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31/07/2009

Vendredi 3 Avril - 18ème jour - De Hampi à Kochi en passant par Bangalore

P1070039 [800x600].JPGTo read the previous note to remember where you have ended, click HERE. (Native English speakers sorry for the grammatical and vocabulary mistakes.... Feel free to correct me with the commentaries).

I left Antoine and Linda after the breakfast, direction to the airport. I only took a small bag. It's so great not having to carry everything... But as I had already checked in, starting to cross the X control, I needed to go back checking again as I had the little laguiole offered by Lita with me. It was out of the questions that they kept it from me.

Trying to find a little something to Monolita who would welcome me for this evening, I finally took some After Eight Chocolates (sort of luxury in India, the chocolates) at the airport. I met her through Couchsurfing, as I wanted to meet some locals. She is an architect, and her husband as well. The have a little cute girl. Very dynamic woman, very active in several organization, she is one of the local ambassadors for Couchsurfing in Kochi. The evening I arrived, she organized by chance a couchsurfer's dinner, which was a great occasion to meet a lot of Indians.

She sent me all the indications to come from the airport. I arrived around lunch time. My first impression was : whatta fuckin' heat !!! ;) . SoP1070042 [800x600].JPG hot, too hot. My first desire was to escape immediately from Kochi to go up to the mountains. I was supposed to stay two nights in Kochi then go up to Munnar. I decided as I arrived to go directly the next morning  in Munnar as it was really unbearable down here.

Monolita - as Anouck and Karan did when I arrived in Delhi - talked directly to the taxi driver. I arrived approximately 40 minutes later at a cross section, where Monolita's husband came to pick me up with his acclimatized car !!! (of course the Taxi dit not have acclimatization).

Before he arrived, I - don't know why - decided to give a quick call to Betanum (don't laugh about his pseudo !). So great to hear from Home DP... Far away from Home, I realize how lucky I am to work with those people. Home DP is more than a company, it is a sort of little family which has structured me a lot those last years. Amazing hearing Betanum talking from work... Good though. He his probably one of the person I have spent most of my time those last (almost) 5 years, so that was good !

We drove up to their offices first to take Monolita then went to their House. For the night I will share my room with Pia who was a Couchsurfing's friend of Monolita and who was in Kochi. She is originally from Mumbaï. After a quick lunch, Monolita told me to come back to their office (10  minutes walkin from the house) around 3 pm in order to go to Fort Kochi where  she had a work meeting. Meanwhile, I would meet Pia.

I was able to have a quick nap, and changed my clothes to wear more suitable ones !  Walking 10 minutes to their offices make me feel as IP1070050 [800x600].JPGhad walked for perhaps 30 minutes as it was so warm. They dropped me down close to meeting point and I took a rickshaw to join Pia. It was an old man who was driving. I was quite surprised that he purposed directly a very reasonable price and not a foreigner's price. Honest or lazy to have a negociation. Don't know..  I love the liberty's sensation on rickshaw... Hope to find some motorized cyclo as well in Saïgon, but not sure that there are still have some according to what I have been told. (Note from 30rd July 09 : no cyclos anymore in Saigon but only motorbikes taxi)

Pia is a cool young woman who is representative of the new women's generations in India. Originally she have studied law, but then decided to create her own firm. A travel agency for women who wants to travel alone ! Which is quite revolutionary in India. She was there with her client, Myra, who is a great woman too. She works for a personnal fund, not married (quite rare in India when you are around 31), and this was a last day of those marvelous vacations she has decided to offer herself through Priya's services.

We were on the terrace appreciating the sunset, talking about Indian cultures, and the economic crisis. I told Myra hat I didn't feel that India was messed up that much by the crisis. She told me that there were some industries touched : jewelries, leather and of course all the international companies. Then it was time to go to the appointment in Ernakulam.

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Pia and Myra asked a rickshaw, and he gaves her the good price. Then just to show me something, they asked him why he didn't apply the same prices for tourists and herself. He answers because foreigners have money, and quite vehement saying that if they don't want to pay, they can go back in their countries. Pria and Myra were quite sad of this mentality, and wanted that to change, trying to explain to the rickshaw that elsewhere in the world there was only one price and that tourism for India was important for the economy.. Whatever. I asked her why they spoke in English to him. They explained thad they didn't speak the same language ! Hindi is official, but mostly spoken in the north. In the south you have many dialects, so how amazing it can be, but Indian are speaking in English in between them, what can be quite strange sometimes as Indians are not all speaking good English !!!

 

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We needed to take either ferry or bus to go to Ernakulam. I preferred the Ferry, we had time and it was less expensive. We wait a little bit before boarding, giving opportunities to the mosquitoes to have a great dinner ...  ;) . Landing to Ernakulam, that was really funny because we had to walf for approximately 10 minutes on the "Sound" Street (I don't exactly remember the name though), where there were mostly only men sitting together, few couples, and a sort of ambiant music all along (but oldies music quite unbearable in fact ;)). Arrived in the restaurant, Monolita was not yet arrived. As we sat, some others Indian Couchsurfers joined us. At the end we were around 10 people. This is where I met Priya who is a great so open minded and interested woman, you can read her blog there :) or there (for the recipees) ! They are now following the Tour de France with her husband who is so fun :)

 

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I discovered during this dinner the fabulous Dosa, South India Specialties.. and I still have the taste with me... :) The dinner ended we all came back home to a good sleep.. The day after I would woke up early to take the bus for Munnar....

 

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