Christmas is all about being with my family and friends – and a little bit about all that delicious food. However, this year was totally different. I was with 7 other foreigners in an 18-hour-drive-bus to Kerala. Worth to mention that my Christmas dinner was a banana, potato chips and almost no liquids as our bus hardly ever stopped for bathroom breaks. But let’s start from the beginning…
Due to the lack of Christmas tree and snow, I wasn’t feeling the December spirit at all, so I decided to spice this thing up. Even though AIESEC in India is something not even similar to AIESEC in general I remembered one great tradition of this organization – Sugar Cubes. It’s an envelope with each person’s name where everyone can put sweet, naughty or inspiring notes to that person. This idea gave us a strange Christmas tree and really brightened our morning before the trip.
After several adventures – 9 foreigners with backpacks were sitting in a pleasantly comfortable Indian travel bus to Kerala. Despite the bathroom situation and very, very loud Telugu movies all day long we had an easy trip and reached Kochi on the 26th of December.
After hearing a lot of good things about this city we were quite excited to explore it as soon as possible. Our enthusiasm was killed by a two-hour-long row in the ferry ticket counter to Fort Kochi. Apparently, Fort Kochi is not a fort it’s just a neighbourhood, amazing Chinese fishing nets are just nets with smelly fish and famous Jewish Synagogue it’s just a small white building (however, we haven’t been inside as it was closed – maybe there is something special there).
Now let’s look at the positive side. Firstly, food in Kerala was less spicy and certainly more delicious than in Hyderabad. A lot of dishes had coconut that made it really special. Moreover, next to Fort Kochi there is an amazing Jewish neighborhood called Matanchery with a great bazar. Shopaholics like me can feel like in heaven there – just don’t forget to bargain a lot!
The next day we packed our bags again and left Kochi due to our tight schedule. Next stop was Kumily (next to Periar Wildlife Sanctury). Even though Kumily was not far away it took us 7 hours to get there by a bus. The bus was without windows and mostly overcrowded. Important to say that this trip is not recommended for people with weak nerves as the bus was going incredibly fast on the small roads in the mountains. We were not able to sit still and were moving to the sides according to the bus turns all the way there.