We spent the last two days in Palakkad at Harish’s family home. It was very special to stay with his family and we had a wonderful time. His mother and father were incredibly nice. On Wednesday afternoon we visited the Rock Garden at Malampuhza, a snake farm, and we took a gondola ride across a beautiful park.
|Touk-Touk into town for lunch|
|Marty posing at the Rock Garden|
|I couldn't resist a photo|
|Pilar and I on the "Gondola"|
|Dinner with Harish's family|
Palakkad is in the foothills of the Ghats and has a tropical feel like much of Kerala. It was fun to watch Jaime interact with his family and give her a hard time about behaving herself…jokingly with love, that is. On our last night there, Harish and Marty decided they would celebrate with a few beers. Jaime did not want to drink because it would be disrespectful to his parents. Somehow, it was decided that if Harish’s mother had a beer, then it was OK for Jaime to have one too. The funny thing was, neither of them wanted one and they kept up the same pace sip for sip. Jaime wouldn’t take a drink unless Harish’s mother took one first… this was all unspoken of course, but I was totally onto them. When I made my observations known in a joking way and Harish’s Mom realized what Jaime was doing, she took her ¾ full beer and totally slammed it in one gulp, looked at Jaime, and said in Malayalam… there, drink up! It was so very funny! Then there was the fact that the entire time Harish’s father was in the kitchen making us dinner and having his own cocktail. It was not necessarily the typical Indian family roles I was expecting, but that’s the funny thing about generalizations and male and female stereotypical roles… they are never what you might think.
It was a very nice end to a week with our dear friends and our trip to India would definitely not have been half as spectacular without them.
Thursday morning after breakfast we hired a driver to take us back to Cochin where we were to fly out the next day. I was bound and determined to get a bit of shopping done, and I certainly did not want to wait until Delhi to have to do it. We got a nice hotel downtown and spent the evening perusing shops and buying a few souvenirs. Since our flight left Cochin at 6:30 am, we had to get up at 3:30 am to make it on time. I am now on the plane, and I can feel the effects of 3 weeks of non-stop fun. This trip has been quite the adventure and we have all learned so very much. The girls have amazed me, as usual. It blows me away what little world travelers they have turned into. They acclimate to diverse situations without a hitch, they don’t complain about much, and they pretty much just go with the flow. We are in Delhi for about 2 days and will hopefully hook up with one of my students and his family for dinner in Delhi before we fly out Sunday at 3 am (ouch!). We are looking at about 40 hours total en route including layovers in Beijing and L.A. We are all super excited to go home for a few weeks and relax with a bit of normalcy, but this next leg of travel should be a real doozie! We arrive Monday at some point, so if some odd phone number pops up on your caller ID in the next few weeks, it just might be us!
Let the Jetlag Madness begin!!!!