Alleppey and Cochi

The setting of the sun in Alleppey and Cochi brings a beautiful, diffuse pink light every evening that I've only seen very occassionally where I live. I went to two parties in Allephuzah with Jay and Bones, the young dudes of Nani Residnce where I was staying. They were funny–constant tricksters and jokers–very different from the multitudes of serious Indians I've been meeting. Watching Indian guys dance with each other to "Om Shanti Om!" (a dance-pop hit here) was wonderful and hilarious, and I successfully avoided actually dancing with them… the young drunk Indian man is, if you can believe it, even more persistant than the sober one.
Took the train up to Cochin and stayed just inland of the giant fishing nets. Got a palm reading from an old man by the shore who said I'd have five kids. Ha!? Took a cooking class with a sweet retired couple and learned how to make an exquisite south Indian meal of coconut thoran, vegetable rice, and tomato fry. The next day I had a perfect cheese and tomato omlette and a warm death-by-chocolate cake at an adorable cafe called Teapot.
Afterward, I walked across the peninsula to Jew Town where I took a couple of illegal pics of the synagogue. Jews came from Israel somewhere between 1000 BC and 1400 AD (they're still not sure) and inhabited a few parts of India. In 1568, they built the synagogue I visited. There were about 2000 Jews left here, and all but 12 are not in Israel. And guess what?! I met one of the last surviving Cochin Jews! Her name is Sara Cohen, and she's 70 or 80. A total sweetheart. Met a family of South African Jews a the shul as well and we walked around Cochi for the evening. That night, we ate at an Italian place called Upstairs (which was.. upstairs). I ordered a panacotta for desert, hoping to eat it with my second piece of death-by-chocolate cake, and sadly the panacotta melted in its hot chocolate sauce on the way home. I ate it anyway. It's only a week since I was doing yoga four hours a day. What happened? Rickshaw drivers are constantly wanting to bring you here and there, and they're stunned when you want to walk somewhere.

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