I’ve been in Kerala over a week and I kind of don’t want to leave. It’s not only beautiful here, but the people are friendly and welcoming. Plus the food is good.
We’ve seen and done a lot here, and I’m hard-pressed to name my favorite part. But one thing in particular stands out – life moves at a hectic pace here, but still slower than our usual day-to-day. Here, I feel like I can slow down a bit and enjoy what I’ve seeing and doing. True, we are going quickly, a day here, a night there, but at the same time, I feel like we are taking the time to really appreciate our experience. There has been more than one day of just wandering around, sitting reading a book, and obviously, checking internet.
Tonight for example, I’m sitting in my hotel room watching star movies and eating tapioca chips. Tomorrow morning I take an early train to the northern part of Kerala, less visited and maybe more pristine. There, I will sit on the beach and relax, but also try to see a theyyam ceremony and maybe another backwaters tour.
Regardless, I’m planning on only relaxing and doing nothing, and the small backwater villages are the place to do it.
But even the bigger cities in Kerala afford an opportunity to slow down in a way not really seen in the rest of India. Here in Kochi, I can just wander around, popping into shops, watching the fishermen on the beach, and sipping coconut water, while the city bustles around me.
It’s really not surprising that this is always a top destination choice when people come to India.
Yesterday, on our random wanderings, we came across a women-run cooperative selling spices. Seven women, tired of being shafted working for the man, and watching shoppers get fleeced on prices, decided to open their own store. The owner we met was a wonderful woman, and very helpful. For less than $10, I picked up some delicious vanilla pods, something I’d estimate would cost over $40 back in the US (and something close at the more touristy shops here). Plus, I got to support a local women’s initative. Not a bad time indeed.