Dancing cooking and peace
Trip Start Sep 30, 2006
149Trip End Dec 24, 2008
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Being separated from the mainland Fort Cochin is nice and quite, more goats than rickshaws, quaint cobbled streets and arty cafes that do cake for breakfast. We've eaten out, a lot, since we left the UK and the sign of a great cafe is this; when you ask for the menu the waiter explains they have only two options for lunch. If a busy cafe only cooks two meals then you can be sure they do them really well. And they did. We've eaten in restaurants before and their menu is longer than the bible, this is always a bad sign. No chef can keep fresh ingredients for 3 to 4 hundred different dishes and confidently cook them all. The average measure for any eating establishment has to be the lower the number of dishes on offer, the higher the quality.
Three men dressed in drag walked onto stage, accompanied by traditional music, looking like pantomime dames crossed with Masai warriors. They wore heavy makeup and had amazing costumes, the fake pair of breasts that resembled bazookas was very comical. Check out the pictures. There was much starring out the audience whilst parading around the stage waving their hands and rolling their eyes. Sometimes they would look in the mirror and screech really loudly at themselves. The acting is formalized and abstract and was a really unique way of telling ancient morality tales. The Kathakali play we saw was three scenes about a man wanting to sleep with a women, an epic Hindu story that was accompanied by drummers and a singing storyteller.
One evening we signed up for the Lelou 'cook and eat' school and assembled in her house at 6pm. We all sat in the kitchen around the table while Lelou sat upon a stack of three chairs and explained which ingredients we would be using and the four different types of Kerala style curries we would see being created. She signaled to her home help who began preparing the vegetables and fish. We were hoping to get more hands on with the cooking process but Lelou was looking more for a TV cooking show approach as she ordered the meals to be prepared and we all sat and scribbled away the the preparation and cooking instructions. It was great food and an enjoyable evening sat around at the end.
There are several eccentric parts to India and I will just share one that I really love. Its the Indians love of the love of electricity switches. Each room we stay in will typically have a light a fan and a bathroom light, so you would think three switches, but there will always be four times as many, the average number in a room is at least 13 switches in every room, lined up everywhere and most that do nothing. In a cafe a took the attached picture, for a cafe!
Love Dan & Kat