Because of his friendliness and his way of talking, I decided to give him a Che coin from Cuba and he was very happy. He wanted to give me his emal . I gave him my card with my email in it. He took me back to the hotel and from there to the jetty from which I was to take a ferry to Ernakulum. While at the jetty, he wanted to take a picture with me and said that he was going to put my visiting card and our picture together in his autorikshawa and hoped that it would become an eye catcher for the tourists he hopes to ferry in his Ferrari, in actual fact a Bajaj autor rikshaw. He was laughing and joking with his fellow auto rikshaw drivers and when I said good bye to him I knew I have met a happy man.
Hareesh with his Ferrari from Cochin, kerala
Cochin, 13th July 2007
The other night, looking for an autorikshaw at 6 30 pm, and finding nonw, I had walked towards Mattanchery, where I was supposed to meet Rockey Neroth. While none passed me by, I could see a line snaking around the entrance of the ferry to Ernakulam. A group of autorikshaw drivers were there, joking around . A young man came over to me, spoke in the typical pidgin English of this tourist area, he, pointing out to another driver, is your uncle. Okay I joined along, going over to the driver (who had somewhat of a grandiose name of shah Jehan, the emperor who built Taj Mahal)…
Soon Rockey arrived in his car, and off we went.
I had not thought about that incident until this morning, as I was walking towards the Pharmacy to buy some medications. The autorikshaw stopped, the same young man, where are you going? Just to the pharmacy, I am going that way hop in, without hesitation I Jumped in. we drove the short distance to Tara Medical and while there, I invited him for tea at the restaurant next door
My name is Hareesh. And that is my Ferrari. And I could immediately tell that he is naturally friendly and that he was not looking for anything from me. Just to pass a little time away. He showed pictures of his two boys. And asked me where I am from?
To make matters less difficult, I said Cuba. For some reason he said, do they speak the same language there as in Argentina? I realized that he might have met some argentine tourists. Me gusta cochin mucho, lluvia y calor pero me gusta. He said. To my surprise.
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The authoritarian malaysian government tried to shut them down a couple of times.
A recent survery conducted revealed the division between belief that one speaks the language and the actual ability to communicate the language. While close to 25 per cent of the Indians felt that they spoke English, only 5% could actually speak English, the other 20 per cent could barely communicate. You would find that while making new friends, especially uninvited ones, in Cochin. The nuances of the English Language are lost on them. One cannot blame them, after all they might speak Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi and English is a late comer to their language treasury.
I saw this poster in Kalvathy road on my recent stay in Cochin. Advertising a comfortable stay in air conditioned comfort, they showed a caricature of christ in all the full gory of having been crucified recently.
Malayalam speakers are right to say, we dont understand them, either!
I met Suresh the owner of Touristland India travel agency just a stones throw away from the Ernakulam Junction Railway Station, four visits to Cochin ago, in Ernakulam. Since then he has become a good friend and is extremely keen to organize and help with all matters related to tourism. He tries to get tickets reserved on an overbooked train, has contacts with airline booking agencies, got me bus tickets couple of times, and more importantly offers his friendship without any ulterior motives. I have been to his house at Vaikom many a times and stayed over a couple of times and always enjoyed the authentic kerala food prepared by his wife. He has two lovely children and they are as friendly as their father.
On this visit, he was waiting for us at the Cochin Airport and put his car at our disposal for the stay. He came over to Fort cochin to visit us and also shared lunch and dinner with us. A lunch at Metropolitan Hotel where his agency maintains a desk was on him, despite my pleas to pay for the lunch.
South India is well known for its coconuts and the coconut products. Everything of the coconut tree is used. Do try fresh coconut - the juice is very refreshing.
Remember, that side to side moving of the head (western negative/no) actually means yes. It can lead to confusion if not realising this.
Due to the Portuguese colonization for so many years, there is still a lot of catholics here. In the photo you can see one of the many splendid catholic schools in Fort Cochi.