India
Chinese Fishing Nets

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28 travelers at this place:

  • Day7

    Keoladeo to Kochi and Intrepid Travel

    December 11, 2018 in India ⋅ 🌫 26 °C

    We piled in the car for one last five hour drive with Laxman Singh from Iora Guest House to the Delhi Airport. Stopped for coffee at a modern shop by the side of the highway. The photo below was taken from our seats in the place. Can't get much more direct cause and effect than that. Open sewer from the Café runs right into the vacant lot next door which is filled with garbage from the same establishment. On the flight over I'd read about the contradiction between holding the Ganges river sacred as the mother of life, yet polluting it to unheard of levels. There are groups trying to make the connection and publicize the worst offenders. All the while we're driving through a thick haze of Delhi air in a diesel powered sedan and about to board a flight to the south of India. Can't get much more direct cause and effect than that...

    In the airport the family messed around with the massage chairs in the lounge for a bit while I knocked back a whiskey on ice before the flight. Sanju picked us up at the Kochi Airport and drove us into town. He was pretty proud of his home state of Kerala. Talked about the recent monsoon floods leading to 100,000 displaced people and 500 dead if one includes those still missing. Said the recovery was going well, but tourism was down. A big problem for a state with no manufacturing. He noted that the state was run by the first democratically elected Communist government. Their rule for the past decades has lead to the highest literacy rate in India.

    Kochi is a pretty chill town. Intrepid Travel, the company we're traveling with, arranged a tour. The guide, Peter, explained that Kochi's history as a port city on the Malabar coast goes back thousands of years. Jews first arrived following the second burning of the temple in Jerusalem in 79ce. Another wave came through in the time of the Inquisition, but they didn't worship with or intermarry with the first group. Jew Town has the oldest continuing active synagogue in the Commonwealth. In more recent centuries it was colonized by the Portuguese, Dutch, and British. Their architecture abounds. Lots of small shops, restaurants, and cafés. Art murals can be found all around the city.

    The guide went into a long statement about the effects of the Swiss reformed church in the area. They went to great lengths to deconstruct the caste system that had been introduced to the South from Northern India around 1000ce. They used a land tax system to make it too expensive for large feudal land owners to hold their land and incentivized its transfer to the small farmers who'd been working the land. The Reformed church also introduced schooling for all, including untouchables, which further eroded the caste system. He described the multireligious, multi economic, multi cultural tolerance that the area is known for.

    Greater Malabar is even more ancient. Dawn of human civilization stuff. Hunter-gatherers beachcombed from the African Rift Valley along the Indian Ocean coast until they reached a place of such abundance that they stopped. Kerala. It is the source of civilization in India. I learned that Brahmins pass mantras on to their sons when they reach the age of manhood. Linguists have studied these chants and found no connection to any known language. The closest correlation they can find is to birdsong. The assumption is that the mantras have been passed down since before humans took up language.

    Wild.

    This afternoon Augie and I took a walk along the waterfront where we met up with several pilgrims who had left their village to do a pilgrimage to the holy sites of South India. Jevesh said that every few years he goes on a pilgrimage with the other men from his village. Usually in December and January. He told us a story about an ailing queen who was tricked into sending her second born son into the wilderness to get tiger's milk to heal her ills. The boy came back riding a tiger. The father then recognized the son's divinity.

    This evening we took in a traditional dance exhibition. Tomorrow we're off to the mountains.
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  • Day21

    Christmas in Kochi

    December 25, 2018 in India ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

    Last night we went out for a final meal with our Intrepid Southern India tour mates. It was bittersweet as they'd made such great travel companions. Ina with her quirky, open for anything way of traveling. Anatole with his ready quips and learned input. Suzanne with her food passion and joie de vivre. And Scott with his glass always half full.

    We woke earlier than wanted, needed, or expected this Christmas morning. Long instilled force-of-habit when we are near our children? Who knows? It might also have been due to the 6am temple recitations or call to prayer being sent out in surround sound over loudspeakers to the north and east of us respectively.

    Breakfast was the usual fried egg and toast. This one came with a special surprise. It seems my lost camera had been brought in from Thekkady in the middle of the night. Nice Christmas present!

    After breakfast we called Sophie and Augie's grandparents. Grace was down with a bad cold and feeling down from the self quarantine. Alma was still healing from her nose surgery and missing her kids. Ed was enjoying his evening and still seeking a publisher for his next book. All were as excited to hear from us as we were to check in with them. Most likely we'll be in Pacific Grove for Christmas next year.

    At 11am we checked out and walked the half mile to our next hotel pulling our rollers (except Augie) and accompanied by our guide from the previous two weeks Veejay. We dropped our bags and went out for coffee together. Cappuccinos and chocolate and lemon cake all around. Second breakfast!

    This year we'd all agreed to 'no gifts'. Being together in India was enough. Still, I couldn't help myself so I gave each family member a free latte per week*.
    *recipient must submit photo of same to collect reimbursement.
    It will be nice knowing where everyone is and checking in once a week. A 'Dad Thing' I guess.

    We enjoyed a special Christmas dinner at the fancy Fort Kochi hotel and checked back into our more modest accommodations across the street for the duration.

    I did hear about a special local custom that I am sad to miss. It seems that the people of Kochi gather on the beach at midnight on New Year's Eve to burn Santa Claus. Man, what I would give to be here for that! Instead we'll be off tomorrow to Mumbai for the big wedding. But who knows? Maybe we'll start a beach bonfire tradition like this in Santa Cruz for next year.
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  • Day152

    Thats INDIA

    December 18, 2017 in India ⋅

    Ein Land, wo die Wäsche noch im Fluss gewaschen wird.

    Ein Land wo Männer Röcke tragen, die Farben Rosa und Lila lieben und gleichzeitig Schlangen beschwören.

    Ein Land in dem immer und überall süßer Gewürztee getrunken wird "chai, chai, chai" und Elefanten treue und starke Arbeitskräfte sind.

    Ein Land, das für jeden Job 5 mal soviele Arbeitskräfte einsetzt als überall sonst. Wo gibt es an der Kasse schon eine Person, die die Kasse bedient, eine die die Rechnung ausstellt und eine die sagen darf was es kostet und das Wechselgeld ausgibt.

    Ein Land voller Lächeln und voller Farben! Alles hier ist bunt und fröhlich.

    Ein Land, in welchem das verschicken eines Pakets ein Abenteuer ist und man erst zur Schneiderei muss, da das Paket eingenäht wird.

    Ein Land, in dem alle Religionen ihren Platz haben. Friedvoll nebeneinander existieren und sich gegenseitig inspirieren. So erinnern katholische Kirchen, mit den zahlreichem Heiligenschreinen und bunten Lichter, an Hindu Tempel und im Bus sieht man des Öfteren ein bunt beleuchtetes Bild bestehend aus Jesus, Mohammed und einem Hindu Gott. Why not?

    Ein Land, in welchem Mc Donald mehr Veggi Burger im Sortiment hat als Fleischburger und damit wirbt keine Kühe zu töten.

    Wo in jeder Schlange oder im Bus streng nach Ladies & Gents getrennt wird und immer mehr Männer als Frauen unterwegs sind. Beste für mich! Ich finde immer einen Sitzplatz und muss nirgendwo lange anstehen. Noch nicht mal an der Toilette.

    Ein Land voller Gegensätze. Hohe Berge und weite Wüsten. Wunderschöne Strände, doch fast niemand kann schwimmen. Herrliche Natur und Müllberge. Schweige-Ashrams, Meditation, 24/7 lautes Gehupe und Menschenmassen. Heilige Kühe und Straßenhunde. Wo man mit den Händen isst und auf Klopapier verzichtet.

    Ein Land, das ich lieben gelernt habe! Dhanyavaad India. Das war Märchenhaft 💖

    Next Stop: Kambodscha
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  • Day144

    2. Advent in Kochi

    December 10, 2017 in India ⋅

    Nachdem ich heute Morgen um 5h vom Gesingsange des Muezzins geweckt wurde, bin ich mal meiner christlichen Pflicht nachgekommen und habe heute Abend eine christliche Messe in Indien besucht. Nunja, ein wenig anders ist es schon.

    Die Abläufe sind die Gleichen. Aber es gibt um einiges mehr Heiligenstatuen zum anbeten, alles ist recht bunt und zusätzlich mit bunten Lichterketten geschmückt & die Lieder kommen laut und schrill aus den Boxen und hören sich eher nach DJ Ötzi- Apres Skihits an.
    "Friede sei mit dir" wird hier, ganz süß, nicht per Handschlag gesagt, sondern klassisch per Namaste-Handstellung und kurzer Verbeugung.

    Jetzt sitzte ich in einem Restaurant, in welchem ausschließlich Weiße sitzen. Auch ne Premiere 🙈

    Morgen gehts dann weiter nach Munnar.
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  • Day152

    What a wonderful day!

    December 18, 2017 in India ⋅

    Ach wie schön ist es, immer wieder gute Freunde wiederzusehen! Back in Kochi sind Amy und ich gestern erstmal auf den Weihnachtsmarkt gegangen. Typisch 3. Advent....halt nur in Indien 😅

    Der Weihnachtsmarkt war über und über voll mit Klimmbimm-Ständen. Hauptsache bunt, Plastik und leuchtend. Ein echtes Kinderchor-Weihnachtslieder-Konzert war dann die Kirsche auf der Sahne. Bunte Lichterketten, Boxen und Musik vom Band und die Lieder reichlich aufgemotzt und peppig. Sehr cool!

    Heute haben wir uns dann einen Scooter ausgeliehen und sind 50 km die Küstenstraße zu einem schönen Strand gefahren. Herrlicher Montag 😎 und Eva, ich kann jetzt endlich Scooter fahren 😍
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  • Day11

    Kochi

    February 8, 2018 in India ⋅

    Da wir gerade am Bahnhof auf unserem ganz leicht verspäteten Zug warten (2 Stunden) haben wir Zeit ein wenig von Kochi zu berichten. Aber hey, andere Züge sind mit 18 Stunden Verspätung angeschlagen - wir wollen mal nicht meckern.

    Kochi war wieder ganz anders. Wie einer unserer Tuk Tuk Fahrer schon sagte: Fahr ein paar Kilometer und du findest in Indien eine andere Kultur, Sprache, Kleidung, Mentalität. Hier herrschen jedenfalls 30 Grad Hitze, alle Männer tragen Röcke und es geht wesentlich entspannter und langsamer zu. Unsere Highlights der letzten Tage: kleiner Kochkurs bei Maria zu Hause, die uns gezeigt hat wie man ein richtig gutes Masala macht, Bootstour auf den Kanälen und Seen der Kerala Backwaters, spannende Unterhaltungen mit unseren Gastgebern im Homestay und viel leckeres Paneer, Dal und Chapathi

    Jetzt geht es hoffentlich bald los, 5 Stunden mit High Speed (40kmh) Richtung Süden nach Varkala.
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  • Day49

    India II

    December 31, 2016 in India ⋅

    Finally, we've made it.. Well it still was a challenge to convince the tuk tuk driver that we don't want to see everything. But finally we arrived in fort Kochi which was amazing. Not - basically it was a relatively nice place and a bit smelly - I wouldn't choose it for a vacation at least!

    But it was interesting to see that the fisherman lift huge wooden constructions into the water to catch some fish..Read more

  • Day2

    Kochi!

    November 20, 2018 in India ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    We both slept amazingly well but probably could have slept for ever haha Aware we told Julie we would have breakfast for 9:30am we got up and ready, had Puttu a local dish with rice noodles, sweet black tea and then began our journey around the town. We saw the famous Chinese fishing nets which were gifted to the Kochi King from the Chinese Emperor in the 14th century. We wandered around the costal line which was clearly suffering from severe damage from the flooding a couple of months ago. We then wandered along the narrow lanes to St Francis Church, the oldest church in India built in the 16th Century and then had a late lunch around 2pm.

    In the afternoon we took a rickshaw to Jew Street and the Dutch Palace. This area was very fun and lively with lots of hip cafes. We met a mother and daughter in a cafe who had been travelling in India for a month and they gave us lots of tips on what to see and do,which was great as we have come with zero plans!

    For dinner we decided to wander down the local area and found a restaurant full of locals. We had Othampan, dosa, 2 lemon teas, we were absolutely stuffed and it cost us £1.

    Today was just what we needed to ease us into the Indian life. A few sights and great food. Perfect.
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  • Day271

    Backwaters

    September 29, 2017 in India ⋅

    Kerala ist ziemlich bekannt für seine Backwatertouren und es lohnt sich auch wirklich. Mit den 3 Jungs, die lustigerweise alle Medizin in Köln studieren, hab ich mich Mittags auf den Weg gemacht. Wir hatten einen total süßen Guide, der uns nicht nur die traumhaften Backwaters zeigte, sondern auch noch mit auf eine kleine Gewürzplantage nahm. Wir hatten ziemlich viel Spaß und immer eine wunderbare Aussicht. Ich denke das kommt auf den Bildern ganz gut rüber.

    In der Nacht sind die beiden Sophies und auch die Jungs geflogen. Ich hab mir dann mit Amy, der Engländerin, die auch mit uns in Munnar war, noch einen schönen Tag gemacht. Wir waren essen haben dort noch kurz die Jungs getroffen und sind abends nochmal zu einer Show gefahren. Dort hatten ein paar Kids ihren ersten Auftritt. War aber nicht so spektakulär, also sind wir nach ner Stunde wieder zurück.

    Nun sitze ich am Gate und warte aufs Boarding. Auf geht's nach Kuala Lumpur. Ich bin mal gespannt.
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Chinese Fishing Nets

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