Leah and I headed to Kerala on the 24th to the 29th hitting Cochin, Alleppey, and Munnar. It was beautiful, every part of it, but it was also stressful. It was like a final test we had to pass in order to leave India as a success.
Here are some of the stressors:
-being surprise charged rs800 for a cab ride
-not being able to obtain the houseboat we had been discussing
-the cloudy weather that greeted us and stuck with us
-changing the plans every step of the way
-gross ketchup covered uncooked noodles
Yes, we did create a smiley face with the food.. we might be 5 years old.
-getting sick from the gross ketchup nasstaayy
-Leah’s toenail cracking in half
-no beach day because of the rain
-the morally wrong lying we did to get into a hotel that we thought would be better but turned out to be so much more impersonal and cold
-no Jew Town
-2 5-hour bus rides that were PACKED
-the bandt (strike) in Munnar that left us stranded for a full day
-the bandt in Cochin that eventually made going to Jew Town impossible and instead moved our trip to the airport to 5 in the morning.. for our 2pm flight
But you know, Leah and I tried to see the best in everything and we found out how resilient we really are. At some points I just wanted to break down and call the trip a failure, but having Leah there was such a pick-me-up. Her optimistic outlook on life and her determination to succeed and see the best in everything is so refreshing and encouraging. It made the trip something that otherwise, I don’t know if I would have enjoyed as much as I did. She kept my mind off of my quickly-approaching nerve-racking departure from India with thought provoking questions, and kept the most disastrous situations light and laughable. For instance, we cursed everything in site in Munnar except the paratha man as we left via 5 hour crammed bus ride. And you know, the trip, although it didn’t go as planned, turned out so unique and is definitely a story to tell. So, here are some of the most wonderful things about the trip:
-being charged less than 3 rupees for a wonderful ferry ride
-meeting the sweetest old men on the 5 hour bus ride to Munnar
-discovering/ eating the most amazing mint paratha
-discovering/ eating the most amazing Keralan paratha
-Ayurvedic rejuvenating massage!
-getting a tour of the backwaters on a man-powered canoe with the company of a woman from the UK
-sitting in a bar filled only with Indian men
-fresh fish and fresh fruit!
-views of the tea plantations all around Munnar
-a relaxing and extremely empty train ride
-Doing our own mini-trek of Munnar and the nature in Munnar
-Chinese fishing nets in the AM
-Reasonable and even NICE rickshaw drivers who’d stop to show us viewpoints on the way (we even bought one of the drivers we had a paratha)
-WONDERFULLY FRIENDLY PEOPLE! All smiles all around!
-spices and powerful ginger candy
-tea tour + free tea tasting
India, even when things go completely the wrong way, you still somehow manage to be inspiring. Although there are things I didn’t get to check off my list of things to do in Kerala I savor the personalized experience I had. Owell..I guess I’ll just have to come back later in life! ;]