Sunday, March 07, 2010

Winding Down the River

Things are winding down here, as symbolized by our lazy boat ride today.

We are in the communist state of Kerala, which has the highest literacy rate in all of India. The other communist state in India is West Bengal, the location of Kolkata (Calcutta), which has one of the highest poverty rates in India. It looks like communism has a record of 1-1 in India.

But Kerala is lovely. We charted a boat that we thought was going to look like this:

By now we should not be surprised, but the boat actually looked like this:

It was a houseboat with 2 bedrooms that would have taken us to Sri Lanka if needed. Instead, we decided on a four hour tour.

Idyllic is probably the best word to describe it:

There were villages and huts all along the river, and it seemed that people were washing clothes and themselves all day. The river is the road for these folks, who farm in fields next to the river.

Despite the loose tale of ill-repute that Cindy told in yesterday’s blog post, she did get one thing right: I do love me my mango juice. However, note that only one of these is mine, and that 2 of them are Clark’s.

We stopped during the boat ride to walk along the path next to the river. I was tricked into thinking this was a mango tree. It was a just a coconut tree.

(the tree had little ropes around it with mini foot-sized coconut shells wrapped around them. It was surprisingly sturdy and pretty easily to scale up).

Speaking of coconuts, the provisions were so bad on the boat that we were forced to make glassware out of coconuts:

Actually, the coconut milk looks a lot better than it tastes. We were expecting sweet milk, but it was something else. “It’s an acquired taste” remarked Martha, meaning “it tastes kind of gross.”

Here’s a good picture of Thom. I didn’t take the picture, but it somehow mysteriously appeared on my netbook after copying Clark’s SIM card. I didn’t witness the picture being taken, so it must be a miracle or magic of some kind.

Dinner tonight was at the shish-kabob place at the hotel. We had all sorts of fish, chicken, lamb, pork, paneer and vegetables on kebabs. Another great meal. During the meal, we were visited by a two-man band playing 60 music. They did George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel, and we sang along with them.

Sadly, today is our last day with Usha. She flies off to a business meeting early tomorrow and we will fend for ourselves for another day and a half before leaving. In her absence, we will likely wander around aimlessly, let unsavory venders take advantage of us, eat poisonous food, contract malaria and possibly get eaten by tigers.

So, I’ll leave you with Queen Usha of India, who is probably thinking fondly of all the free time she will have once her happy Americans go home.


Hilary said...

Looks like Pina Coladas to me!

Rebecca said...

The boat trip looks lovely. I wish I was on it with you. I hope you have a wonderful day and a half, even if it is without Usha.

Christopher said...

1) There's 1 mango juice unaccounted for
2) It doesn't look like Cindy was drinking mango juice with the shish-kabob

Rhonda said...

Thanks for the posts, Dan (and Cindy). Our family has really enjoyed them and they have brought back good memories of my trip to India...I would love to go back again with Chuck and the kids -- but maybe when Jonathan's a little older. I'm so glad you've experienced the gracious hospitality of Usha's family -- she comes by it naturally! They are amazing!

And, Dan, I always knew you were funny.

Have a safe trip home!