Hawskeye, spiders handful of cockroaches - Travel tale from the Andaman Islands

Tommy was the first of us who left the huts of Havelock Island . In some days we would meet him

again, he would tell us how he and a palmrat fought each other for their sleep.

We would tell him this story:

After three weeks of eating banana pancakes, riding motorcycles, long walks on such white beaches and drink outs with fellow backpackers on Havelock Island in the Andaman Sea Carl, Matthias and I decided, that it was time to see something else of this unknown, forgotten islands.

It was no problem to get a ship from the Havelockjetty to Rangat . Michael, one of the owners of our beachresort on Havelock , escorted us, because he was meeting a friend in Rangat to frolic with a playstation.

I think I felt like a child, when the sun gave a final touch to the so green, beautiful shore around the City of Rangat . I imagined myself as a pirate, seeking shelter here. If I had been one, nobody would have ever found me here.

We got of the jetty and went into the centre of the city. A rotten post office, a fish market, a school surrounded by a panel like a prison, some posters which called for a hunger strike and some places with internet access. The people were friendly and calm, no hustle and bustle like in Calcutta .

We took a ricksaw and drove to our hotel, with the romantic name: The Hawkseye's Nest.

Beside us two couples from Bombay we were the only guests in this place.

When we opened the door to our room a mouldy odour of rotten something came to tickle our senses. Soon they would remove the corpse of a dead rat from the courtyard next to our window.

Finally we got some rest. We had a shower, cigarettes and some cookies, before we went for dinner. There was no fresh water but the rice, lentils and the naan were as good as everywhere.

Soon the holidaymakers from Bombay came to our table, starting immediately giving Matthias a massage while he was putting a handful of naan into his mouth. We started to chat a bit. I think they gave us their addresses for visiting them in Bombay . So we had some small talk with this nice folks.

There was nothing to do for that night though we were tired as pirates after a successful robbery.

I think I saw five cockroaches disappearing under our bed as soon as my friend Carl switched on the light. They were really fast but I am sure that this little fellas were from the tribe of blatta orientalis because their friends were still picnicking on our floor, eating the crumbs of the cookies we had so cleverly left on the floor and for sure in our beds. We were standing in our room when the lights went of. Another powercut. After the fan stopped moving I could orientate on the noises of the cockroaches. Carl flung out his lamp switched it on and tracked the cockroaches like if is hand was a police helicopter, chasing same criminals in a cheap movie.

We slept together in one big bed but every 20 to 30 seconds somebody would make a harsh move because he felt something crawling on his skin.

The next day we spent some hours looking into the rainy curtains of the Monsoon from our balcony.

As the rain stopped we made a walk along the beach. The sand was dark brown, the sky grey, a dead dog lie in the water on the beach, dead rats, dead fish everywhere.

We went through a jungle road further and further until we came to a small fishing village. There were some bamboo huts with hay roofs, we joined some people and made some photos of this small village. Then we went on to explore the mangrove shores and the rest of the village's outskirts. We took it easy though we had plenty of time. Just speeding up when a machete swinging guy did not greet us back while cutting his coconuts.

We walked trough the muddy jungle paths back to our hotel. The guys from Bombay where waiting for us with a smile rising on there friendly faces, when they saw us coming back.

The Monsoon started again and the rest of the day we spent sitting on the veranda gazing into the greyness of the rain. I asked myself: ”Well, we took the train from our south Austrian hometown to Vienna, than a plain from there to Moscow, from there a plain took us to Delhi, than after very long train rides we were in Calcutta, from there we took a plain to Port Blair, than a ship to Havelock Island and finally from there another ship to Rangat... Just to sit now in the rain? Just to be here?”

I felt a sense of enormous wellbeing.

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