Dave and I arrived in Fort Kochi two days before the official end of the Rickshaw Run, so we took advantage of the time by touring the Fort Kochi area. We met a guy outside our hotel that spoke really good English and had a rickshaw taxi. He helped us run some very important errands, such as booking our flights to Varanasi and to Mumbai for our flight to the states. We were starting to panic because we could not book online or over the phone using an international (American) credit card. He took us to a travel agent (remember those?) where we booked the flights and paid cash. Shew! We were able to get out of India after all. Having endeared himself to us, we hired him for the whole next day. For over 8 hours of his time, vehicle use, and petrol he only charged us 250 rupies! This is only about US$3.50. Did we haggle with him? No! Dave insisted he accept a lot more. We just don’t understand haggling in India. What are we going to argue about pennies? Dimes? It is nothing to us, but everything to them.
In the video below, I show a photo of a Kathakali ad on a wall. This is a traditional theater that we didn’t make it to but wish we did. Google it. It is pretty cool. The best part is the prep: all the makeup and costuming work. Amazing! I also mention some ladies that asked me to take their photo outside of a Catholic church. I am not sure if they were there for the church. If so, then I cannot tell the difference between Hindus and Christians by appearance. I’m not sure why I expected to. You can’t judge a book by its cover! One final note: Over-fishing is a worldwide problem and I typically despise the use of nets. However, these Chinese fishing nets can only be used where they are installed and they do not scrape the bottom. They are limited to catching whatever swims into the net while it is down. This is a much less damaging form of fishing with nets and I am glad we saw a demonstration.
As you can see, there is not a whole lot in Fort Kochi for tourists. But I like it that way. India is in less danger of losing their culture any time soon than many of the countries we have visited.