Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Day Around Cochin, India

Cochin, sometimes called Kochi, has always been a trading port on southwest India, one of the first ports traders hit coming from Europe. It was first occupied by Portugal, then Holland, and soon after Briton, before India gained its independence. It’s now a vast city of over two million souls, spanning several islands. The majority of locals are, surprisingly, Christian. So I was expecting a great deal of historical sites to visit. Silly me. I should have done my homework, rather than rely on Herman to sort it out.

As I say, I had high expectations so when our guide took us on an all-day tour of the old town, I was sorely disappointed at what little there is to see.

Admittedly, our hotel was a bit run down but had an “old world” charm. It was very comfortable and the Indian-food buffet breakfast was fantastic. I think I gained two pounds in one sitting.

Believe it or not, these fishing nets are considered the top tourist site in the city. There are three huge Chinese-style fishing nets on a filthy, litter-covered beach.

But of course, the nets work and there’s a variety of fish and shrimp to be had on that litter-covered beach.

I thought these were spices, since we saw them at the spice market. But it turns out they are powder for decorating the face, generally a simple dot on the forehead. Love the colors.

“Jew Town”, as local people call it today. Once home to tens of thousands of Jews but only a handful remain today. It’s also a great place to get locals spices. There is an old synagogue there, but it’s tiny and dull, and not worth posting a picture of.

Lunch was squid and fish in different sauces. Indian food is my favorite. I never get tired of eating it. The spicier the better. This simple meal was the highlight of the day.

We attended a two-hour, two-man, cultural show. The first hour was watching these men putting on their makeup. Not at all interesting.

The show was all dance movements. No dialog. No singing. It was interesting for the first fifteen minutes. 

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