A Tuk-Tuk with a view
Despite all that i have experienced during the past two and a half months i find myself returning to that first thrill of bumping around in an Indian tuk-tuk, seeing, feeling crucially smelling the everyday bustle of Kochi. Whether it be the familiar morning jostle to school or the late night `ferrari’ disco tuk-tuk which took us on a few circuits of Princes Street with music pumping before ending up at the ever faithful XL bar theres no better means of transport.
Perhaps, suitably school has come to a close after exam period, so the goodbyes have been more prolonged and emotional as i prepare to move on. The newly found time has allowed us to work in the girls orphanage and visit the boys orphanage as well. Despite the obvious continuity of living in Fort Kochi my experience here has been interjected with highlights encapsulating my Indian journey – celebrating the Hindu festival of Holi out on the streets throwing brightly colured paint and water at each other was a pretty surreal moment and sitting in Kashi restaurant straight after with everyone staring at us, not surprising as we were bright pink and smiling inanely.
Scrubbing down giant bull elephants with cocunut husks in the river enjoying the early morning sunshine before the overpowering heat of the day, where we would inevitably have to take time out in our favourite cafes to indulge in yet another cold coffee.
An evening well spent involved being watched, laughed at and given false, but amusing advice, from a group of friendly Indians and policemen at a bowling arcade as we danced away to Elvis in the background.
An absolute highlight, reinforced by the fact i’ve been twice, has to be the backwaters boat trip. The best part was being taken by an old man on his rickety old canoe down into the leafy depths, rowing further and further from our boat and feeling sure we were possibly the most willing hostages yet as we attempted to communicate in sign language.
Coming to the end of my time in Fort Kochi i feel it has prepared me perfectly for the rest of my travels throughout India, and being my first visit, i’m sure it will not be my last.
Emily Whitcombe – GVI Kerala volunteer
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