Like most poorer countries, begging is the norm, but don't let yourself feel bad about no giving to these people. The majority of the people are hard working and will not beg, but there are always those that see the tourist as an easy meal ticket, like anywhere in the world you go.
On the beach you will find all sorts of odd people begging, like one we saw who crawled around like a spider, and boy could he shift, just like a spider too.
There are lots of old ladies and young children begging for the old ladies, but dont feel bad about not giving. You can't help but feel bad about the poor child doing this, but hey, just don't even acknowledge them, don't look at them too long, and don't try to tell them you don't want to give them anything, as this will have shown that there maybe a chance to get something out of you, and you will be hounded.
I couldnt help feeling bad the first time I saw this, but on walking down a street nearby, I saw a lady under an umbrella, smashing rocks with a hammer to make small gravel. And she would have made far less money doing this than begging, but she could work, and she was working so hard too. So I didnt feel a thing for those begging after that.
At this time of the year, we found that many young men travel here for the holidays. Not a problem, it is there country after all. The problem is however, that quite a lot of them love nothing more than to hound and grab a sneaky feel of a visiting fair skinned holiday maker.
We found this out to our horror while walking along the sea front bars in Kovalom, on Lighthouse Beach. It was backed, and as my wife and I walked side by side, every minute or two a hand would reach out from the crowd and grab my wife's bum or breast, and in one case, between her legs.
You cant see where these hands are coming from, only that it's happening. I now found myself standing in front of my wife trying to protect her, while making our way back to our hotel as quickly as we could.
Hands were still grabbing at her as we hurried along, and Im grabbing people who look like they are about to reach for her, and I am throwing them out of the way and pushing them. Very close to hitting them, but of course I could be hitting someone who had no intention of doing anything.
Someone would reach out to shake my hand, and another would try to grab my wife. This was horrible, and really changed our view of the the young men, but over all the people seem really nice. But at the same time, and as upset as we were, we will still return to Kerala, just not at that time of year, and we will always avoid walking into a busy or crowded area.
Be ware of insects, reptiles and amphibians in kerala. You will find everything from frogs, snakes, mosquitoes, millepedes, centipedes and what not. The place is alive with all dfferent coloured insects. I myself have experienced having a snake in my compound. Although people told me that it is not poisonous...but then who knows what else is in store....
Its not that bad as else where but when it rains it attracts mosquitoes..so dont forget mosquito repellent creams.
Have some pills for stomach upsets or acidity as you will be trying different cuisines.
Taxi is expensive so bargain.
The gift shop at the resort, please bargain. You can get it very cheap even though the price quoted at first might seem cheap.
Do you like elephants???
But take care while touching it or feeding yourself alone....without the 'Paappan' ( the usual master of the elephant ).
Usually the elephants wont do any harm to you.
But sometimes it will be dangerous if you try to touch it or even trying to feed it yourself
So take care.
- People belongs to Non-Hindu religion are not allowed in most of the Kshethrams ( Temples). In some Kshethrams entry is allowed into the ground but not inside. But some allows every one to go inside. So, you must enquire if entry is permitted to you please follow the following points
>> enquire if you can take a photo or capture movie
>> don't take the photo of the 'Vigraham' (idol)
>> remove your foot-wears strictly
>> men must remove their shirts and vests
>> smoking and alcohols are not permited
>> enquire about the rules of each particular Kshethram you visit
>> In some Kshethrams Pants or Churidars are not allowed. In that circumstances, men have to wear 'MUND' ( white traditional dress ) and ladies have to wear Sari.
Kerala is probably the only Indian state, where the cow is not sacred.
While travelling from Kovalam to Periyar we passed a few cow herds with their Tamil owners, walking along the road .
We learnt that these men walk for 6 to 8 days from Tamil Nadu, sell their cattle in Kerala, then set back on foot to their homes.
En route we passed through a few villages and small towns. On the doorstep of the butchers shops, the decapitated heads of the cattle, in a pool of blood are displayed, to prove that the meat sold there is beef!
Our tour guide did give us warnings to look away if we were squeamish, as we approached these shops, but I did sneak a peek.
Just be aware that if you are nice to the kids selling stuff on the beach, they will be with you for the rest of your time there. They were very good company at times however it got quite exhausting, hence our regular trips to the Ashok Hotel.
The roads are terrible! This makes for a very rough ride. During the monsoon, it becomes a very rough and messy ride. If you are driving, please drive very carefully, as the drivers on these particular roads are known to be very very fast and rash.
Since u will be travelling to the remotest villages and town, its a rarity that you will find a fixed fone line, so make sure u carry a mobile along with you. In case you get lost in the jungle, have to stay on top of a tree since the tiger is waiting for you if you come down, or simply to keep in touch with folks back home.
Here, however, u see my freind Dr. Zaheer is misusing the facility provided by the mobile fone service by talking to his girlfriends and keeping the only mode of communication busy. since it is the only connection we have with life on land, it can prove to be costly. Nevertheless, this Doc does not give a damn.
Watch out in the evening, the light is not what it should be, you need a flashlight and it is easy to find in the stores around the beach, you could easily fall down the cliffs....to be continued
Kumarakom North Post, Kumarakom, Kerala, 686 566, India
Good for: Business
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