When I first began traveling about 15 years ago I had a list of places to visit… the lost cities of the Inca in South America, Antarctica, the pyramids of Egypt. The sort of list we all have at some stage in our lives. Then I had the anti-list. The list of places I would never want to go to… the war torn, the dangerous and India. In fact India was at the top.
People I would meet on my travels would ask me oh, have you been to India, assuming I had and when I would reply oh no, I have Noooo desire to go to India they would look at me oddly. Too busy, too dirty, too many beggars, too big to see everything, just not my cup of tea.
Then I bought a camera, and I fell in love with photography and all of that changed. Somehow India moved from the top of the NO list to top of the YES list. I would see these amazing images of the people and the places and I just wanted to go. I wanted to make pictures like those. I wanted the chance to be in the middle of all of that.
The issue for me is after 10+ years of telling myslef all the reasons not to go, they had kind of set in and become some sort of truth. India would be horrible but I would suffer through. Then I met some travelers who had been and they were like – India – LOVE IT!!! Indeed I have a friend at home that loves India so much she almost lives a sari clad Bollywood lifestyle in Brisbane, Australia.
Dave, who knows me travelling the best, was cautious. “If you don’t like it, that’s ok, we can just move on”. So with all of these nervous thoughts racing through my head we landed at Cochin airport in the southwest of India, braced for the onslaught!
And there wasn’t one 🙂 We can’t work out why not, which is quite funny in itself. Perhaps it is being in the very southern south. Perhaps it is just so damned hot and being in the lowest of the low season at the moment for travel the touts have simply given up. Whatever the reasons, we are pretty happy about it. There are no major crowds, very few beggars and everything basically feels like a grown up, sophisticated Sri Lanka. I can go to the shops and buy whatever I want – clothes, toiletries, souvenirs (and no – you couldn’t get any of those things with ease or quality in Sri Lanka).
Basically – I LOVE INDIA (well the southern bit that we have seen so far anyway 😉 )
Bring it on!!!!! 🙂
This gentleman was sitting opposite us on the train and the salesman dropped a pile of self help books on the seat. The gent was happily having a look through them so when I pulled out the camera he kindly posed for me holding up a book. There was everything from learn to speak Tamil, to learn to write English to 101 Steps to Success (which I might add had some very good and practical tips that some folks at home could use 😉 ).
The fishermen of Kerala region have developed a netting system whereby from the shore they drop a big net into the beachfront waters, let it sit on the bottom for a few minutes then haul it back up using a weighted cantilever. I don’t think we saw much in the way of catch but it was a great spectacle.
One of the fishermen took this one of me. He had invited me to the end of his netting to get a better view of the fishing nets and so insisted that he get a piccy of me. Handed him the camera and I tell you what – he knew where the button was better than Dave does 😉 Must capture a few tourists 🙂