Day 3 – Cherai Beach – The adventures of Jaspreet & T

Cherai beach is listed in the Lonely Planet as the best kept secret of Cochin, just 26km from Fort Cochin. With this in mind, Jaspreet and I booked ourselves into the Cherai Beach Resort which from their website looked like a paradise right on the beach.

The traditionally styled hut was beautifully built into the earth with a high roof, and well placed on the backwater lagoons so one could literally lean out of the bedroom window and feed the fish.

There was also a tree growing through the hut. It was fabulous!

The night brought on monsoon rains which kept all but two guests in the safety of their huts. Being the food motivated, courageous, people we are, Jaspreet and I braved it through the monsoon, fighting our way through 200 metres of thick and heavy rain, strong winds, lightning, and flooded walkways, to the resort restaurant in time for the buffet dinner.

Day at Cherai beach
The beach was not the protective cove envisioned, there was no time to rest and relax between shielding and defending ourselves verbally and visually from the local men who positioned themselves high on the rocks behind us, the ultimate predatory viewing position, and from the men who would deliberately walk past, slowing down to near stand still and gawk, and to the men who wanted to take pictures with us. As Jennie said ‘taking a photo with them means you’re their girlfriend’.

It was this day that I perfected my ‘stay away from me’ death stare.

Exploring Kerala – The adventures of Jaspreet & T

Fort Cochin had come highly recommended with descriptive terms like ‘ visual retreat’, ‘beautiful’, ‘the main city of Kerala’, and a ‘cauldron of diverse cultures’ which lead to my high expectation.

Day one – Checking out the streets of Fort Cochin
Our first morning in Fort Cochin found us wading through the main strip of town knee-deep in flood water, carrying our shoes, and moving at a pace of .0002 seconds per km.

We make it to Jew town, a main attraction of Fort Cochin, with mud splashes all up our legs and arse, but it was ok, it suited the dusty, muddy, environment. Unfortunately, being a Friday, jew town was closed, making it a ghost town instead of the impressive line up of handicrafts and antique stores expected.

The effort came with the very dedicated rickshaw drivers/sales men, who kept cutting us off by parking their rickshaws right in our path, stopping us in our tracks to try to convince us that we should ‘do them a favour’ by letting them take us to a ‘government run’ art gallery (smell commission anyone?)

Rickshaw driver /salesman – ‘You need to understand, if I can take you to the gallery, I will get a free T-Shirt’

I fell for that line in Bali buddy, its wasn’t going to happen india.

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.