The Love Trip – Part 2: Was I falling for Adrian?
I joined Adrian on his Indian backpacking adventure. Our first stop together was Hampi.
While I was planning my trip, planning how I'm going to leave my house, Aidy called to tell me “So, I've only found one nice homestay here, but there's a problem. It only has double beds. What do you want to do? Get two rooms elsewhere or save some money and share a bed? Don't worry, we'll have cushions between us.”
What had I done? Was this a mistake? Here I was nursing a broken heart from my trip to Bali, and now I was making plans to backpack around the country with a total stranger. I couldn't stop thinking of what might happen on this trip... should I back out? Should I just calm down and go – Aidy seemed like a stand up guy.
I sucked it up. Got on my bus. And then cried quietly to myself all the way till Hampi. I reached the little homestay he told me about and hugged him awkwardly. I went to the bathroom to wash the long bus ride off me, and just as I entered I noticed a weird pattern of designs all over the commode, and the floor around the commode. Small, circular, red lines unevenly distributed. It almost looked like hair...
It was hair.
“What the hell Adrian,” I yelled, “You shaved thinking I’d sleep with you or something?” He was confused. “Why is your pubic hair all over the bathroom?” Half embarrassed, half flirty, he responded, “Look, I'm a gentleman. I wouldn't have made a move on you. But what if you made a move on me? How would I resist? And wouldn't you rather have me prepared for that situation?”
I burst out laughing. I'm glad we had this situation to deal with right at the start – so yes, he had thought of it. For some reason, his honesty calmed me down. Guys take note: be upfront about what your intentions are.
We hired a bike and headed out to see the ruins and the river for the next few days. I remember sitting by the bank one evening when I told Aidy, “Let's click a few 'couple selfies' to post on Facebook and scandalise people.”
We looked so good together. I don't think I've smiled so openly, so warmly in ages. We looked like we had known each other all our lives. He asked me not to tag him on Facebook. He didn't want to draw unnecessary attention towards us. So I tagged him. Hah!
I even wrote his mum a message saying she raised an absolutely wonderful gentleman. She wrote me back, almost immediately, “Please teach him how to behave with women so he actually starts dating someone more seriously.”
Which I obviously read as – He hasn't had his one big love. Yet.
Mum don't freak out!
The first few nights, we kept a few pillows between us when we slept. We were awkward initially, but then we just couldn't stop talking and stayed up till we just couldn't stay awake. It was the first time the both of us had spent time in the same bed with a member of the opposite sex and not had sex. Aidy told me he thought I'm enroute to being his potential best friend.
A few days later, I got a call from my mum about a picture I had posted on Facebook. We were under the sheets, and I was in an off shoulder top, so it had the appearance of being naked. The fact that I was publicly sharing a bed with a strange white man was insulting the family honour. I just edited my preferences so the picture, and now most of my pictures, could be viewed by everybody except her.
We had a ritual going the next couple of days. I would teach him to ride a bike and go around ruins by day and café-hopping in the evenings. The river was our second home. We'd sit, swim, and watch the sun set on the ruins... I was truly happy. Travel and companionship with a hot, funny, intelligent guy.
Read the full series here: The Love Trip
After Hampi, we made our way to Bangalore. We took a night sleeper bus, and were treated to a window filled with stars. We were at peace. Only to wake up at 3am and find out the bus had broken down in the middle of the highway. An hour later we were told we'd have to find our own way to Bangalore.
How, I asked. “Ask one of the big trucks passing by, they usually have space.” I lost it and really gave the driver a piece of my mind. Aidy was actually scared of me. I could see him cowering from the corner of my eye. In any case, the yelling helped – they arranged a rickshaw that would take us to a point where we could board a local bus.
We were only in Bangalore for a day before heading to Mysore, Coorg and then further south. We stayed at a friend's mother's place. She was the warmest woman I've ever met. She fed us amazing dosas, while teasing us at every meal, “You guys look good together.” We knew it.
While we shopped in the local Bangalore markets, Aidy bought himself a perfume. A perfume that smelled so good on him, I blurted out, “God, I want you in me... right now...”
“Be careful what you wish for,” he joked back.
We slept with the pillow between us, yet again. And I started to wonder why.
The next day we headed to Mysore by bus. We didn't have a lot of time there so we had to choose between seeing the Mysore Palace, or the Zoo. Seeing how we both didn't think Zoos in India treated their animals well, we didn't want to give them any business. As soon as I entered the palace, I felt at home. “You're a princess, Meetali,” Aidy made me blush. Till I realised he was being sarcastic – he was carrying his bag, my bag, his water bottles, my water bottles, his camera bag and so on. Hmpf, chivalry was dead.
At one point I mentioned to Aidy how I have a crippling fear of snakes, and even have nightmares about them. “You just want a big d--k,” he shrugged it off. “How long has it been since you got laid?” It had been a while.
Next stop: Coorg.
The only thing of note that happened here was that Aidy was grossed out by the mere mention of me being on my period. “Don't talk about it,” he barked like a 5-year-old. I barked back, which I think hurt his fragile male ego. He went on a long walk for a few hours and I couldn't help but feel a little bad. I texted him - I guess it's time for me to go then, Aidy?
When he returned, he came to me with so much compassion in his eyes. “Stay,” he said. He apologised for his behavior. We went for a walk to a nearby monastery and I noticed him smiling into his phone. As it turns out, some of his guys back home were asking about me - “Have you banged the Indian chick yet?” I laughed it off, awkwardly.
When we reached, Aidy started playing a game of 'blocking the monks view of Meetali'. He said the monks had been celibate so long, a beauty like me would make them break their vows. He really had a way with words.
Tempting the monks
We went back to our shady little room and decided to leave the next day. At night I climbed on to him and slept. Notch that up to a mix of being a tired-horny-bleeding woman, I guess. I could feel his body tense. He was awkward about this, but I didn't care.
“You mean a lot to me, and I love travelling with you, my Indian Goddess,” he smiled.
Was I falling for Adrian?
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity and do not in any way represent or reflect the views of 101India.com.
By Meetali Meshram
Photographs by Meetali Meshram