Last night I flew into Kerala, too late to get a feel for my surroundings so I was unsure of what the weekend here would bring me. I woke up though, feeling so good after a whole room and double bed to myself. A shower from an actual shower head also felt amazing, despite the hot water not working for me, it beats water from a bucket any day. I ventured down further to a place called Kovalam, and as the rickshaw drew closer I knew I was in for an amazing weekend with some incredible sights to see. Slowly the roads became more surrounded by greenery, the highway started to drop off and we drove down a tiny road to the side, houses started to appear on one side with trees and plants growing on the other, in an organised and chaotic but beautiful way. It was full of such an intense green, something I wasn’t used to in my dirt filled village.
My room’s view looked out on to the river, lined with palm trees and touched by the fish beneath the water, rippling the surface above. Past that was a walk way and some grass area, until it finally hit the ocean, with waves big enough I could hear them from my seat on my balcony, breathing in the fresh air of this beautiful new state.
It was more of a touristy area, I could tell because I’d seen more non-Indian people in one hour than I’d seen for the past three weeks. They were here for the beaches, staying in fancy hotels while I stayed in my little guesthouse, complete with its flaws and a caretaker who spoke little to no English. I liked being a part of the more cultured area though, walking past houses and waving to people as I did, all still offering their words of hello and smiles to further brighten my day. The shop owners here were pushy, and the begging wasn’t by the homeless, it was just by kids in their houses, saying hello to me and then saying ‘ten rupees’, holding out their hands for any money I may offer. I was starting to get frustrated with the begging; so often I see the people who are just generous and are so happy with what they have, no matter how little. However, some people are happy enough to ask for it as soon as they’ve been greeted, as though that was their cue to beg for money, even if they don’t have a reason to offer.
I continued to walk on though and examined the beautiful greenery around me, keen to have some time away to myself and away from the cramped house shared between all six of us, living the true Indian village experience. I had some dinner overlooking the shoreline, watching the waves draw in as the sun went down.