Letters from India 4 - Ice skating in hot Kerala!?

18th August 2013

Thanks for the lovely e-mail, FB-messages, sms and calls. I really had an amazing birthday! We spent it in Kumarakom, a Keralan town close to Cochin where we're at just now.

Before, we spent a night in Cochin (again) to meet the sweet, charming and beautiful fiance of a good Indian friend of ours. He used to be a work colleague of ours. With her cousin, she took us ice skating (yes, in India!) first and to a 5D movie afterwards: the former was interesting, slightly risky and fun since most of the ice was actually melting, which resulted in several skaters falling into massive puddles AND in about 80 curious Indians that had congregated around the fence laughing at the poor pitch wet person. Hand in hand, we managed not to fall into the cold water, luckily. The latter was extremely fun! 5D meant to have a 3D movie displayed in front of you but that your seat would be shaking you up, down and to the sides and eventually even making you wet as well as drying you off. Cool, right?

Ever since, we've been based in Kumarakom, Kerala, as said. This was supposed to be a lovely little town close to the backwaters and 60km north from Cochin. I say supposed not because it's not lovely - it's actually very nice. The trouble is we realised that it's actually located about 20mins away of Muhamma, the place we stayed at a few days ago! In fact, we can (almost) see the hotel we stayed at from here. Again, lesson learned: we need a good map of the region we’re going around to avoid mistakes like this one.

At least this place is well worth the repeated visit to this area. It's got some canals inside of the resort that we've been navigating with a little canoe, a very nice pool and we've been upgraded to a delux cottage charge-free.

We've been on a nice afternoon boat trip as well, have assisted another engagement party (this one being more boring as nobody really invited us or chatted to us) and had a few dinners in our private little garden with some candle light. Obviously, we've eaten quite a lot. The food is indescriptibly brilliant in Kerala. So many different flavours melting together, so many different naan types, so many lovely fruit smoothies, ...

Tomorrow we'll be flying back to Mumbai. On Tuesday, we'll be working on a project for our website, Act Local Think Local (ALTG) that we've entitled "Lessons learned from Dharavi - One Million People, One Square Mile". The NGO with whom we did the tour two weeks ago is taking us around the slum to record some interviews and get first-hand information on how live in a slum actually is. In return, we'll be talking about what their work entails on ALTG. We really can't wait! Rowan's lenses are well excited as is my dictaphone.

Since I will be flying back to Geneva right after the day in Dharavi, I will have to report about our findings on some other occasion. Or, well, maybe simply stay tuned... we will be releasing our video about Dharavi shortly!

I cannot believe I will be back to work shortly. This experience has certainly touched me. India. With it’s rich culture, it’s food, it’s lovely people, it’s organised chaos, ... India is now bound to my heart. We will hopefully be back soon to explore more of it! We’ve barely seen two of its many states. Bring on the next adventures!

Lots of love

Written by Marta García Aliaga. Pictures by Rowan Farrell.

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