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Published: March 21st 2020
Wow, what a shock! It’s as if we’ve been put in a time machine and fast forwarded about 60years.
Apart from the heat that greeted us at 10pm. our taxi driver was the only one waiting for passengers! The drive to Fort Kochi was on good roads, hardly any tooting, passed numerous large car showrooms, plenty of neon lights, not a single cow and from what we could see in the dark, no obvious piles of rubbish.
Usually Fort Kochi is a very popular tourist visit, however all the attractions have been closed due to the Corona virus. There are a few White people around, very few! Consequently plenty of tuk tuk drivers trying to get a job. One guy we were talking to, asked if we could do him a favour, he didn’t want any money from us, but if he could take us to a certain shop, he’d get a voucher for 2kgs.of rice. We agreed to go with him, and had a very difficult 10-15 mins. of hard sell... He was actually waiting for us when we came out of the shop and said that he’d take us back to where we were. It didn’t cost us
anything but when half a dozen start asking for the same thing, either a voucher for fuel or food, it’s very difficult . It’s only going to get worse for them. We then walked along a street that had shops on both sides of the road... mostly selling the same stuff! However one guy was very persuasive and I went in. We were the first shoppers in 5days! You sort of feel obligated to buy something.
We were glad that we’d only booked for 2 nights and were moving on in the morning, to the beach and hopefully some sea breeze.
We had thought that we could have done a two night house boat trip but these have now been stopped. So we are now staying in Alleppy in a homestay with a young couple and their little daughter. The wife is English and it’s all rather lovely, On the beach, hardly anyone around, what’s not to like.
We had made the decision a few days ago to shorten our stay in India and seeing that we can fly out of Kochi to Dubai we changed our flights. Everyone from home ,for some reason wants us to come back and
keeps saying for us to keep safe......We think looking at the news and all the numbers....we are in the best possible place . Mostly people are happy to see us and appreciate that if we are still here , we have been in India for a long time. We did stop for an ice-cream the other day and the young guy came out of his kiosk with a hanky round his face and shouting The C word!!... apparently they can be arrested for this now, so might have to dob him in.....we haven’t had a selfie for ages so some good!
Then India decided to stop all international flights for a week starting on the 21st The date we’d just changed our flights to.......so would we be able to leave..... would we be bothered if we had to stay here..... We’ve been promised free board and lodging for a bit of child care....
At the moment it looks like our flight is the last one out for who knows how long....
This trip has been very different for many reasons. The first time that we have shared an apartment with friends..(think we're still talking!) The first time for a semi
organised tour and throwing in a pandemic for good measure, this will be a trip we will never forget!
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