Vacation in a Tiger State Part 1

Ft. Cochin, Kerala, India October 2011

October 22

Indigo Air. Flight attendants  wearing wigs and tiny hats with smiles as warm as butter. Sat by myself. No panic.
Watching blue where the sea meets the sky and there is no discernible difference between the two.
Anticipation of being in a beautiful place with friends.

Next came the taxi ride in a charming little taxi with no air-conditioning. We were melting. This was my view from the front of the cab.

Bobbi Jo Staley, Zach Hathaway, Nancie Sousa

Our driver convinced us to take the ferry route to the fort because it is faster than the old road. “No traffic Madame.”

“Excellent. Let’s go,” we said.

Off we went and for the first 25 minutes there was no traffic, as promised. Then we arrived in the que for the ferry. Over an hour later, in a line of cars to board the boat, the massive line started to move. It’s important to mention that this was also the point at which the cab driver chooses to leave us for the loo. Thinking quickly, I hopped up front and took the wheel.  As it turns out, being able to drive a standard transmission vehicle comes in handy when your taxi driver abandons you in the middle of a communist state in a developing country.

We finally made it onto the ferry.


And arrived in Ft. Cochin.

Stayed at charming fort queen hotel where we were greeted with a smile and freshly pressed juice.

Went to the traditional dance of Kerala,  Kathakali, where we played trivial pursuit on the iPad while we watched the men make themselves up for the dance.

Dancers getting ready.

The dance was intersting…eye movements and facial expressions. So cool.
Big colorful masks, costumes, and hats. Love story where all women are played by men.
Ate at a restaurant that was full of tourists where we felt out of place with a whole bunch of white people. It’s strange…I feel more Indian everyday. And when I see white people I feel a little awkward.

We walked around fort Cochin and peeked at the Chinese fishing nets…Zachary, our resident steve Erwin, spotted an adorable four week old puppy. We immediately fell in love  and wanted to take it home. Bobbi Jo wouldn’t let us.

“Be practical you guys, are we really going to travel for a week with a dog in the car?”

“Um, yes,” we responded.
We left the dog. With broken hearts we journeyed onto the fish market where we spotted giant blue fresh water prawn that looked like lobster, enormous red snapper, and a variety of other fish.

We finished the night walking down charming Princess Street watching the hippie-dread locked-patchuli wearing pot-smoking tourists go buy. Ahhhh tourist India.
Finally off to bed…which actually had springs. Which is uncommon in these parts.

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