May 2009


We decided to take a break from the liveliness of Trivandrum and head towards the coast for a few days. We were hesitating between Varkala and Kovalam but when the weather report said that Kovalam was going to have a weekend of thunderstorms, it was an easy decision to make. We didn’t do much there. We bathed in the ocean and a pool, we ate good food, we relaxed, we got suburned (my nose in particular) and we rode on elephants (which was pretty neat!).

Sunset.

Sunset.

Weekend in Varkala 060

  We had beer in what might be the ugliest mugs ever! The restauarant didn’t have an alcohol license and were quick to hide the beer bottles and serve the beer in these tree trunk shaped mugs…

My ride!

My ride!

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Apparently, this bus is super fast.

Indida day 2 086 - Kopia

And this one has a super horn.

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And this one, well, apart from having a “sound horn”, I just really like the three little umbrellas on the left.

Check it out. This is something you never see in Stockholm!

India day 1 112

OMG, look at what it says on the receipt! Haha!

Indida day 2 126

Look, here! At the bottom! See?

Btw, Parthas does not have the most efficient paying system ever… Not in the slightest… After you’ve selected your items, you hand them over to one of the sales clerks who then goes to a desk to get the items scanned in. Here you are handed a receipt and the selected items remain at this desk. Then you have to go to the ground floor where you pay for said items and where you also get a stamp on your receipt and a new receipt as proof of payment. After this you go to the pick up counter where you show your stamped receipt and then receive your items… This takes a while and even if there aren’t any lines and you make it to the last counter quickly, you may very well end up waiting anyway because your items have yet to arrive…

Today was warmer than ever and what I really wanted to do was lie in a pool all day long because every tiny movement made me sweat…

We’ve been going on a lot of visits to different state institutions the past few days and although I was really looking forward to these visits, they didn’t seem to meet my expectations. Not because I had high hopes of the institutions themselves (there was absolutely nothing wrong with these places) but because our visits seemed so forced upon the residents and patients. Theses visits seldom fulfill the actual purpose of the visits (which is to see how different parts of the health care system work) and instead ends up being some weird show (where some shy patient gets up and sings for us). It just feels really strange.

Today was quite interesting, though. we got to visit the Medical College Hospital and the children’s hospital. It was great to finally be introduced to some of the health care in Kerala!

In our free time, we’ve taken every opportunity to explore the city and the shops. We’ve been to this big shopping place called Parthas (I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many textiles in my life) and yesterday we went to Chaili Bazar Road which was just filled with people and goods and cars and bikes!

Parthas

Parthas

Chaili Bazar Road

Chaili Bazar Road

So, I finally got myself some interweb! Or, I suppose it was always there, all I needed was a cable, really. I don’t really know where to start, India is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced before (and it’s not like I’ve been living under a rock my entire life). Everything is so very lively, vivid, loud, colorful and kind. We eat delicious food and ride around in rickshaws.

It took a while to get from Sweden to India and on the way we stopped over in Abu Dhabi and because we had so much time between flights. We spent most of the day in a mall and at the airport (mostly because it was painfully hot to be outside for any amount of time). On Sunday morning we got to our hotel here in Kerala and ever since then, I’ve tried to absorb and photograph every experience, every new sight. The monsoon came 2 weeks early and it’s been raining a lot. Everything is hot and moist, nothing ever seems to dry and I’m constantly sweaty. But the locals seem pretty happy because they think the weather is nice and cool now…

Because I haven’t really formulated my thoughts around being here, I’ll just show you some pictures! I’ve taken over 200 pictures a day and they take for ever to load so I’ll have to do massive picture posts when I get back home, but for now you’ll have to settle for a few selected photos!

Our taxi at Trivandrum Airport.

Our taxi at Trivandrum Airport.

Went to the zoo, saw a happy hippo!

Went to the zoo, saw a happy hippo!

Made the locals laugh.

Made the locals laugh.

It's been raining a lot.

It's been raining a lot.

The traffic is nutballs.

The traffic is nutballs.

Did I mention the rain? There's a lot of it!

Did I mention the rain? There's a lot of it!

This batch of photos will have to do for now because I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow! Unless the hotel wants the network cable back, I’m going to do my darndest to stay connected. Although I suppose I could go out and buy my own cable…

Nej, men om man skulle ta och dra till Indien i ett par veckor? Det låter väl bra? Hur som helst är det precis vad jag tänker göra. Nu sticker jag till Arlanda (och jag ska försöka höra av mig när jag är borta)!

Ha det bra!

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