Tuesday, March 10, 2009


So the story starts in Cochin. I flew there from Mumbai (flying! so wonderful!!) and it was air conditioned and great. I got off the plane and was met by a cloud of humidity that followed me around the entire time I was in Kerala (which is a state, by the way; at the very south end of India, on the west side).
Here are the Chinese fishing nets. They have been around for quite some time, since the Portugese? French? were in India. I watched them pull up some fish but they only seemed to get about 5 fish at a time, and the seagulls flew off with half.

The plants in Kerala amazed me. The dirt is red and all the plants are a lush green. Everything is cleaner because there is less city (at least in Cochin) and it was very beautiful.

Here is an Enfield bullet. I'm seriously considering buying one and upgrading Gladys. They only cost a couple thousand dollars here, but apparently are hard to find in the US. Maybe on my next trip to India, I can buy one and ship it back?...
I went to Alleppey (about 1.5 hours by bus from Cochin) and met these two guys on the bus ride over there. They were Tom and Adrien from London and France, and they were good company. We stayed the night in Alleppey and then caught a backwater tour. It was 8 hours of views like the one above. The cool thing about it was that we went through all these little villages where people's backyards basically were right at the water. There were about a million kids waving at us and screaming "One pen! One pen!". Tom wondered what the kids would do if we actually threw them a pen, and the next day he went out and bought a couple but of course didn't see any kids who wanted a pen.
Our boat ended up in Kollam, which was a dusty little town with zero English speakers. There were lots of big structures strung with lights being set up, here's one. I'm not completely sure what the occasion was, but I think it may be Holi, which starts tomorrow. It's a holiday where people throw paint at you. I'm not particularly looking forward to it, but hey. When in India...

So yesterday I hopped onto a train for 17 hours, took another train to the airport in Chennai, then waited 7 hours (in air conditioning) for my flight to Calcutta. I arrived here not too long ago, and it is hot! but not as humid, so I am happy. I have a lot of errands to do while here, like laundry, mailing stuff, and booking tickets. Hopefully I'll do plenty of walking around town in the process and I'll get new stories and pictures to share.
In a couple days I'm headed to cooler climates in Darjeeling. I am really looking forward to being cold. Until next time...

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Cities I've Visited