Wot, no fort!

Trip Start Nov 01, 2006
Trip End Oct 31, 2007

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Flag of India  ,
Thursday, December 21, 2006

In virtually all of the cities we have visited so far in India there has been, as an absolute minimum, at least one fort.  We have spent the last 3 days in Fort Cochin in south-west Kerala.  Oddly, Fort Cochin has no fort.  Isn't it ironic?   
Poor Rachel hasn't been terribly well the last few days.  We got off the train at about 8 in the morning but it was already around 30 degrees and this seems to have triggered some kind of temperature-related bug.  In retrospect we think it's the same bug (or at least a first cousin, once removed of the bug) that I was suffering from in Jaipur.  There's very little in the way of a stomach upset, just a strange sickly feeling and loss of appetite (particularly for spicy food).  Fortunately the place we are staying, Elite Hotel, does excellent toast and there's plenty of fresh fruit, so at least R isn't starving.  The other plus is that we've been able to catch up on our movie-viewing, thanks to HBO.  This great TV channel (Home Box Office, for those that don't know) is usually available where there's a TV, but the majority of places we've been staying haven't had one.  We've worked our way through at least part of the following: Lord of the Rings, The Longest Yard (an awful Adam Sandler movie - that's tautological isn't it?), Kicking and Screaming (an awful Will Ferrell movie), Ocean's Twelve, Cape Fear, The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl, American Ninja and others so bad we've already forgotten them.
On our last day Rachel was feeling a lot better and we managed to get round the main sights including the Chinese fishing nets, Jew Town, and the Mattancherry (or Dutch) Palace.  We've had some excellent food but also some very mediocre fare including a barely cooked red snapper which is hardly the thing you want to eat if you're recovering from an unidentified bug.  This was off-set by a fantastic meal at the Brunton Boatyard, a very smart hotel (where we are not staying).  We had 'first-class railway car lamb', pork marinated in masala and cooked in its own fat (much, much better than it's description suggests), and king prawns with green mango and coconut, and some delicious fiery squid.  Needless to say, this came out of the 'luxury fund' and it was well worth it, completely rejuvenating jaded palates and spirits. 
Fort Cochin has a lovely calm atmosphere, reminiscent of Panjim/Old Goa, but even less like hard work, and we really liked it.  A great place to recuperate.  Tomorrow we are heading south to Alleppey to try and arrange a last-minute backwater cruise during the pre-Christmas rush.  Wish us luck.  (T&R)
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stapes on

adam sandler
almost right with exceptions of the incredible 'happy gilmore' and interesting 'punch drunk love' (by paul thomas anderson, you see!). possibly spanglish too but haven't seen it.

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