Day 20: Mumbai to Agonda

As our concert with Imran and Hanif Khan was cancelled last minute because of medical emergency in the promoters family, we made new plans, to go spend a few days in Goa, as Mumbai is a pretty loud and dusty place.
We had to pack our bags and get ready to go to the airport, but we also had to pick up our new threads from the tailors in Santacruz.
Peter, Mark and Jeremy arrived at the Townhouse Hotel and wanted to move into our room.
It all worked out fine and after paying for overweight one more time, we were on our plane to Goa.

A friend from Bremen had recommended to go to Agonda Beach in the south of Goa, and to stay at his friends place called Tutti Garden.

The driver, that was supposed to pick us up, was not there, so Raj, a guy who had started talking to us while we were trying to find out, if our scheduled driver was going to come after all, lured us to his car. It was no official taxi, and also parked outside of the airport, so with all our luggage we rolled down the road.
He had a nice, big car, putting all our suitcases in was no problem, and he offered to take us to Agonda for 1800 Rupees instead of the 2000 the taxi company wanted.

After 20 minutes the first 600 Rupees were due, as he had to get fuel.

We arrived in the dark, Ashe, the guy running Tutti Garden was there, we put our stuff in the Bungalow, sat down at the bar, had a beer and ordered some food.

Well, aren’t we 50 meters from the beach? Let’s go have a look!

We immediately met part of a film crew from Hyderabad, who were having their after work celebrations on the beach and wanted to know where we were from. Nice guys, but communication was limited.

The food was nice and spicy, the beer was cold, and barkeeper Trevor was trying his best to get us to try his special Fireball shot.

Day 17 downtown rushhour train

It all started with an innocent train trip towards downtown. Difficult enough to find the right train, as most of the writing was in Hindi. Immo was on a solo trip to film some more details of Mumbai and to record some sounds.

Immo got off at Mumbai Central and walked towards the western coastline, ended up at Tata Garden, where a taxi driver took him to the Hanging Gardens for a fix rate of 100 Rupees.

You can have a nice view from up there over the back bay, the garden itself was not that spectacular.

The next taxi driver switched on his meter without discussion and took Immo to the Gateway of India.

Pretty busy place it is, lots of Indians from all over India and also Tourists getting their selfies on…

Stop: selfie time!

Walking back north alongside the Oval Maidan Park, where lots of Cricket was being played, passing a flea market with clothing, shoes and all kinds of stuff.
Time for a little snack, sugarcane juice and a chai.

Then on towards Maharaj Terminus Station, where there were loads of people running towards loads of trains, again lots of Hindi, little english.

Well, Immo knew, he had to with trains at Dadar, so asking the locals helped. Getting on the train was easy, getting off in Dadar was impossible, as loads of new passengers just smashed their way on to the train. Even the next stop he could not get off, because he was on the wrong side of the wagon, no way to get through.

caught in rush hour

So within minutes, the train had taken him way to the east to Kurla. Got off, waited for the train in the opposite direction, managed to switch trains in Dadar, but arriving in Khan Road Station he was again caught on the wrong side of the train and had to hang on for another stop, as he was literally hanging outside the train with his camera bag sticking out even further, in the dark, not knowing how much space to the closest poles would be left.

Exciting stuff! So from Santa Cruz Station he had enough of train hopping and took a rickshaw to Khan road and was happy to find Haase and Buttlar at the Hotel, who had explored Juhu some more.

Day 16 : New threads

As well as the two Johannes play together, they also take synchronized naps.

So while those two were recharging, Immo sat on Dolally’s deck and wrote some blogs.

We wanted to get some clothes made in Mumbai, so it was time to look for the right tailor. We went to Santacruz and found two different tailors to get shirts and pants made.

Measurements were taken and so it would take a few days until the new threads would be ready.

Day 16: Khar West and Santacruz

Looking for some new clothes to wear on stage…

Gepostet von Scylla am Dienstag, 22. Januar 2019
So here is the daily movie of day 16

Day 15: Khar Road, Juhu Beach and Big fat Indian Wedding

Waking up on a sunday on Linking Street it was incredibly quiet. People were playing badminton, where before there was constant traffic, the shops were closed, the market not open. Does that mean, there is something like a sunday in Mumbai? By lunchtime it was clear: it is only during the morning hours. Some stores stayed closed, but all of the street hustle was back.

We had looked on the internet, if we could find a nicer hotel, but as the Photos for the Linkway Hotel looked nice on the internet as well, we decided to look at them in real life.

Getting a rikshaw to drive us with the taximeter on still wasn’t possible, as the drivers waiting on the street corner quickly discussed, what they would charge us, for our planned route.

In the end we went with Sam Sam, a young guy, taking us to Khar Road Station first. But not so fast: a policemen stopped us, as we were going the wrong way down a oneway street, but Sam Sam did some talking and we could continue. A hotel that Haase knew was freshly renovated and incorporated into the omnipresent OYO group, a huge chain of indian hotels.

Buttlar and Haase checked out the room, while Immo waited in the rikshaw.

Next stop was a different hotel from the OYO group, but it was not as nice as the first one.

So on to Juhu Beach, where a good looking hotel was waiting, but as we then found out, they do not rent out to foreigners, as it is still too new! Only Indians can rent rooms, but no unmarried couples!

So after being discriminated for not being indian, we had to fight our hurt feelings with food, and a cold Pepsi.

In front of the store a young man was preparing Paan and Haase had to try.

A variety of ingredients was put on a leaf and finally folded together and after Haase put it in his mouth, he looked like he had been beaten up!

Our rolling tobacco reserves were almost gone so we were trying to find a kiosk that sold some. Not so easy. Every Kiosk was selling long rolling papers and cigarettes, but no tobacco. What do they do with the papers then?

We were told, there was a kiosk at Kings Hotel, which we finally found after asking two more times. We bought what we needed and were still standing

there, when two Motorcycle Cops arrived on one motorbike, waived at the salesman and took of with two single cigarettes in their hand….

Daily Video Part 1:

Day 15: Part 1 – Juhu Beach

Looking for a new home in Mumbai, we went to Khar West and Juhu Beach

Gepostet von Scylla am Dienstag, 22. Januar 2019


Imran Khan had invited us to come see him and the Khan family play at a big fat Indian wedding at the Renaissance Hotel in Mumbai east.

The taxi ride there was exciting, as the sun was setting , and we finally made it through the gates, as all the cars were checked for contraband or explosives.

Bride and Groom were sitting under a Cannopee made out of roses, pretty much everything was covered with roses.

A big buffet was open, with all types of tasty food, but we still had not found the Khan family, were we at the wrong wedding?

Then we heard familiar sounds from a little further away in a different area. We went there, and the whole theme changed from red to green, a area the size of a football field was filled with tables, seats and couches, a big stage with a single couch was set up and the Khan family was just finishing up their soundcheck.

There were somewhere between 1000-2000 Guests, astonishing to see something like that.

We hung around with the Khans for a little while after their Gig, but the took a walk towards the street, to find a cab. Turns out it was going to be a rickshaw.

After a hell of a ride, we arrived at Khar Road Station and called it a night.

Daily Video Part 2:

Day 15 Part 2 Big Fat Indian Wedding

Day 15 Part 2 Big Fat Indian Wedding

Gepostet von Scylla am Dienstag, 22. Januar 2019

Day 13: on to Mumbai!

Daily Movie:

Scylla and Flowin IMMO in India – Day 12: Concert in Thiruvananthapuram

We played at the Goethe Zentrum Thiruvananthapuram and had a lot of fun! Here also a videolink to our "Zugabe" in Malayalam:

Gepostet von Scylla am Freitag, 18. Januar 2019


Bobby picked us up at the hotel and we returned to the Goethe Zentrum, to meet with the Boss, who is also Honorarkonsul for Kerala, to talk about future visits, and also bringing along Imran and Hanif Khan, to present the german/indian fusion on stage. It was a very friendly meeting, and now they are open for our concept to be sent after returning to Germany.

And we even made it into the newspapers!

Percussion shopping was on top of the list, as Buttlar was looking to buy coconut shakers, a friend of his had recommended. Bobby picked us up and we drove to the shop, where a friend of Bobby, a guitar player who was at our show yesterday , and his father opened the door for us.

Time for lunch, which is when Bobby showed us a videoclip of him acting in a Mollywood Comedy, yes, there is not only Bollywood, but also Mollywood, the Malayalam version of film industry. Funny stuff…

Bobby was a very nice host, fun to be around, but we had to say goodbye.

After two more hours of hanging out at the Hotel, a driver took us to the airport and we checked in without further problems. The flight was a little bit delayed, but we landed in Mumbai after about 2,5h flight time.

Another prepaid taxi took us to Bandra, a part of Mumbai, where Haase had already been before and we managed to find the Hotel Linkway on Linking Street.

The rooms were indeed different to the ones we had for last night in Thiruvananthapuram, but we new, Mumbai was going to be loud…

Quarter Canteen was the bar next door, and we managed to drink one welcome beer before they closed down at 1:00h.

Good night in Mumbai!

Day 11: Backwater Boys in Poovar

Long story short:

Day 11: Kovalam Backwaters Boattrip

we became the Backwater Boys today…

Gepostet von Scylla am Mittwoch, 16. Januar 2019

Haase and Immo got up around 9 and went for a morning swim followed up by a fresh coconut and a breakfast at the german bakery with indian Dosa, a thin rice pancake filled with curry potatos. We could have had Frankwurter sausages or Käsespätzle… who would have known…

Some video and audio editing ensued, as you all shoud be able to take part in our experience here.

Also a short Promo Trailer for the Alcheringa Festival was recorded by Immo.

On our last day in Kovalam Beach we had to see some more of the surrounding area, so Charles arranged his driver Sadiq for us and a boat trip through the backwaters.

We had scheduled a taxi to the Kovalam Backwaters for 15:30h, a boattour through mangroves south of Kovalam. The ride there through the town of Kovalam and other villages was very scenic and our driver Sadiq, the same one who had picked us up at the airport showed us a viewpoint on the way, where we could look over a fishervillage, which we would visit on the way back, from a hill above. Beautiful!

The price for 1,5h boattrip was 3500 RP for two and 500 RP for the extra person, Sadiq negotiated 200 RP discount, which he would later on get as an extra tip. Lots of boats with mostly indian families were on the water, sometimes we got into traffic jams in the very narrow waterways, leading us through palmtrees as far as you could see. We passed by floating restaurants and also a floating hotel, saw eagles and other birds.

Needless to say a lot of photo and video footage was taken there.

On our way back we bought some red bananas, this time for a more realistic price of 70 RP for 7 Bananas or 1,35 kg. Tasty.

Sadiq took us into the small fishermens village which we had seen from above before, a christian settlement directly in a forest of palmtrees by the beach. We got out of the car to take a look around at the beach and a group of young boys who were playing football were very interested in us. Johannes and Johannes joined the game for a few kicks while Immo was filming the scenery. Sunlight was fleeting, we continiued on to the fishing harbour where three mosques of different sizes where situated.

Sadiq told us about a cyclone that happened last year, which killed many fishermen, as they did not know it was coming. They only have mobile phones, and their service stops about 15-20 kilometers out in the sea. So as a consequence the Kerala Government has issued satellite phones to the fishermen, so a disaster like this would not happen again.

We stopped by our hotel for an hour, Immo edited the Promo trailer while we had a beer on our balcony with an austrian guy, who just started his one year trip around the world.

Time for Dinner, this time at Black Cat restaurant. Gobi 65, Chili Paneer and some spicy fish, topped of with a chocolate pancake with icecream.

Perfect last evening in Kovalam, as we are headed to our concert in Thiruvananthapuram tomorrow.

Day 8 : Kovalam Beach

We woke up around 10 , went to beach, bought 4 red bananas for too much money, bought 2 pairs of flip-flops for too much money, but the first fresh coconut for 50 Rupees to drink and eat afterwards was well worth it.

We jumped into the water and had no further questions.

We had lunch at Ocean Breeze Restaurant, trying to realize where we had landed.

In the evening we went down to the beach to enjoy the sunset and have a few drinks. Charles had told us, that only a few bars have a license to sell alcohol, so the ones that don’t have one sell it too but at a higher price because of the risk of getting caught.

We sat down at Fusion, a good-looking bar, overlooking the beach from the first floor Terrasse, the Kingfisher was cold, the orange juice looked tasty, so we went for a Cocktail called Sundowner, which was served in a fresh coconut. Nice!

The sun went down quickly, hidden behind the fog of evaporating seawater and within 30 minutes it was pitch black. Out there on the see lots of lights appeared, as the fishers were starting to do their thing.

Time for some food, so we visited the Crab Club, and indeed the beer there was served in Tea Cups and the bottles stood under the table. Tasty tea!

Fish in Banana leaf, Shrimp masala and Tiger Prawn curry were a good way the fight the hunger, so we walked down the boulevard in a half coma. 

As all shops were already closing up, we ended up at a tailor shop, looking for more suitable pants for this weather, and we did find some simple cotton pants for 600 Rupees.

We walked around the corner from Lighthouse beach to Kovalam Beach and then tried to go for a shortcut back to our hotel. Well, it still is a labyrinth, especially in the dark. But this way, we were able to see parts of Kovalam we had not seen before and probably will never see again.

So now it was definitely time and reason for another cold drink. 

We had seen a sign saying music cafe before so after finding it again, we sat down and asked, whether they do have music and or if we could play there. 

Turns out it is only the name, no music in Kovalam…

Heading back to the hotel, we stopped at fusion once more, and at 23h all things were coming to an end.

Day 7 : Luni to Kovalam

We got up early to catch breakfast and to say thank you and goodbye to Imran Khan, who left earlier than us with part of the participants for another week of workshops and sightseeing somewhere else.

His brother Irfan took us to the Jodhpur Airport and we arrived so early that the Checkin counter was still closed. Because our luggage was a little too heavy, we put some of the heavy items in our carry on and made some last minute adjustments using the Check in scale.

A Chili roll and a slice of indian pizza later the counter opened, but now we had to get our luggage through the security check at the other end of the hall.

We thought we would not run into problems in a small airport like Jodhpur, but boy were we wrong…

Airport Personnel does not seem to know drum set parts, like foot machine or cymbals, so Johannes von Buttlar had to unpack all kinds of stuff, get his suitcase x-rayed three times until he was good to go. Immo was already standing in line and had to let people pass until the other two could catch up. When it was our turn we should put all three suitcases on the scale and ended up with 74,94 kilos, 60 grams short of the 25kg limit per piece, yes!

We thought we had tricked the system, when Immo was approached by an Air India employee, asking if this was the carry on luggage, he lifted the two pieces up and said he had to check…

Long Story short: 500 Rupies per Kilo overweight, our carry on luggage in total was 14 kilos over so Johannes Haase paid 5000 for 10 Kilos and we could continue, risking the same problem in Delhi.

In Delhi we were supposed to have two hours of time, but when we landed our time window had shrunk to a little less than an hour. We had to leave the domestic sector and walk to international departures, which was weird because we would not leave the country.

After showing our passports and boarding cards for 5-6 times, going through another security check, we finally arrived in the right terminal and boarding had not yet started, so Immo took the opportunity to buy a harddisk, as the SD Cards were all full already.

Waiting at the gate we had to get some food so the healthy stuff from the vending machine had to do, Johannes Haase also bought three bags of different nuts.

The flight to Trivandrum was supposed to take 4,5 hours and a driver from the Vedic Heritage Hotel would be there to pick us up. Well, we landed an hour later than planned and Immo’s suitcase, which was labeled as fragil would not appear on the conveyor belt at the baggage claim. We showed our baggage number to one of the employees and share enough, they had the suitcase set aside behind a door, so it would not be thrown around at the baggage claim.

Our driver was there and took us to Kovalam, where a guide was waiting at the roadside to escort us to the hotel through a labyrinth of small walkways. Luckily it was downhill when we arrived at about 00:30h rolling our luggage to our new home.

Charles, the hotel owner was waiting for us, but only whispered, to not wake up the other guests. No bars or restaurants where open anymore in Kovalam so we called it a night after a cold glass of water.

Day 6: Raaga Taala Retreat Grand Finale

The day started with opening our social media office in front of room 59, the blog entries of the last 4 days had to be shared, while drinking some chai masala.

Today we decided to go for an extended walk to discover the salty river Luni. We walked through the village headed to the right direction and after a few deadends we found the riverbed.

The residents greeted friendly, especially the kids repeated their hellos and bye byes a few times and even came up to shake our hand.

Some young boys were playing cricket in the fields an yelled in our direction to invite us to play.

A bunch of puddles of water surrounded by a white saltcrust were left but no actual waterflow. The bushes were littered with trash of all kinds and some cow corpses were rotting away in the sun. The stomach of one cow was completely filled with plastic bags, but that did not stop a stray dog from chewing on the remaining flesh.

We crossed the riverbed right next to a railway bridge and a honking train passed over it.

We got up on the rails and a crew of about 5 men came in our direction with a sort of draisine to measure the width of the tracks for safety reasons.

On the way back to the Fort we walked along the rails and a young man on a motorcycle stopped to find out where we were from. He told us he was shopping for dinner and had already bought oil and a kilo of garlic, but more importantly asked if we were on Facebook, he handed over his phone so we could find our profile and he could send a friend request. While we were doing that uncle 2 kept calling, he answered and told us that he had to go back to the shop to buy two kilos of chilis. He invited us to come to his house, but we had other plans. His name was Suresh.

There was a railway crossing and cars and motorcycles were waiting for the gate to open, but some riders just limboed under it, so at some point the guard just opened it and everybody got on their way.

Just a few steps from our Fort another man greeted us and offered an Indian cigarette called Beedi. It turned out him and his friend were sugar bakers and they showed us photos of their food on their smartphones while two boys were looking at us with shy interest.

Upon returning to Fort Chanwa preparations for the final evening were well on their way: the big stage was set up again and all the different workshop groups were busy practicing their routines.

At about 20h the program started with Imran Khan and his 7 Sitar students accompanied by flute and tabla, followed by the Tabla players und the singers.

They all presented, what they had learned n the past week, some of them had never touched the instruments before or sang at all.

The singing Guru performed with the Tabla Guru and a Harmonium player, to show some more classical Indian music.

By then Suresh had sent two Photo updates via Facebook Messenger with the food he was preparing to invite us over, but we could not leave…

After that the stage was switched and it was time for the dance performances, a classical one and for the absolute finale: Bollywood Dance!

They made us all join in, so at the end it was a big Bollywood dance party. Who would have known that it is so much fun!

Time was flying, so Dinner started at 23:30h, we cheated a little bit and had a tomato soup earlier.

Chaitanya and Ajush, both participants of the Tabla group, who we had met on our first trip to Jodhpur market, sat down at our table and we got to learn more about the intricate language of the tabla. There is s special syllable for every stroke combination on the tabla, so it depends on your vocabulary how many combinations you can play. Fascinating stuff!

When we were about ready to go to bed we met the Prince again, and he invited us to have another drink with him and his son.

We talked about religion again, and he told us about the history of islam and hinduism in India and how complicated it is to convert Hindus, as they will just incorporate Allah or Jesus with the rest of their gods.

Because his son was into 70s rock music he told us a story about him in his early teens on the beach of Goa, when a VW Van pulled up, a bunch of guys came out and set up their instruments and played for the 25-35 hippie looking people on the beach for about two hours. Then they ended their spontaneous concert with the words he would not forget: Thank you very much , it was a pleasure playing for you, back in our country they call us Led Zeppelin …

We exchanged contacts and he invited us to stay at his home in Jodhpur next time we visit.



Day 5: Royal Palace , Camel Ride and Dinner in the Desert

After yesterday’s concert and the following celebration we missed morning yoga once again. Maybe it is still jetlag?

We grabbed a quick lunch for breakfast and hopped on the bus to Jodhpur. First stop was at the maharaja Palace to have a look at the museum and the garden.

We had already seen it from the big Fortress, as is situated on a rock on the opposite side of Jodhpur.
We had our first safran ice cream, the first impression was like licking soap, but after getting used to it, it was good.
It took another hour to get to Osian, north of Jodhpur, where we jumped on to jeeps and had a bumpy ride to the camels which were waiting on a dune.

Chai was served and we had the chance to take a ride on a camel. It is quite exciting when it gets up, you have to hold on tight, once it is moving and you adjust to it’s rhythm it is a soothing massage.

A traditional band was set up on the dune and played for the group, while a little further down the dune an Indian couple was having a romantic photoshoot in the sunset with a photo team and even pyrotechnics !

We could choose to ride the camel or the jeep ack to camp, where dinner was awaiting.
The same band had already set up next to the campfire and started playing in the dark, as there was no electricity at the time.
Only lit by the fire and oil torches it had a nice atmosphere. Finger food was served around the circle we were sitting in and soon the four female dancers got us all to join their dance around the fire.
The generator started und suddenly the whole place was lit up, changing the vibe, but you could finally see the band again.
About an hour and lots of finger food later, it was announced that dinner was now ready… better not miss yoga tomorrow morning!
We are sitting on the bus now, making our 90 minute return to Luni.
Great Trip, thanks to Imran, Tina and their whole team.