On arriving in Kochi

Thirty thousand feet over the Indian Ocean with a plane loaded with sari clad ladies, bespectacled, serious gentlemen and small, happy bouncing children. I don’t know what I said or did but every seat is taken, aisles, windows, middles except around where I sit. Here I have four rows of three seats each all to myself, it is the emergency exit row but even so, dear dear. Air Asia is an odd Airline charging something like a third less than the price I was quoted back home and taking me to my destination in the space of one day, no overnight layovers in random ports. They insist in charging for everything, water is a dollar, Oreo cookies two dollars for a mini pack. They seem to style themselves on the Virgin America model, they even use the same font in their logo, but the seats are ok, leather like Jet Blue in red and black. Oh, the food is inedible and costs three dollars. Truly airline food.
I just wanted to check in as we speed along to try and share my excitement, juvenile perhaps, but this part of my circumnavigation has always been the most keenly anticipated and about which I am the most apprehensive. Will it live up to expectations, will I ? Or will I bolt behind a hotel wall, fading in the heat and refuse to go out into the crowded streets, alleys and markets ? Abandon my booked train rides and fly about like a So Bo Bo ? Ha. Whatever is that I hear you ask. It’s one of the many derogatory names given to people doing what I am doing, and I assure you there are many more to chose from. Actually I might devote an entire post to the subject. No, it would be boring. But really to see the supercilious looks I received when my waitperson offered to show me the best way to tackle a crab at dinner time and I accepted, well, it’s just plain snobery (maybe inverse snobbery. Anyone ?), he said politely. Get a grip people.
Charming interlude, was joined in my three across by two sisters, eight and eleven, who wanted to play with my tablet. Shame I only could offer Angry Birds. Do you remember the children in Phnom Penh market ? Anyway, shrieks of mirth, approving looks from cabin crew, the Dad came by and we shook hands. They got it, well the older one did, and oh my, what huge eyes they have.
So, plane descends, folding tray tables, electronic devices turned off, seatbelts buckled, you get the picture. Next installment from the ground in INDIA .
Landed, transportation into town, fifty kilometers, in traffic, that made it fourteen hours door to door. Gasp. Have been asked for first impressions and fortunately I took notes on the way in, well you can only look at traffic for so long. I will be brief however as dinner calls. Must say at this point, just helped an Israeli Doctor connect to his hospital in Jerusalem so he could view a patient X-ray taken thirty minutes ago ! Anyway, after only driving in I have to observe that they are moving ahead here. Road construction everywhere, big colorful trucks abound, billboards, huge and enormous dominate the roadside. A two lane road can become a three lane and even a four lane case of beeping mayhem. Guess what, red lights are obeyed not viewed as a suggestion to stop and you really don’t need to if you don’t want to, Hanoi, HCMC for example. The waterways look very tempting, vastly wide with many many craft moving about, I hope to be on a houseboat by week’s end. Lastly, the smell, it’s like the whole place is on fire ! It isn’t of course, maybe it is the burning rubbish, or what.
It’s great, I love it already. Tea was offered on arrival, it took ninety minutes to be delivered to the courtyard outside the restaurant, my type of place. I heard a Muezzin calling the faithful to prayer, rapturousness.
Curry time, see you tomorrow.

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9 responses to “On arriving in Kochi

  1. Glad you arrived safely – the burning could be “or what” whafting up to heaven.
    What curries are you eating? or will you ever know with all the spices.
    Look forward to the next installment its so descriptive.

    • No no Victoria, don’t think they do that here! Just had best prawn curry ever, not only the quality but the amount. I ate and ate for about an hour, garlic nan bread, rice, Kingfisher beer. Superbo.

  2. Welcome to India Tim! You missed Thailand, see I’m referring to the world map. You had to wait 90 minutes for a cup of tea? Yikes. Sounds like you are still doing computer consulting with that Israeli physician….world techie. I can’t wait for the pictures of India and those children with large eyes. Be well Tim, more later.

  3. Lovely to hear you on Skype yesterday.Amazing how clear you sound. Also amazing that you were able to help the Israeli Dr see his patiemt’s X rays after 30 mins.Quite incredible.
    Didn’t like the wait of 90 mins for your cup of tea,What were they doing? Picking the leaves I imagine!
    Shall think of you this pm as we are going to see the new Judi Dench film The Marigold Hotel all about a bunch of oldies going to India to turn over the traces!
    Should be fun.
    Lol
    Mother

    • Thanks Mother, hope the movie was good, no kicking over traces from this oldie! Yes, the tech support incident with the good Doc’ was quite gratifying, he and hotel staff quite impressed. I just introduced myself when I overheard despair setting in and fixed the problem for them.

  4. Sounds wonderful Tim, I’m sure you’ll love it and India will love you!

  5. Sounds fantastic Dad and I am drooling just thinking of the curries and breads you are eating! So glad you have finally made it!!!!

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