Incredible India: Fort Kochi at Christmas

I woke up at 7, which means I slept for 9 hours, the first time that long in India. After getting up I went out to explore the morning Fort Kochi. What stroke me throughout my walk, and same would happen in the afternoon and evening, was the friendliness of people. Almost everyone was saying hi or nodding, and saying “Merry Christmas”, even those riding a motorbike or a scooter.

I will divide my impressions according to my three mini-explorations out during the day: morning, afternoon, and evening.

MORNING

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My residence or its residents (or both) has good karma.

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You don’t need snow to have a Christmas feeling.

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In the morning: boys playing cricket, the most popular game and sports in India. 

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Buses in Kerala are bright and colourful.

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Beach walkway in Fort Kochi.

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Many people are jogging and exercising.

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Small but lively seafood market. Auction trading in progress: fishermen selling freshly caught seafood to market sellers.

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Prices per kilo: small shrimps 500 rupees (8.5 USD); medium lobsters 800 rupees (14 USD); large lobsters 1000 rupees (17 USD).

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Chinese fishnets used since 14th century.

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Morning tea and snacks at the beach. The man is very mobile; everything’s on the bicycle. He can move easily any moment.

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Colonial architecture is common in Fort Kochi.

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St. Peter’s Syrian Church. Most of the people here are Christians.

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White decorations are everywhere along the main street. Nice drawings on the asphalt. 

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Nice Tibetan restaurant. I’d return here for lunch.

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Local police take care about tourists 🙂

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Cool graffiti saying: “Kochi is not a city, it’s  feeling”. 

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Children playing in the park.

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There are many cozy side streets in Fort Kochi.

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Santa Cruz Basilica built by the Portuguese.

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9 am – time for breakfast. Enjoyed my two lobsters from the market that I asked to cook at a restaurant. Very tasty! 

AFTERNOON

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Another cozy and very quiet street

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Christmas time 🙂

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Gorgeous palace along one of the main streets

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Sewer. This job is typically done by men in India.

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Returned to Tibetan Kitchen at Fort Nagar Street for lunch. IN the photo: my first Tibetan butter tea that I wanted to try for a long time. It’s thick, crazy, and a bi salty, a very special taste. This type of tea is best in colder climate like in the Himalayas.  

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The interior of the Tibetan Kitchen restaurant.

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There are also traditional Tibetan prayer flags. At lunch I met an old lady from France who told many interesting facts about Tiber, and recommended to go to Sikkim instead of Dharmsala in India as the latter is too touristic and dirty. She also recommended a book about Tibet called “The Way of the White Clouds” by Lama Anagarika Govinda.

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Taking a walk after lunch towards the sea. Bus station with typical coloured buses. Love them 🙂

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On the road along the beach there are many stalls with people selling souvenirs, food, drinks, and what not. In the photo: man preparing a lime drink for me. 

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An authentic mobile ice-cream stall. As the man was moving along the street, his booth producing little bells. As it this they were Christmas jingle bells 🙂 I don’t buy ice cream as already bought fruit that turned out be very fresh, juicy, and tasty. 

EVENING

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Went out for my final walk in Fort Kochi. Cricket was in the morning, now the kids are playing football.

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Sunset at the beach.

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Somewhere in Europe I’d be averted by the garbage, but it here nobody cares about it, and neither did I. People are walking, talking, with friends and families, launching kites, having fun.

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The final rays of the sun.

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Cute little kids look like chicken 🙂 

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Cute Indian family

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Merry Christmas!

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A very tasty mutton mughlai paratha for dinner (mutton pie) at the Dal Roti restaurant serving traditional food from heartland India. At the dinner I got to know Dai from Japan, a high school teacher of Japanese. This is was another interesting meeting during the trip.

This was the end of my stay in Fort Kochi. Throughout this short time I had felt the enormous warmth of the local people. Whether because of Christian influence, or Communist, or due to the special atmosphere in the city, or something else – I don’t know. The fact was that everyone was very kind and polite. Not the type of kindness a seller puts on before selling; but a mere human kindness. Thank you, Kochi.

Tomorrow I’m leaving for Munnar. It turned out that Tesa from England is also going there the same day, so I will have a companion, at least for the journey.

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