Trip Start Nov 01, 2012
17Trip End Nov 27, 2012
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Final day's thoughts and observations from both of us!
I identified the tree - Indian Flame Tree - and as you can see it's stunning!
The Chinese fishing nets are non-functioning today - Phil was keen to video the cantilever action - must be an engineer thing - but even I recognise the design skills of Kubla Khan! There were several fishermen down on the beach and they netted hundreds of what looked like sardines - but then we're not knowledgable fishermen
The pavements and streets are populated by goats of all sizes - they look remarkably healthy given that they are scavenging - no idea whether they are owned by anyone.
We went to our favourite Kingfisher bar last night and our lovely waiter regaled us with stories of unrequited love for a girl 'not of his society' - such a friendly chap as is everyone we have met. Mind you - sometimes it's too much. Phil scored a hit with a handsome young waiter at a smart hotel where we shared a bottle of Big Banyan Sauvignon Blanc - I say the word shared with tongue in cheek! This young man managed to all but fail to acknowledge my presence whilst attending to all Phil's food & drink related needs! I finally had to speak up and insist on a glass - difficult to imagine I know! [Phil: And even then, she didn't drink it!!!] Don't like being ignored! We were then introduced to the equally delightful [but less partisan] chef who was pleased we had enjoyed his food and told us his life story! And the Maitre De came for a chat.
To add to his conquests Phil then exchanged email address with the [3months pregnant] hotel receptionist - we're not sure quite why but time will tell
After our initial tuk tuk tour around Kochi, every time we ran into Nishad the tuk tuk driver, we appeared to be seeking Kingfisher. He had already told us that being a Muslim, he didn't drink and that it was "injurious to health"! Phil had confirmed this fact by telling him that I was actually only 23 years old. So, remembering the previous conversation, every time we saw him he marginally redeemed cheered me up by acknowledging that I am only 23. Clearly doesn't know about the Guiness! That said he also was a Jones fan!
Trip to the airport was death defying - driver had to keep adjusting his glasses - which actually didn't appear to do anything to improve his tunnel vision. The only redeeming feature was that he did use his indicators! Never experienced such chaotic driving - definitely not the AC causing a dry mouth!
We met a French woman who is working as a volunteer teacher in a Carmelite orphanage - we've never seen so many schools and the children wear the most stunning uniforms - 100% literacy in Kerala - and incidentally great internet connectivity - always full coverage - not like Anglesey
Having survived four weeks (almost) without any "toilet issues", Phil has managed to get a severe dose of Delhi Belly from the meal he was served on the plane home. It would have been expected if we'd been flying Air India but surely not with Kuwait Air!!!
Where we were in Kerala, all properties were subject to two half hour power cuts per day - at pre-arranged times. If you want power at those times, you buy a generator or a battery back up. Story is it's saving 20% on overall electricity production....
So, India - the good and the bad....
The people are delightful
The food, of course....
The climate (while we were there) was great
The cost of eating, drinking etc is phenomenally low
The railways. They appear to be very efficient
To see such different plants growing, animals living, fruit to eat etc was just fantastic
The open sewers (not everywhere thankfully but enough of them!) and thus the smells
The roads and traffic. There appears to be NO lane discipline. As far as we can tell, the driver has to be very careful not to hit anyone from behind. That seems to be the only rule of the road. Wagons without rear lights also make driving at night hazardous
The railways - only because of the toilet facilities....
Would we go again? You betcha we would!!