If you ever want to feel alive, visit India. It could be the smell, the heat or the people but, love it or hate it, you’ll remember the feeling of walking out of the airport into the chaos for the rest of your life.
Having visited on numerous occasions, the first whiff of India hits you hard, especially when you have two blonde babies in tow. Its a pretty weird feeling, as you never really feel in control in India, no matter how many times you have been there.
We arrived in Delhi late at night after a 12 hour flight from Japan. In Japan, the taxi drivers wear white gloves, drive slowly and respect the road. In India, the taxi drivers only job is to get you to your destination as fast as possible, whilst driving via his cousin’s jewellery shop, fleece you for as much cash as possible and then get back to the hunt for the next tourist. Regardless, we were in India and heading to Kerala, whom we named our daughter after, without visiting the state.
After a quick sleep and short flight, we arrived in Kochin, Kerala. As it happens the first face we saw was our friend from Cape Town, Alistair Campbell, strutting his stuff with his go pro attached to his chest.
We spent a few days in Kochin with our friends Kristina and Ali, visiting some great historical sites and watching the crazy Indian world go by.
Including watching a Kerala dance called Kathakali, as pictured below. Kai didn’t sleep that night, in fact I don’t think he has slept since. Ive bought myself a replica costume and now bring it out when he is naughty.
One of my favourite Kochin experiences was taking the kids to the local playpark. Normally this is a mundane experience, but in India with blonde children, one would have thought Justin Bieber had arrived when the twins hit the roundabout. They even wheeled out the deaf and blind children to come and meet the newfound celebrities. They both took it in their stride, as little pop stars do.
In India, you never really get what you ask for, as we found out on our “sundowner cruise”. Nellie asked for a typical cruise to watch the sun go down and we got something quite “unique” After a one hour tuc tuc ride to nowhere, we ended up deep in the backwaters of Kerala , only to be dropped of next to a very small wooden boat with 5 local teenagers, who to turned out to be novice tour guides. It was one of those typical travel moments of getting an experience of a lifetime without having to look for it. For the next 3 hours, were we taken on a guided journey through the backwaters of Kerala without a tourist in site, something quite special!