long, strong, soft strokes. With this particular massage, the apprentice moves were shorter and quicker than the other therapist. As one side of my body was being gently massages with long smooth strokes, the other side of my body was being massages with quick short strokes. It felt as though the apprentice was in a rush. This is a learning point for me as I tend to quickly rush through tasks when I’m in a patients room at work, it teaches me that the patient can ‘feel the rush’. Back to the massage: after they complete the front side, they ask your to turn over onto your belly. As you turn, you’re slipping and sliding all over the slippery table with all of the oils. You finally get into position and they continue with the massage – rubbing the oils all over your body. They undo your T strip and massage the butt cheeks as well. It’s doesn’t feel like a deep tissue massage you receive in the states, it’s more or less like a gentle massage filled with oils. After they are completely done wiping you down with oils and massaging every inch of your body, they take you into the washroom, where a bucket is filled with warm water. However, before you slide off of the table, they wipe away the oil from the bottom of your feet. The therapist starts with shampooing your hair with another head massage. She takes this ‘paste’ (green gam and water) and applies it to every inch of your body. This therapist placed this ‘paste’ in my hand and pointed to my womanly-ness and said ‘clean’. After I cleaned, she splashed a small bucket of water on the area. The other therapist placed the paste in my hand and said ‘face’- where I smeared it all over my face. They apply the ‘paste’ to the rest of your body. After the ‘paste’ removes all of the oil, and you’re wet from the water, they take your towels to dry you. One towel for your hair and the other towel for your body. After they dry you, you put your clothes on and exit back to your living quarters. The therapists here are responsible for cleaning the room and wiping down the massage table. When their duty in the treatment room is complete, they come to your room. The place a ‘powder’ of some sort in your hair and make your sniff it. During this time, words are said (in Tamil and a prayer/blessing I’m assuming). Afterwards, I felt super relaxed, so I just laid down until din din.

Din din: Dosa for Sarah and rice sevai for me. We enjoyed the savoury food – just kidding, it was bland . . . to me. After dinner we played almost every card game we could think of: old maid, go fish, gin, rummi, double solitaire. We haven’t figured out crazy eights . . . yet. We chit chatted and laid down for bed at 9pm. I couldn’t sleep, so I stayed awake and read, while Sarah tossed and turned before she feel into a regular breathing pattern, which clued me in that she was asleep

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