The sun is out and its 30 degrees Celsius (practice your temperature conversions boys and girls). That’s almost all I have to say (kidding). We left cold, snowy, gray Michigan and we have arrived in warm, sunny, and colorful southern India. We are very close to the tip of India in Cochin (or Kochi).

Our last flight was uneventful – well, there was the impressive speed at which the plane took off, we got full meal service (including coffee and tea) and landed again – all in the space of 45 minutes. I took a few photos of the mountains from the plane. For all of you who are suffering through the snow and cold, look at the pics and ask me again why we went to India …

The airport in Cochin is a small two-gate airport, and although there was a throng of taxi drivers outside the airport, it was really no worse than what you’d see in NYC or San Diego and there is an organized system at this airport where you can prepay your taxi service (which is what we did – about US$10 for a 40-minute ride … should you tip for prepaid cabs here I wonder?).

The traffic is crazy here, very reminiscent of Cairo – but more alternative forms of transport (small cars, heavy duty trucks (think dump truck size) motor rickshaws, motorbikes, and bicycles). Most of the women on motorbikes were riding sidesaddle behind the driver. A few of these women were carrying out this rather impressive feat while carrying babies! This sign in particular had me chuckling. It must’ve been at an intersection with a stoplight, because we stopped long enough for me to take the picture.

The billboards here are totally cracking me up. You know those billboards that show a woman draped on top of a sports car? Well, there’s this great billboard here of a woman in full sari draped on the hood of a car – I tried to take a photo of this billboard three times, but we were going to fast and you don’t dare stick your camera out a window – it will surely get your arm hit by the traffic in the next lane. I did get this pic of a billboard with a piggy bank wearing a helmet (an ad for a savings account at some bank).

Many of the trucks are colorful and decorated with tigers, elephants, and a variety of other unidentifiable icons. I can’t wait to take more pics (moving at a slower speed). Here’s one I did risk by holding my camera slightly out the window and pointing it backwards.

The women’s saris are also very beautiful and I can already tell that I will have to resist the urge to buy many colorful tops to bring back home – or at least resist the urge until right before Joel goes home – when I can send him with an extra checked bag!

I can scarcely believe we have actually arrived in our hotel in Cochin (very nice to have a hot shower and some clean clothes). Tonight we meet the rest of our group – I’m already getting good vibes and I think it’s going to be a fantastic trip!

Possibly Related Posts: