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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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