Day 11 : Cochin, India

It seems like we are constantly moving. Probably because we are. This trip is exhausting and a lot of work but so far exceeds all expectations. We've moved on to the state of Kerala; South western tip of the country. Very Balmy. We're staying inside a fort again, we like that. A major flood in AD 1341 created one of the finest natural harbors in the world. Cochin (Kochi) thus became a haven for seafaring visitors from all over the world and  became the first European township in India passed from the Portuguese to the Dutch to the British. Not that anyone reading this will give a shit. Cochin is a dream compared to some of the other places we have been. Small and quaint, but still fun. Mostly Portuguese architecture in  an old fishing port.

We spent some more coin here for a nice room. A cool old house with a/c and even a spa. See Geoff - B Can splurge on me now and again. All for the bargain price of $28 a night. We spent last night down by the water and the fishing nets. There you can buy fresh seafood and the "fish mongers" will cook it for you. Yum. After a few of our favorite Beers, we befriended the owner and his buddies and ended up playing cards with them all night and closing down the place. Even had one of them greeting the Ladies with, "How you Doin'?" Joey Style.

Our place. Reeeaaal niiicccee! It even had AC - a rare find. Fort Cochin is filled with excellent examples of colonial buildings that have that “distressed” look to actually make them more interesting looking.


Some dinner entertainment at our Guesthouse (did I say the video is now crap?)

Someone has an admirer.....Hey Aleena - You forget to tell me something?
Our place. Reeeaaal niiicccee! It even had AC - a rare find. Fort Cochin is filled with excellent examples of colonial buildings that have that “distressed” look to actually make them more interesting looking.
Due to Liquer licensing laws, drinks are only served in a very few places. A big bottle of beer will be a bit over US$2 each, but most cocktails will be quite a bit more, unless you buy raki from a secret bootleg vendor with the help of a local.....or in our case "Special Tea"... sold by our boys at the beach cafe.
So many mozzie bites, we both had swollen legs amd feet the next day! We foubd a local medicing man that made us an oil mixture that worked like a dream.
See! Told you! Our Tuk Tuk driver and his Sweet Ride.
Vasco Da Gama Square, the narrow promenade that parallels the beach. Our hangout with one of our buddies. Where we were eaten alive my mozzies (where they serve "special beer")
Sunset by the "Chinese Fishing Nets".The Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles work on the principle of balance. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450.
We first smelled the aroma, then saw the old sign with white letting :'Up Stair Ginger Tea 400 Years More Old Room" and listing all they . Ginger Factory. Inside the side gate were white mounds of raw ginger, white powder in the air, lemony smells. Brian hates Ginger - so he didn't stay long....

We absolutely love this place. Anyone who has spent more than a few days in India knows that its larger cities are so awesomely crowded that they can draw the life out of you if you let them. One of the key pieces of advice for leisure travelers is to find one of the rare places that doesn’t feel like a subway station perpetually at rush hour, and Fort Cochin is one of those places.


Fort Cochin streets down by the waterfront.
hehehehe - This ice cream man wouldn't stand a chance in our neighborhood! Along the waterfront.
Marisha's favorite cars here! India's substitute for Mopar Muscle! I want one and I want to paint a big orange flower on each door
Bri, shopping for dinner. A fish shop opened up at night taking in inventory from a days catch.
Look Mindy and Amy...A phone from my "Swollen Dreams". If anyone knows what a swollen dream is or has ever had one you'll get this. Anyone? no?
The mattress King. Home delivery! The housing density is limited due to the centuries-old architecture that takes up the entire town.
"Jew Town" in Fort Cochin. No joke. Its really called that! The non-PC named “Jew Street” is still home to dozens of warehouses and retailers that deal exclusively in spices, which grow abundantly in Kerala and still bring in good prices around the world.

We are fisherman now . The Chinese fishing nets - Cheenavala in Malayalam - is believed to have been introduced in Kochi between 1350 and 1450 AD. Each fishing net is operated by more than four fishermen and is made in such a way that the weight of a man walking on the main plank is enough to cause the equipment to be pulled down into the sea. Fishing is usually done in the morning and early evening.  If you are nice they will let you help.....

As more innovative fishing methods are taking over this is becoming more of a tourist trap than an actual fishing process.... but its still fun to do. 

Brian working for his supper! Each one is operated by a team of some six fishermen.They are fixed land installations, which are used for a very unique and unusual method of fishing. Operated from the shore, these nets are set up on bamboo and teak poles and held horizontally by huge mechanisms, which lower them into the sea. They look somewhat like hammocks and are counter-weighed by large stones tied to ropes.
"You want feeesh?". The net is left into the water for a short time; say for four-five minutes, before it is raised back by tugging the ropes. The catch is usually modest, but these can be sold to the passersby in a jiffy.

Funniest thing ever! We were nabbed by a film crew for an Indian TV show on Night life. It was Hilarious. In the interview they asked "if we were LOVERS" and asked us to kiss on camera. Brian's comment was, "Yes, we ARE lovers and we make love often!" They asked us "if we liked Discos" and "how many bottles of beer it takes us to get drunk". The Last question, "where did you learn to be so trendy"?. hahahahaha Laughed hard because as you can tell from our pics, we look like hell when we travel. Not much effort there.
Its funny here. The TV is so cheezy. Its like watching real life Saturday Night Live skits. We saw one commercial for "Light and Handsome". A product that is suppose to make men's skin lighter. No kidding.

MTV baby - didn't believe us did you! Me and the "Camera Crew"...See what I mean - I didn't even bring a brush on this trip!

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