First Two Days in Kerala [en]

An account of our package days in Kerala. Nice!

It took a bit of firmness, but it was finally less difficult than I had feared to obtain the various entertainments promised in our package.

We started yesterday evening with a trip around the local canals in a canoe. Peaceful, and nice, glimpses of lives in little houses or huts near the water, and the splashing of the oar in the dark as we headed home, interrupted only by the twilight din of the birds hopping and chirping excitedly in the coconut trees.

The food was nice, although the ‘vegetable curry’ we ordered alongside the fish was ‘somewhat bland’, and we clearly hadn’t ordered enough. For my part, I was thinking ‘family style portions’, but each dish here was clearly meant to feed one person only.

We got up at dawn this morning (6:20 a.m., the birds were at it again with their racket) for a slightly longer tour through the backwaters in a motor boat. Luckily we just chugged along slowly, so the noise didn’t prevent us from enjoying the peacefulness of the morning scenes offered to us: fishing, bathing, and washing up the dirty dishes.

We came back for a hearty breakfast of appams, and discovered that the vegetable curry wasn’t too bad with a little added salt and pepper.

By nine o’clock the car (mini-van, actually) was ready to take us to a neighbouring village for a short trek. There isn’t much to say about it apart from the fact that it was pleasant and allowed the atmosphere to sink in. Anita shot quite a lot of videos with the digicam.

Lunch was a success. We had ordered a lot of food and it was really nice — especailly the prawn masala (prawns naked, if you please). We ordered accordingly for this evening.

Half of the afternoon was devoted to laying around and bathing for me, and hotel-hunting and transport-organizing for Anita. Again, I cannot say it enough: thanks, many thanks.

Around three we set off for a brief visit of the highly coloured temple, a stroll on the beach (the soft sand and warm water made me want to bathe, can you imagine!) and a walk in the town. Our driver, Matthew, turned out to be a very nice chap who told us all about the finest umbrella manufacturer in all India (here in Alleppey only), as well as a local church we peeked into.

I’ve rarely packed as many things in an Indian day as I have today!

A Coin [en]

A little girl follows the canoe and asks the two tourists inside for a coin.

There is a canoe with tourists again. A white lady with fair hair, and another lady from the city. I stand on the edge of the water, I say “Hello!”, I smile. They wave back.

The white lady has a big camera. These tourists, they always take a lot of photographs. These two are laughing and talking and playing with their cameras.

I run along the shore to follow them — they aren’t going very fast, it is easy. I wave, I smile again. I think they like me. I am wearing my purple dress.

I ask for a coin. The lady from the city makes me repeat. I think she doesn’t understand.

The canoe is going round the corner — I take the shortcut behind my uncle’s house and catch up with them again. Once more I ask for my coin. As they still don’t understand, the boatman tells them what I want. These ones won’t give me anything.

I run after them again, smile and ask for a photo. The lady from the city takes a picture of me. I wave good-bye, the boat goes off. Mother is calling me.