November 30, 2002 11:18 AM
This is Major Tom to Ground Control
people. I'm online again.
Auntie Em, is this still Kansas?
Comparing Northern India to Southern India is like comparing
a chocolate sundae to a greasy pair of overalls, or an
inner tube to an airplane. This CAN'T be the same country.
It just can't.
We arrived in Trivandrum by plane, and as I looked out
the window, the first thing I said was "treeeeeeeeees!".
Trees. Green. Plants. Did we fly to key west?
Coconut trees the size of hot air balloons, and a wall
of hot, humid air that hovered at the temperature of 30
C (you Yankees can times that by 1.8 and add 32 for F
; ) ). It was mind blowing. Small shacks that looked more
quaint and rustic than poverty stricken, with corrugated
tin roofs or clay tiles. Men wearing... dhobi's? Is that
what you call them / how you spell it? (Sarongs folded
in half, for the general masses). We rode slack-jawed
to our hotel, that had bell men and an indoor cascading
waterfall and enough staff to grab you a kleenex if you
even looked like you were going to sneeze.
When we walked down the street, everyone stared, but no
one approached us. And it took a few days to get used
to that. Sure there are places where people hound you
and follow you to get you to buy things, but on the regular
streets, no one bothers you. Odd that I find that strange
We met up with the tour group at the airport the next
day. I thought I was going to have to sedate Penny to
make her relax and trust that everything was going to
work out fine. I would have completely ignored her, but
she was pacing back and forth. Since we were standing
on one side of a barrier, and allllllllll the Indian people
were standing on the OTHER side of the barrier staring
at us, making me feel like an animal on display at the
zoo, I thought it best that she should stop pacing and
flicking like a tiger. Just to note, she has calmed herself
down since we've been on the tour, and I've gotten some
well needed alone time.
I knew it was a good sign when we got on the tour bus
and they were burning Nag Champa *big smile*.
The first place we went was the Coir Village Resort. It
is in the middle of nowhere south of Alleppey on either
side of a river. Kerala is made up of waterways used like
highways. We had to take a boat to get to it, and I swear
it was like Fantasy Island without the midget. *grin*
We were greeted with drinks in coconuts and the most beautiful
little resort ever. Essentially, it was 12 little cottages
that line the river (which itself is lined with crowds
of palm trees). Each cottage had french doors that lead
out to a raised patio that was on the river. I spent most
of my time there in a hammock that was half over the land,
half over the water. I haven't been that relaxed since
before I left for this trip.
All the people on the tour (8 people from the UK) wondered
where I disappeared to the first night, and Penny told
them I probably wasn't feeling well. I informed the curious
bunch that I was actually sitting on our patio, writing
by the light of the white Christmas lights in the trees,
listening to the crickets, and the sound of the drums
and flutes being played at a nearby temple somewhere behind
the curtain of trees. And numerous voices singing.
this off, back in a minute