29 days in Thailand and Kochi was calling me back to my temporary home of the last three months. C’s messages making the call decidedly literal, at many times in the past weeks, as she shared the crazy Kochi Christmas shenanigans via both Instagram, Facebook messenger and whatsapp. I love Kochi; I love india but the life is just so different to both London and Thailand. I wanted it but i was feeling decidedly nervous about heading back to this highly misogynistic alien land. The fact I was wearing a tshirt dress didn’t help, especially with the amount of ‘ugh you western whore’ looks I got from the sari clad ladies in KL departures…
Landing back was a weight off my shoulders in many ways, with the feeling of familiarity at Kochi international similar to that when I land at Heathrow. I knew the drill; the toilet location (covered in urine with no paper – welcome to India!) and where to get the transfer… Getting off in FK I knew how how politely bypass the rickshaw drivers and went straight to grab breakfast at see the Oy’s boys before crashing out at what I think is now my 7th kochi residence this trip.
Dorm life for some is a pain and too much does leave you craving your own privacy. Would I rather sleep on a 5 star bed in a fancy hotel? Of course I would but bank balance says no. I also refuse to pay 1000 rupees for a room I previously paid 300 for… Hence the dorm. Also, India seriously lacks dorms. Most accommodation is cheap individual rooms where you rarely see another soul. After being surrounded by people in Thailand I didn’t want to go straight to lonely.
The dorm I’m in could easily be in Thailand. It’s barely Indian, oh apart from the occasional lunghi clad local who gawps through the windows at the pile of foreigners glued to their wifi… It’s on the main strip road to the Ernakulam ferry and spitting distance to Fort House, Pepper House and new favourite Solar cafe (looks dilapidated serves a brilliant veg thali for 60r) it’s also got super fast wifi and an incredible shower. The mural of the map on the wall is also super cute if largely incorrect. It’s intriguing to see what tourists are being pointed at. The guys know what their doing and know what the foreigner wants. They also run ‘Jungle’ and ‘Prison’ in Goa to name a few.
Anyhow, a complimentary breakfast and tea and coffee is served throughout the day and not having to use a bucket for a shower is a plus. So after crashing I met up with C, new buddy who I met briefly before I left A and we grabbed dinner at Spice Fort and warm beers at XL before I headed for an early nigh determined to start Tuesday spritely!!
And I did! Partly because I woke up, looked at my clock and saw it was ten… After getting up, faffing, eating breakfast and seeing it was 930 I realised my clock was still on KL time…. Still apparently winners wake up early so I got cracking on various projects, including some kochi street art hunting. I also sorted my plans for the next three days (I think) hung out with my lovely pack of ladies including M, mostly in Kashi. Tried to fix my bike which is busted and needs lugging to Palace Road, not ideal to walk 30 minutes pushing it down Indian roads in 32 degree heat but needs must… So now I’m reflecting, writing, uploading shots and trying to work out what in my rucksack I can get away with for drinks tonight… Watch this space.