Day 19 - Tirumakudalu Narasipura to Kollegal
Hardest part of doing a marathon is waking up and doing it all again. However, my body is well and truly in sync with nature as I rise with the sun. A far cry from my Sydney weekend ritual with a sunrise and beer in hand.
I digress! It has always been my favourite time of the day - it's as if you have the world all to yourself as everyone else is fast asleep. So peaceful and still. A daily ritual that I will try not to lose.
I decided to take the long route today that would see me pass through multiple villages. I seriously do not know how these streets are even present on Google Maps as I weave in and around narrow passageways - met with all sorts of astonishing looks - even more so when they realise I do not speak - "Kannada" - Karnataka local language
"No Canada," I reply confidently.
Whilst language was always going to be a barrier in the communication process - it is the actual ability to translate the difference in cultural body language that has at times been the most humorous challenge.
It's a fun and frustrating game of charades / pictionary.
Even with the basics - food and water. "Water" "Wata" "Waterrr" - every new pronunciation is met with an increase in volume and a stronger 'Indian accent.' I am met with looks of sheer and utter confusion. Even more so as I attempt to act out the drinking of water, which defiantly looks I'm performing head.
Finally there is light bulb moment when they repeat back "water" - which sounds to me exactly the same way I said it the first time. I laugh as my mind takes me back to the episode of Family Guy - "It's a Jackal, Jackal Jackal. Its a Jackal!"
This brings me to the famous Indian head wobble - the source of much confusion when you first encounter it. Surely it means yes? Wait a second he looks like he has no idea? Ummm maybe? To only make things more confusing it is made in complete silence.
Now - I think I have finally discovered this mysterious movement. It actually has a variety of meanings but mainly it is confirmation that they understand. However, a quick wobble means "yes." I discovered this today as I accidentally ordered another meal.
"No sir", I replied shaking my head.
5 mins later my second lunch for the day was served.
There are countless other gestures that transcend into our cultural differences. Body language conveys so much more than the words we use and only provides a case that our "actions speak louder than words."
In a strange round about way of looking at things - this is essentially what Walking the Walk is about - the power of actions and body language. What you do has much more credibility than what you say. Words are cheap and provide that instant satisfaction before change has been made.
To make change, you have to make the commitment to follow through with your words and make the effort to do things differently in life - a concept that applies to all facets.
As AFL great, John Kennedy Senior once said. "DO SOMETHING! DO! Don't think, don't hope, do!"