A Sunday Travelogue

Today we went to the beach. Name of the beach? Hmm. I just don’t know. We decided to just head out and try to find it. Looking at the google satellite view of the area (a while back), I thought there seemed to be a relatively straightforward route. But the roads that the maps choose to mark don’t necessarily look any different from other roads. Like in Seattle – sometimes a road will be marked Arterial, which I would think means it’s a more major road than the others around it. But you can’t always tell the difference without the little signs. Here there are no signs. James and I both thought we remembered a through road that left from the school, so we turned left out of the lane and then left again after the school. We found the first thing we were looking for deep in the neighborhood lanes – a chai wallah. Yay! Deliciously caffeinated, we set off again. We felt safe just wandering because there’s a major river that meets the sea just south of us. If we crossed any good-sized bridges, we had gone too far! Well, we meandered for quite some time before suddenly realizing that we were paralleling the water. James turned off at the next opportunity so that we could take a look from the edge and figure out what part of coast we were on. What a reception we got! Boys poured out of every building around. Little boys, big boys. Boys who thought they were men and boys who hadn’t started thinking about that yet. They all said hello and all shook our hands. A few even had decent shakes! Just so happens that we turned into a little fishing community with a…yes…a christian church. Denomination? Um, I have no[…]

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No Home for Sailors

India is a short-term home for me. I feel more at home all the time. It’s not my country, of course, and it’s obvious at a glance that we’re foreigners. Though I know that my whiteness will never go away, as we frequent the same restaurant and shops, people become inured to us. It’s getting more comfortable. I’m glad I lived in Hawaii first, because there’s stuff about geckos and cockroaches that I experienced in Hawaii that India can’t touch (or just hasn’t yet). I’m not scared of this place – haven’t been – but I can see where some people would have a harder time. Still, I do not picture myself extending my visa indefinitely or seeking citizenship. And it has nothing to do with the people, the government, the land… I had the abrupt and slightly sad realization that India would not be my final home in Jew Town, Cochi. We were staying in Ernakulam and we’d taken a ferry over to Cochi. We walked around for a while but weren’t impressed by the hawkers and pushy autorickshaw drivers. We took a rickshaw, though, from Cochi to Mattancherry to see the palace. Underwhelmed by the palace (where, admittedly, they were working on the displays), we decided just to go back to the room and shower again (and again, and again). We walked from the palace toward the water and got caught up in the Jew Town bazaar. So many spices, so much perfume…the smell changed by small degrees every step we took and each change was just more to love. It didn’t look like much on a weekend, but it had such olifactory presence that we didn’t feel we were missing anything. As we walked along, we came to a sign. On our right was the Malabar Yacht[…]

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