Trivandrum, Kerala, India – Rich had to go to the post office, so I arranged to meet him on the beach later in the afternoon, went to the bank to restock the coffers for the northern half of the country. Then boarded an Indian version of an African matatu down to Kovalam beach.
Looking out the window during the ride, I reflected on what we had seen so far and came to this conclusion, India is not just one country, each state is totally different from every other state. The peoples’ attitudes, the language, the food, and even some of the customs change each time you cross the border into a different state. India could actually be seen as a working model for the European Community, for each state has their own individual identity and their own regional state governments all under the umbrella of the central government of India. The Europeans are all concerned that they would lose their identity under the European Union, but the individual Indian states are living proof that such a union can, in fact exist.
Our matatu arrived in Kovalam, which is a very large western tourist resort. It is nice, no doubt, but extremely touristy with prices to match. There are two coasts, each beach lined with row after row of restaurants and craft shops all over-priced. Great place for a two-week holiday, definitely better than Goa, but not for the budget traveler.
I lounged around on the beach and swam a lot, for we were about to travel north and be land locked for at least two months. I went walking around in the afternoon and met Rich at 5 p.m. We sat and had tea while watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean. We headed back to Trivandrum for dinner and to buy food for our two-day train journey. Surely thereafter, we returned to the room to relax and read Alice in Wonderland, a great book to read when high.