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Old 8th August 2009, 22:01   #286
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Get to it man. Use your new MBP.
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Old 9th August 2009, 09:15   #287
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While the Yeti comes back on Ayurveda stories,

A picture of the Napiers Meuseum at Trivandrum taken in october 2000
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Old 9th August 2009, 16:30   #288
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Sam, beautiful pictures & as usual enjoyed the narration & also the comments by fellow bhpians. But, as usual the question is Where are you, Sam? or you like lesser mortals like us to hijack your thread with more "mundu" talk? (although should say that it would make some interesting read)
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Old 10th August 2009, 17:19   #289
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Default Day Six: Night in Alleppey

Soon the sun has set and there is silence over the water. I can hear the occasional frog through the crickets, but overall there is silence.

It's beautiful.

In a little while dinner is served.



Sir, how do you want me to make those prawns?
How would you like to make them?
Masala fry?
Umm no no.
Deep fry?
No Kanan, I want to taste the prawn not kill it.
How you want?

I dream a little. Smiling as I imagine sinking my teeth into those prawns.

I want a thick sauce.
He looks aghast.
I realise that Kanan is imagining two large prawns drowned in Maggi hot and sweet ketchup. Isme kaddu nahi zara.
Not sauce, gravy. I hate that word.
You want gravy prawns?
I want a thick gravy from coconut milk. Like a molee. But very thick and very little gravy.

He looks worried.
Thick molee?
You do whatever you like
I say quickly, looking at his perplexed face.
No, I can do.
Then d
o, I say laughing,
He goes off, muttering and shaking his head.


YetiBlog® - Krash Kourse Kerala!-dsc_9645_l.jpg

He's made a molee. It matters not, because it tastes magnificent. Two bites into the meal and Kanan appears looking expectantly at our faces.
Prawns OK?

I look at him and grin, showing him a big thumbs up. Jenny smiles and says Super. Perfect. Thank you.
He looks relieved. I was worried little bit..

That man is a good cook.

After dinner we chat a little and play a card game called bonanza. Our phones are off and it is quiet. The boat creaks and moans a little every few minutes. The staff is gone.

They've left one man on the boat and two have gone home. They probably live somewhere close. The one in the back has switched the lights off and he's non-existent.

This boat is ours.

Many games and a few hours later, we're lying down and chatting in the front section. We don't really feel like sleeping inside the bedroom. We've slapped lots of Odomos on ourselves and the mosquitoes have left us alone. For now.

It is so deliciously quiet.

The creaking and spalashing of the water on the boat is not so nad. This splosh is of the fishermen.
The entire lake is dotted with little magical lights.

Each light is a fisherman carrying a little petromax light. He slowly and gently casts his net and rows around in a circle. In a while he gathers his net, emptying his catch into the boat between his legs. He rows firmly but silently.


I try to take a photo but end up with this.
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I get the tripod out and set up a long exposure. I don't even know why. I end up with a beautiful photo of a moving fisherman.
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I grin at the photo and pack up the camera.

We lie down there, under the open sky, the water beneath us and fall asleep.

I wake up at about 3. It is very hot and humid and the Odomos effect is reducing - I can hear the mosquitoes go whee whee near my ears.

We drag ourselves into the bedroom and fall asleep.

We must wake early to return to Alleppey tomorrow morning.
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Old 10th August 2009, 17:31   #290
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Ah, thought you forgot about this thread.
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Old 10th August 2009, 18:00   #291
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Default Day Seven: Alleppey to Cochin

We're going to Cochin today.

Steeroid has very kindly invited us to be his guests. Though he is not currently in town, he intends to catch an earlier flight so that he can have breakfast with us the next morning before we return to Mumbai.
We have already coordinated with his better half and are looking forward to being with them later.

We awake early and are greeted by this beautiful day from the bedroom window.

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Oh do we really have to leave?
I shake my head sadly. What choice do we have? This is not really a holiday, I just took a couple of days off after work.

Kanan is up and the coffee is in time. Breakfast is nice, eggs, bread and fruit. All we need.
I take a few photos around us. I am full of sadness at having to leave this place. I wish we could spend at least 2 more days on this boat...

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Soon, we're off.
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As the boat cuts through the silent waters, I spend a moment to think.

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I think of my friends that I have made through Team-BHP. How difficult it would have been without the help of Ashwin and JKDas. How Ashwin has patiently picked us up and taken us around. How JKD has answered my numerous calls and questions.
I am reminded of my short conversation with KB100.

Sujith, I have only 2 days. I'm not sure what I want to do. Maybe go trekking? Maybe go to the mountains. Maybe go to a beach? Maybe a safari?
KB laughed his big deep laughter. Boss this is Kerala. Within 100 kms you can have all of those things. What do YOU want to do?

And now, when we leave Alleppey, we're going to and stay with Steeroid's family. Friendship and kindness surely know no bounds.

I think of this beautiful place and the lovely people that live here.

It's been too short. I'm going to miss Kerala.

I am shaken out of my reverie with the hustle-bustle of anchoring. We've reached.

I say my goodbyes to the team. They have been wonderful.

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I say my goodbye to the boat.
YetiBlog® - Krash Kourse Kerala!-dsc_9704_l.jpg

Alleppey station - say I to the solitary rickshaw at the place.
He nods and our bags and everything are loaded inside by Sai and Kanan.
After we sit in he speaks.
Ninety Rupees.
What? Why ninety rupees??
Ninety Rupees
he insists.
That's not OK. We paid 50 to get here, I say defiantly.
He shakes his head and steps out of the rickshaw.
I'm in a fix. My bags are put in, I'm hassled and clearly, there is no other rickshaw in sight.
. He looks at me defiantly. Ninety. Or you go. He points outside.
I am angry.

I'll pay you 100.

He looks back at me confused.
I'll pay you 100. If you want to cheat someone at least cheat them properly. So when you go home, you can be proud that you cheated us well. Don't take 90, take 100.
He shrugs and starts up his rickshaw.

I am irritated.

He drops us off at Alleppey station. I offer him a 100 rupee note. He takes it, puts it in his pocket and drives off.

I think he didn't get your sarcasm says Jenny gently.
I glare at her and walk onto the platform.

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The train to Cochin will be here shortly.
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Old 10th August 2009, 21:01   #292
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That station is spotlessly clean ! Quite a refreshing change from the regular railway stations we get to see.
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Old 10th August 2009, 21:33   #293
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Originally Posted by normally_crazy View Post
That station is spotlessly clean!
Have a look at the pictures again mate....plastic lying all over. It is just interplay of light and shadows that it is looking so!! Clean yes but spotlessly NO!!

Welcome back Sam Bawana can we have our next dose please?
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Old 10th August 2009, 21:49   #294
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The tracks will be clean the day the average Indian stops littering. Be it the road, the railways or even in their homes. It does not matter which part or which state or which language he speaks. I'm quite proud to say that platforms in Kerala are some of the best I've seen in the travelling I've done on rails.

A bit of a delay there Sam, been busy?
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Old 10th August 2009, 21:52   #295
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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Have a look at the pictures again mate....plastic lying all over. It is just interplay of light and shadows that it is looking so!! Clean yes but spotlessly NO!!
I am talking about the station not the tracks. Where do you see litter on the station ?
Originally Posted by ImmortalZ View Post
The tracks will be clean the day the average Indian stops littering.
I agree but it's not going to happen anytime soon.
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Old 10th August 2009, 22:04   #296
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actually, there just isnt any efficient waste collection/disposal mechanism available here. where do you dispose of the cover the banana fry came in when you are surrounded by people, and the only rubbish bin is probably at the end of the coach, and its hasnt been emptied soon anyway.

I too was used to a use and throw habit, but once i went to my co's huge campus in mysore where the roads are so clean, they are washed and scrubbed at night, and rubbish bins everywhere, i too learnt to throw waste only in the bins.

back in kerala, it took me a while to unlearn the habit - i was carrying cofee cups and plastic covers for miles with no trash bin in sight, before finally deciding to let go
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Old 11th August 2009, 11:48   #297
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Default Day Seven: Cochin!

The train arrives in time and the journey is uneventful.

We take a rickshaw from Ernakulam to Steeroid's home. His wife and son are waiting for us. We chat with them and enjoy a lovely breakfast as Ashvin joins us.

We are very comfortable in their home. Even though they don't usually live here, there is a nice warmth in the home and we are well taken care of.

After breakfast we're off. First a little shopping:
YetiBlog® - Krash Kourse Kerala!-dsc_9707_l.jpg

ANd then Ashvin drops us off to the local ferry point. We will see him later in the evening now.

Two rupees?
Two rupees.
Two rupees.

I could not have thought of a better way to travel. There we are, 2 curious looking tourists, waiting for the local ferry to take us across.

We sit down and watch the life around this ferry terminal and it is ever so interesting...
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Soon, the ferry has arrived. All the ladies get into the front section. All the guys get into the back. I (incorrectly) assume that is is some sort of division for ladies and gents and get into the back leaving Jenny to climb into the front.

YetiBlog® - Krash Kourse Kerala!-dsc_9716_l.jpg

The 10 minute journey is extremely interesting as I make some kind of conversation with a very drunk man who insists on talking to me.
I'm also speak Arabic!!
Oh, really?

You not believing? He proceeds to speak loudly, rattling away in Arabic.
No, I believe, I believe.
Where you fraam?
I'm not believing.

I look across the partition to the other side of the ferry and I can see Jenny leaning over the side, peering out and taking in the warm sea air.
YetiBlog® - Krash Kourse Kerala!-dsc_9717_l.jpg

The ferry comes to a halt and everyone gets off noisily. We're in Fort Cochin!

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 11th August 2009 at 11:51.
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Old 11th August 2009, 15:01   #298
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Sam, is that a hand-pump in the last pic?
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Old 11th August 2009, 15:04   #299
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My guess would be that that (which certainly is a hand pump) is a bilge pump.
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Old 11th August 2009, 16:34   #300
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Yup thats a hand pump for "just in case" situations and i think you guys could have stayed together in the boys section front is for lone female traveler me guess.
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