Day 2 – Backwater tours – The adventures of Jaspreet & T

We joined a 7 hour backwater tour on a house boat with a deck large enough to cater for the 10 tourist on-board. The scenery of coconut tree covered islands and rivers filtered with canoes catching mussels and chinese fishing nets was very pretty. My first move was to whip out the camera, which wouldn’t switch on, and after 15 minutes of wishing hateful shit on Olympus, I finally asked a nice Malaysian man with a 2 foot long impressive looking lens if he could kindly send me some of his photo’s.

Our tour guide, Srijiv (or something like that) was a funny little fellow, very informative but would end every sentence by repeating the last word questioningly, with a slightly confused look on his face, seeking assurance that he had indeed selected the last word correctly. It was a great way of engaging his audience, though it did make us question whether he knew what he was talking about.

Srijiv prided himself in being an uncertified Ayurvedic practitioner, grabbing each girl (only the girls mind you) by the wrist, and informing us of our health issues.

Srijiv to Jaspreet – ‘You have a problem from here to here’ gesturing between her right knee to her right ankle

Jaspreet – ‘Well, I do have a big cut on my left shin’ displays a deep cut on her left leg

Everyone raises an eyebrow – sure, he picked the right leg instead of the left leg, but at least he chose the legs region correctly.

Srijiv, to T holding her wrist in concentration, then finally saying – ‘I’m too embarrassed to say your problem out loud’

T, curious – ‘Can you at least tell me what area its in’ thinking it must be in the neck but wondering why that would cause any kind of shame.

Srigiv – ‘It’s in this area’ indicates between under my belly button to the top of my thighs.

T, quietly to Jaspreet – ‘Great. It seems I have a problem with my vagina’

Only in India – Currency sweets

Coming back in the evening to Fort Cochin, a small portuguese heritage town described as the ‘main city’ of Kerala, after a full day of beautiful backwater tours, we stop off at the local corner shop to stock up on water and nibblies.

This modern-day market was run by a middle-aged local Indian couple, she was on the computer register and he was at the cash register.

The screen showed 122 rupees owed. I hand over 125 rupees, to which her husband hands me back 3 Milkyway lollies.

T – ‘Erm, it’s meant to be 3 rupees in change?’

Corner shop man smiles serenely with a slight head wobble and states cheerfully in a voice that sung – ‘No change’

T, in slight shock, realised his cash register was actually a jar full of lollies –
‘You have no change?’

Corner shop man, with a toothy smile so wide it made his eyes tiny, repeats himself with a very upbeat –‘No change’ Then points to the 3 milkyway lollies he had handed me as currency – ‘Good health to you!’

There was no arguing with this kind of logic.

I kept the 3 lollies with the rest of my change, some lucky waiter was going to get a super tip tonight.