Now I am in Bangalore after a trip to Chennai and Kerala. I don’t think I mentioned Kerala so far. I went there and it was one heck of an experience. Just enough to get a blog post written down. We went to Kerala to catch up with some friends and see some sights.
We flew to Trivandrum. We stayed a hotel, nothing really cool there.
We went to the Padmanabha temple.
I had to wear a towel around my waist and take off my shirt. It ended up looking like the towel around the waist was the only thing I was wearing since it completely covered my shorts. After the temple, we drove to meet some friends and then to Cochin.
The drive. The drive was long, tiring, and hard. On the drive, we came across a flooded area. The car was half submerged and still moving.
It was the time of the monsoons, a time of rain and diseases. From what my mom says, that area happens to be below sea level and it can get flooded easily. After a bit more of waiting and attempting to charge my IPhone, we got completely lost on our way to the next hotel in Cochin. We had to constantly ask for directions and most of them turned out to be wrong. I am not sure if they didn’t care about us or if they didn’t know about the place at all. I am not fully sure. But eventually, we got there.
The hotel was extremely small, having only about nineteen rooms.
But it was an amazing hotel with amazing food, amazing all sorts of things. It had tuna sandwiches, amazing beverages, and a pool. It was old school, classic. The door knobs were half the size of regular door knobs. They had an old school with a rotary dial, a cool thing with a speaker that you had to put to your ear.
We relaxed, got some sleep and then stuff happened.
We started off the next day with learning about the history of Cochin and sight seeing all kinds of areas. It was quite fun. I did get a little tired after a while but hey, what can you do? We went to temples, palaces. We saw history, weapons, the biggest Walmart you would ever see in a life time. The Walmart was a diversion. Just wanted to make sure that you were reading.
We went to a 5 year old, wait, no, 5000, wait, that is not right either, a 500 year old church.
It was pretty cool. It was built by the Portugese explorer Vasco da gama but the Dutch took it over. We also saw the broken wall of an old Portugese fort that the Dutch destroyed. I am not sure how the fort could be broken but it happened.
After that, we finally went back to the hotel, rested and I went to the pool. Things were fine and dandy. I had an awesome beverage and a sandwich. I stayed for two hours at the pool and it was awesome.
After that, we went to the Kathakali dance performance, which I could say was rather questionable. I was not sure how the story went but I am pretty sure that my version nails the original one. So it started with this green guy who really liked to yell a lot. And there was a yellow girl and the green guy did like a happy dance to the yellow girl. And the yellow girl ignored the green guy. And the green guy started chasing the yellow girl around. And then he stopped and he chased her again and a few more times. And then some weird stuff happened. The yellow girl left. The next part, the yellow girl found a red guy and the red guy was showing off his muscles. And they did like some sign languages and they got a blanket for the red guy and so I guess he wanted to sleep, I think. He went under the blanket but we couldn’t actually see him and he was like a rock. Then the green guy came by, he started looking under the blanket. For some reason, he didn’t know it was the red guy and the green guy started doing some dancing around. Finally, he tried to take the blanket off and then the red guy gave the green guy hiccups and then the hiccups killed the green guy. That is pretty much exactly how it happened.
Before the actually performance, they showed the basic moves of Kathakali. But after they started, I completely forgot all the moves and their meaning in a few minutes. I remember flexing the facial muscles to show happiness, anger, and other feelings. I am not sure of anything else. After the dance, it started raining a lot and we had to find shelter. After we returned to the hotel, we slept again until the next day.
For the next day, we went on a house boat tour. Yes, we went into a house on a boat! You have no idea how much I am freaking out by the thought of that. That is like putting together a suitcase and a chair. I am a bit too uncreative to think of a better analogy currently (no I just don’t want to). So we got on to the boat and it was pretty cool. There were some chairs and even some beds for us to sleep on. They brought some drinks, that was basically unfizzy orange soda. But it turned out that they couldn’t start the boat for some reason and so we had to move to another one. It was still just as awesome. It had a room, it had beds, it had everything.
We relaxed and saw some sights. We saw an entire water city, like literally a city on water. I am sure I have played enough video games to know that there is a city in the sky in one of them. It is basically like Venice, with the canals, an entire city on water. It was awesome.
After some more on the canal and the lake, they also gave us some lunch. I got to eat some fish. I thought it was really good even though a little bit overcooked.
The canals were shimmering with the reflection of the sky and all the trees. I could see all the fields used to grow crops and stuff filled with the water. The sun was shining right on top. And as the icing on the cake, I could feel all the friction of the water as the boat slowly swayed back and forth.
This lake is the largest in Asia yet not nearly as big as Lake Superior. I guess our lake is superior. After we got back to mainland, we headed back to the hotel, got a bite to eat and relaxed. I watched a few videos on the IPhone, my grandma watched some TV and my mom did some work on her computer.
The next morning, we went to the oldest synagogue in Asia. It was really cool. We saw paintings that described the entire history of Jews in India. We saw the pictures and read the descriptions. There were also some old photos in which everybody seemed a little miserable and pissed off. But I guess pictures were new for them and they didn’t know they had to smile. My mom’s friend Nurete went to the synagogue and attended services there once.
So after that, we got some gifts including an India shirt for me (that is gone, god knows where but I am sure it will pop up somewhere), some spices etc. Then we went to see our friend Simy. She has taken care of me when I was young. I still remember waking her up at 5 am with loud music, jumping on her bed. She is now a professor in England. We got to see her baby, her husband, her parents and her sister. It was nice. Then, we left for the train station to go back to Chennai.
One thing that distinguishes Kerala is the meat. Unlike Chennai and Bangalore, which are largely vegetarian, Kerala was all about fish. Fish and chicken. And churches, lots of them. And Jesus on people’s walls. And lots of water.