I didn’t know it was possible to sweat this much. It was less than a kilometer from my guesthouse to the ferry terminal, and yet, I look like I had decided to sprint the entire way. If it were possible to have %150 humidity, this is probably what it would feel like. On the upside, my skin should look fantastic! Though right now it mostly looks red.
For the staggering cost of 5 cents I took the ferry from Fort Kochi to Ernakulam for lunch and the search of a silk scarf for my sister.
After wandering around for less than half an hour, getting inordinately hot, sweaty, and as usual, lost, I stumbled on one of the many locations of Indian Coffee House. It’s a bit of an institution frequented by locals for cheap, and delicious meals. I had planned to opt for an AC restaurant, but given my rapidly falling blood sugar I opted to give it a go. I ate at a similar establishment in Alleppey, and have to say I see why they’re so popular. The kitchen busts out only a few meals, and keeps them coming, so the service is ridiculously fast, and did I mention cheap? I got a fantastic plate of vegetable biryani, a bottle of water, and an actually good tasting coffee for, get this, $1.20. Seriously? Amazing. And it didn’t hurt I was the only non-local in the place.
If you know me, you know the one thing I really dislike about many countries I visit is bargaining. I always walk away feeling stressed and either ripped off or guilty for haggling over a few dollars. So, mix that with not having much desire to accumulate random artifacts that will look funny in my apartment upon my return, or are so cheap they only last a few weeks, I don’t shop all that much. I think I’ve purchased four things in the past month and a half. That being said, the guesthouse owner suggested I check out the shopping on the mainland where they would have fixed prices. Plus, I really wanted to get my sister an awesome (and real) silk scarf. These are not shops, they are behemoth stores dedicated to all things fabric, AC controlled, white marble flooring, and plenty of people to help, not hassle you. Brilliant. I was instantly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of staggeringly beautiful fabrics, though I’m not one to normally be interested in such a thing I wanted to buy just about everything I saw. Plus, it was fantastic to watch brides to be with their families picking out ornate fabrics, which would litter the floor surrounding the large groups of women.
The rest of my time was spent wandering around Kochi via my preferred method of transport, walking, and jumping into a cafe every now and then to beat the heat and drink ginger lime sodas (made the proper way, fresh lime and ginger juice, soda). I’m so glad to have stayed here instead of traveling more, I’m starting to feel like I’m ready to take on southeast Asia! After, of course, my 36 hour layover in Mumbai.