I arrived to Kochi with very mixed feelings, after almost 5 hours in a local bus and a curvy bumpy road downhill. I felt dizzy and tired but I was also sad because I knew it was getting to an end. And the lasts stops had not been probably as amazing as I was expecting. My expectations might be too high, but Northern India had set them there. I was also a bit stressed: a couple of days in Munnar with no Wi-Fi and lots of planning to be done before getting to Thailand. But the plan was to have enough time to do everything while here, as I would be spending a few days.
As usual, the images of Jesus and the churches were everywhere including our guest house. We settled in the room, got dinner and spend the night catching up with the internet, chatting and mainly chilling. I got to check a few things for my next steps out of India, as I feel a bit nervous about it. And I don’t know how, I ended up finding some cheap flights from Myanmar, which is in the radar after Thailand and it’s been calling me for a while, to Vietnam, which was in my countries-to-see list. It started making sense in my head that if I was having time and it was not going to be possible to go to Angkor Wat (Cambodia) because of all the trouble with the visa, then it would be cool to cross back from Myanmar to Vietnam and, if possible, do a bit of Laos and Cambodia, since I am “around”. I went to sleep with the thought and when I woke up the first I did is to buy the flight. It was happening, I almost didn’t get sleep because of the excitement and now it was happening.
Next day we all three got up with lots of energy. So much energy that we got to see the whole town in the morning. To be honest it didn’t seem there was much to do: the Chinese fishing nets, a walk around the promenade and a couple of churches. I was amazed by the fishing nets. They seemed so old, made of wood and a mechanism that works perfectly with the help of human labour. I couldn’t stop watching them work. They were catching only a few fishes every time, but at times, they would be catching one or two big ones!
I found out that you actually can buy your fish and someone to cook it for you. Could it be any fresher?
By lunch time we had done pretty much everything you can do around Fort Kochi. What to do now? But India always has an answer for you! A tuk-tuk driver stopped us and proposed us a tour around the city with other things we could see, all in exchange of visits to some shops or emporium. No need to pay, no need to buy, no money. He just needed to bring potential clients to these expensive shops and he would earn “points”. In return, he would also drive us around the main attractions that are a bit further from the main area. As we didn’t have anything else to do, seemed like a great idea. Plus, Nicolo had to do some shopping so he was happy to see potential stuff to buy. We ended up been brought to 7 shops! Apparently, he had done 5 points (or shops) with somebody else in the morning and he needed 12. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to see that many. But we got to check a laundry place, where men and women worked equally in washing and ironing clothes. A ginger exporting factory. A Palace that seemed so bad that we didn’t even bother to get in. And 7 shops in between, which was exhausting. By the fourth one, every time I was getting in I was getting a headache. At the beginning everything was pretty cool to see, even if expensive, like furniture, it was interesting to have a look. But everything started looking like the same and we started spending 5 minutes in the shops, just playing around “the interested customer”. We were bad actors and it was quite obvious that we weren’t. The last two shops the driver had to ask us to stay 10 minutes and by the last one we were all the time looking at the watch.
That night was spent with beer and cards. We had earned it! So next day we woke up and walked around trying to find an ATM and figuring things out around the Jewish neighbourhood. With no idea about how to spend the evening we found a show to check out. Kathakali, it is called. It is a Kerala typical theatre kind of dancing show that seemed to me super interesting to see. First, we saw the makeup session to continue with an eyes dance and end up with the play. It kept us entertained until our last night together in India arrived.
We realised about the moment and I think we were all quite sad. There had been many farewells between us, but this one was definitive. Was it? I hope and truly hope that it wasn’t. I was hoping for a ‘see you later’. But I don’t know when. We thought somewhere in 2017 sounds like feasible. And stayed a bit sad, and still am while writing this from the hotel in Kochi. I am alone again. That is not a problem. That is how I started. I will meet so many more people in my way, though now I have been feeling lazy about starting over again. But this is the end of it. The end of the bond I had with them, or at least a pause. The end of India, as well. I have two more days to figure out things with my flights, my visas, my accommodation and my whereabouts in the next week. It is also the end of this stage, where I have learnt so much. I don’t think I even had time to absorb it. Maybe they are right about going home and take what you have learn and use it…But I don’t feel ready to go home. I feel that there is a world out there with so many things to see and do…And that I only have started now. That I will regret not to take this chance I have now. That I am not tired and I am not finished. I have more to see, more to learn, more to experience.
And even though I want to come back to India and see the North and see my friends again and share more moments with them…I need to keep going on my own, keep drawing my path and keep learning. I need more.