I’ve been away for a while, but rest assured that I enjoyed every minute of it! :p Anyway, Here’s some captioned pics I took. To explain the whole trip word by word would be too much like forcing you to watch the endless slide shows of vacation pictures on my hard drive. Since I haven’t got a kick out of torturing my audience in a long time, I’ll just provide the pictures. Most of them can be clicked for enlargements.
This is more or less the India that I remember most from my last trip there. The Ambassador taxis. When I was a kid I thought it was the bomb! (Who says ‘the bomb’ anymore these days eh?) You could fit about 7 people in one, and it had nice ‘cushiony’ seats. This time over, I went just once in one of these, and it wasn’t very pleasant. Too hot and bumpy. It was hot enough to melt the deodorant right out of my armpits. But newer locally made cars seem to overcome this problem, by switching the A/C to “Blizzard” mode when started, then carrying on at a more sedate pace.
The beach! Holy land for many a temperature-challenged person! Or maybe even many a thirsty old man. When I initially decided to go to the beach, it was 12 noon. Now, many years of comic books and Bay-Watch-ish programming on TV has instilled in me the idea that the beach was a place for any time of day. Need a run in the morning? The beach. Need to cool off after a grueling day at school? Need to chill after a hard day’s work? Need a place to bury a corpse in the night? Anyway, my midday soirée was cut off at the pass by my mother who shouted in astonishment whether I was insane going to the beach at noon. Apparently it was the devil’s fryer at this time of day. I finally managed to get out at about 3pm. Windy, salty and completely deserted! Awesome strip of beach.
Last time I went, the railway station looked more or less like the Fort station. Concrete floors, dirty walls with peeling paint, and urchins sitting around staring at tourists. But man, have things changed. Now I know what they were talking about when they said India’s developing, fast, on CNN. One thing that would have led to this, I think, was sponsorship. Advertisements were plastered all over the place. In the station, on the stairs, in the trains, and they even had these screens inside the trains which were showing a sort of mini TV station broadcast just for the railway service. This too had many ad spots.
This is in Cochin. A fraction of it, actually. Take that picture, and multiply by 100 and you’ll have an idea of what it looks like now. Unfortunately I couldn’t carry the camera around while we were driving around, so no cityscapes or anything. But on the bright side, without a camera, I blended in nicely as just another local. But when it came to talking, I stuck out like a sore thumb with my accent. Most shopkeepers smiled and asked whether I was from SL, or just looked a bit puzzled. But all in all, shopping around was interesting. Three assistants introduced themselves to me in the same store, going from section to section.
Amusement park was truckloads of fun, with all sorts of rides. From rollercoaster’s water rides. I finally discovered why people scream in rides. Yes, this rock crushing demon bashing specimen of man was screaming his head off. But the problem with a water park is, while you’re going on the rides, you can’t take pictures without your camera meeting it’s maker in a watery grave.
More experiments with the camera. That’s my cousin on the left, “handling” his hair. My cousin and his family spent about four days going about with us, which gave us the opportunity to say whatever the hell we want in Sinhalese, knowing no-one else understood. Thankfully, we didn’t run into any tour-guides.
The collage! Click for enlargement!What collection would be complete without it? Some of the Flora and fauna, and some buildings. The cat’s my aunt’s. And yet again, I find that this camera is very satisfying when used in macro mode. 2cm is close enough to see every detail in anything.
There you have it, folks. My entire trip vaguely outlined with pictures.