A Bad and Sad Goodbye to India

Trip Start Aug 28, 2012
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Trip End Aug 09, 2013


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Flag of India  , Kerala,
Friday, September 28, 2012

28th Sept – Moving upwards through Kerala

We were all woken at 6 by the house across the moat having unbelievably loud music on. After just about getting back to sleep, we were up at 8 for breakfast...which annoyingly didn't actually come until about 9. But we got an extra hour on the boat and got back at 10 to move on upwards to Fort Cochi.  We all got onto a bus to Ernakulam, surprisingly spacious and quick which was good.

Ambulances go about 60mph when full so me passing one on a motorway didn't seem so wrong.  However, a bus passing an ambulance with its sirens on, surrounded by peds at the foot of a bridge just seems wrong.  Nether-the-less, the bus we were in catapulted itself past the ambulance (simply just a small minibus with an old woman lying on a blanket in the back – no injuries in India!).  Along the way we also had to cross a level crossing.  As we could hear the train coming, a load of goats ran past and we were all worried they would get run over. They waited for the level crossing before they got off the track!

On arrival, we all piled our bags sky high and Laura went wandering and managed to find us a tuk-tuk that would take us all the way to the hostel we said for 250IR.  Getting all of us and our 5 bags into the tuk-tuk was very interesting.  I ended up sitting sideways on the front with the driver on top of Jon’s bag, and the rest of them piled into the back with all the hand luggage with all the other bags squidged into the "boot".  An entertaining ride.

The hostel we’d hoped for was full so we initially went wandering, but with tempers heightening we went into Teapot cafe and had some shakes and some sandwiches.  The conversation re. the sandwiches was a funny one – when I asked for a chicken sandwich with salad (salad being individually on the menu) he said they didn’t have any.  When I then asked you have no tomato or cucumber, he said yes tomato, no cucumber.  Then when Kiah asked what the vegetables were that came in the veg sandwich he said tomato and cucumber!  We all looked at each bemused, then I asked for cucumber as well!

We somehow and again, very coincidentally bumped into Hannah and Chloe, who took us to where we were staying.  Once again Laura worked her charm and managed to us 2 rooms, initially offered at 600 and 800, for 1000 for both! Get in.  We quickly moved our stuff in and took some very necessary showers.

We wandered round Fort Cochi and along the way saw and got involved in some Chinese fishing, saw an amazing sunset and just generally got to see the centre of the area.  We ended up back very near to our hostel at Salt and Pepper for a not so great meal - we ordered garlic chicken and noodles.  The garlic chicken was third chicken, third bone and third grime.  The noodles came about 15 minutes later.  Once altogether and meat accessed, the food was quite tasty luckily.

The evening then consisted of chill – watched a film with the others in their room and then went to bed.  Potentially gona spend our last 4 nights here, just to revitalise ourselves for our epic start in SE.Asia!!!

29-30th Sept – Our room, Oys Cafe, Cochi, Kerala

So turns out we had 3 nights here, 31st September doesn’t exist!  And in my mind these 2 days don’t exist, as to not ruin my memories of India.  Not only did the cold that I have spike this weekend but the chicken gave me food poisoning, so this weekend consisted of me being in bed – not fun.  So instead of focusing on that I thought I would focus on India as a whole...

Summary of India:

First and foremost, Laura and I are still friends!  We have more or less been together 24/7 for a whole month and we are still talking and have not had an argument, only a couple of short words due to either hunger, exhaustion or heat.  We have spent one afternoon apart and I felt lost, worrying where she was and why she was taking so long to have a shower!

India is amazing.  It is a world away from England and a nice change; people who come here for a "simple holiday" should not bother, unless they go to Goa and put themselves up in a hotel on a beach, and there they may as well be anywhere else with a beach.  The north is a complete opposite of the south – the north is so much more cultured, beautiful in terms of man-made monuments with more to see and do.  The south is more chilled, more westernised and more picturesque – 2 parts of a countries a world apart from each other!

I almost admire the Indian culture in terms of how laid back it is – the driving is manic but actually really makes sense, and the bus system is so simple it should be copied across the whole world; raise your hand when you simple want to get off and the conductor whistles for the driver to stop, and whistles for him to go again!  The food is so rich and tasty regardless of whether it’s spicy though it does lack a variety of textures and always has the “will it make me ill” vibe sadly.  The colour here is phenomenal – the saris, the spices, the temples, everything.  India puts our clothes and even more so, our churches, to shame!  I love the detail that is in their temples, their forts, their clothes, textiles and their traditions.

And of course the people.  I think I have had as many Indian’s take my photo as I have had people that I have met here take ones of me!  I think I am on more people’s facebook profiles pictures than ever before (every Indian boy supposedly will claim I am their girlfriend in each picture!)  I have met some amazing people here and am grateful for the company, the tips, the experiences, the photos and the memories from them all.
All in all, I enjoyed India a lot more than I thought I would.  People really talked it down to me, warning me about the poverty, the litter, the excretion in the streets, the smells, the animals.  Yes, it was all there but not to the level people made out; I dreaded the day someone would take a shit in the street in front of me, but that just doesn’t happen!  Yes, there is an extreme amount of poverty and it is everywhere and heart-shattering, but if necessary avoidable, I think I only complained about smell once and that was because of 1 man and the animals were just entertaining.  Whilst I don’t think I would come back to India in a hurry mainly just because of the food (lame excuse I know) if me and Laura do open this shop we been theorising about the whole time we’ve been here, then this is where we will get the majority of our products!!!

Number of people met: 36

Number of bites from 1 night: 8 around 1 ankle

Number of bruises from walking into things (my new thing it would seem): 9

Number of stones lost: reckon 1 – 1.5!

Amount spent: 222 under budget (looking good for Aus!)

We have done a month.  1 MONTH!!!  We have 11 left... It is insane, because obviously we have done soooooo much already!  But 11 months to go and (when I am finally feeling like me again) I can’t wait to experience all the other cultures, all the other people, all the other foods and all the other life-memories.  Bring on SE.Asia!
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Comments

dad on

Hi Cath Cath,
great summery of India and glad you have liked it so much. There is a series just about to start about India and it's people - we'll keep it for you to reminisce!
Glad you and Laura (hi Laura) are still getting on - it's going to be hard for you to separate when the time comes - you'll have to get an official divorce!!
Carry on having great times but be careful.
All my love, Dad xxxxx

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