I was called a "poet" by my cousin Preet throughout this one week journey because i wrote down everything that we did everyday in my little journal. and that is what i'll be sharing with you. =)
07 May 2009
F30---> Boarding terminal.
Excellent! Had to run to the Watsons to get a 100ml bottle to put my contact lens solution in it. Goodbye Cherry Blossom & Cassis Rose Lotion. Muttons!!
Boarded the plane. didnt expect to see that many Indian/Keralaites in the plane! who am i kidding?
haha! ah! plane food. yummy..chicken curry with vege rice. not too bad :)
half an hour later..
Beer and Orange Juice kicking in! i never knew they served alcohol on the plane! HELLO MISS!! ONE MORE BEER PLEASE :):)
08 May 2009
Went to Grand Hotel to have lunch with Aunty Sabina's family. Met her husband and her two sons, Johan and Rohan. Johan is 22 and studying Medicine and Rohan, 18 just finished school. we had the famous Curry Meen( Curry Fish ). it was quite the sedap but it reminded me very much of our very own.. IKAN BAKAR! haha :)
SHOP TILL YOU DROP!
thats exactly what we all did today! 10am till 6pm! Store hopping and shopped till we were dead exhausted. BUT... the buys were EXQUISITE and absolutely REASONABLE prices!! going back to Star Lagoon Homes/Apartment in Cochin to have dinner and sleep. thats what i need right now... SLEEP!
ATTA GOT HIS PERMANENT RECIDENCE FOR AUSTRALIA TODAY!! wooooooot ;)
HAPPY 19TH BIRTHDAY KEVIN HEERA :) *hugs*
09 May 2009
Up in the early morning and went to a temple in Chottanikarra. Then drove for an hour to another temple in Guruvayoor. beautiful temples. ancient. its amazing how they preserved the beauty of the temple after all these years.
Had lunch and went to Horizon International Hotel. Walked about along the Guruvayoor temple street in the evening. bought some jewellery and some sweets. the place is packed with people!
10 May 2009
Woke up at 5am, got dressed and left to go to Guruvayoor temple for the wedding. Didnt manage to get any sleep last night. 5 people squashed in one room wasnt the easiest to deal with. 7am was when the wedding is suppose to start. apparently, 200 weddings are going to take place in the temple today! 200! thats crazy isnt it! explains why there are thousands of people in the temple. everyone pushing so that they can get a clear view. Then, it was our Bride to go the podium. The groom went up, then she went up. he tied the wedding chain around her. He puts the garland on her and she puts the garland on him. they go around the fire and pray to God. and they walk out of the podium. Wedding ends. all in all, it only took no more than 10 minutes!
Went to a dining hall nearby for the reception breakfast. had a typical Malyalee breakfast and went back to the hotel. packed our things to leave to Palakkad at 2pm.
Arrived at Sri Chakra International Hotel. The rooms werent very clean at all. it was dusty, as if it had not been cleaned for a couple of days. food arrived an hour late. we werent very pleased with the hotel service. We went out for dinner someplace nearby. NoorJehan Restaurant. Shopped at the Big Bazaar then went back to the hotel.
11 May 2009
Had a good night's sleep. one single bed to myself. Had breakfast at the hotel and got ready to leave at 11am. Visited a couple of houses today. all relatives. Had some issues in one of the houses where my grandfather claimed that it was his father's property. but all turned out well. Sent Aunty Mira ( Aunty Vanaja's aunty ) back to her villa near the paddy fields. she owns some parts of the paddy fields. after saying our goodbyes...left to Guruvayoor. Reached Mayura Residency at 8.05pm. Beautiful Hotel. had dinner and hit the sack.
12 May 2009
Awake at 6am. Got ready to go to Guruvayoor temple. What a crowd! Finally had someone to help gets in. it was definitely one of the best feelings i had when i went into that temple. got to see the Lord himself for a good time. The temple is kept the same way it was before. anciently beautiful. Went to another temple called Mahimayur. Story goes, When one of the Guru's and the Wind God(Vayu) came down to Earth, they landed on a spot that Lord Shiva was on. Lord Shiva saw them and told them that they can have that land and he will find another. The Guru and the Wind God named that place Guruvayoor and Shiva named his place Mahimayur. Saying goes, you have to visit Mahimayur after visiting Guruvayoor in order to make the whole thing complete.
After all the temple visiting, we left to Cochin. Arrived at Cochin, checked in the same hotel we were in before..Star Lagoon Homes. Preet and I wanted to go to the pool side cuz we were bored. lazed on the chair..took a couple of photos until a bunch of boys came by. Around 6 ish, all the girls decided to go to a jewellery shop called Goodwill. OMG! that place is HUGE and its got the most BEAUTIFUL things!!! we told the driver we're only staying for about half and hour..turns out we stayed for 3 hours!!
13 May 2009
On our way to the boat house at Allapey. Rained cats and dogs last night. Cloudy morning..just the right weather to go on the boat ride.
AMAZING! thats all i can say. Seeing the people alongside the backwaters of India made me realise how lucky i am. People here dont even have proper water source to bathe or even drink. the use the river water which is somewhat polluted. catch fishes here and live on the resources around. coconut water and stuff of that sort. I am blessed to be where i am now.
The food the boat men served us was FANTASTIC! he caught HUGE LOBSTER sized PRAWNS along the way as well as buying some Todi (fermented coconut-alcohol). They served us, Masala Fried Prawns, Fish Fried, Curry Chicken, Dhal, Cabbage stir fried, Okra masala, Brown Rice and Papadum. it was DELICIOUS! it was one GREAT experience!
Kathakali! Arrived at the Cochin Arts Centre and watched how they put the make up on one another. the make up is made out of Chantanam (yellow powder), Herbs. All natural make up products. The eye expressions of these men during the Kathakali was SPECTACULAR! It is said that it takes a minimum of 6years to train to become a full fledged Kathakali dancer. It started off with just men dancing and remained that way because back in the days, women were too shy to come out and dance. so the men did the dancing and acted in both male and female roles. Now, times have changed. women are learning to perfect the art of Kathakali.
14 May 2009
Woke up at 7am. Had breakfast in India for the last time in this trip. Headed to the Jewish Settlement to see the Synagogue. It's such a beautiful place. Showing the place where the Maharaja stayed and held meetings. the place was surrounded by beautiful chandeliars.
Shopped till we dropped, AGAIN! this time we only went to one place. Joyalukka's. they have the most beautiful and reasonably cheap punjabi suit materials! repacked everything once we reached the hotel. Have to leave at 6pm to Aunty Sabina's house for dinner.
Beautiful house. its sort of like a 3 story building. first floor is the house/apartment itself. 2nd floor is the bed rooms and the 3rd floor is the rooftop. they call it the terrace. Johan asked me whether i'd like to go to the rooftop and i said sure! so we went there with his brother Rohan and my dearest cousin Preet..and.. what a view! I could see the International Cricket Stadium! talked a lil bit and went downstairs so we could go for dinner.
Reached Central Club. Had a table specially put in the field for all of us to dine for dinner. Johan and Rohan brought Preet and I to the Pool. They have two separate pools. One for the men..bigger and deeper and one for the ladies.. smaller and shallower. DOUBLE STANDARDS! he showed us around the place and went back to the table to have dinner. it was quite nice the food but we kept getting bitten by mosquitoes!
Reached Cochin Airport and checked in and boarded the flight with 12 bags!
15 May 2009
Arrived in Singapore. Had the morning sun welcome us. all we want to do is go back and sleep.
When the trip ended, i asked everyone what reminded them most about Kerala, India. This is what they said..
Grandpa: My Father's Land.
Grandma: Food and the big houses.
Mummy : Filled with Culture and very Hospitable people
Unc Sugu: FOOD and there's no special lanes.
Aunty Vanaja: People and their Accent as well as their Hospitality.
Aunty Mai: Shopping! Sarees and Punjabi suits!
Shrawani: Sun, Chai(Tea), HONKING, and Nature
Preetha: HONKING, Jayalaksmi Coffee and Poni Ari( brown rice)
Overall, it was definitely the most fun i have ever had with my family! we got to see almost half of Kerala. and i'm even more so proud to say...
I am a Malyalee and I'm proud of my Culture.