I must start off by saying that January 12th was a terrible day. This may be an unfair assessment. I woke up on a luxury house boat, ate toast and butter, was driven for an hour or two in the backseat of a van all the way to Kochi, where we found a lovely hotel called the Orion, with books. (Unfortunately I've read 11 books this year. 5 of them were actually on the list, and one of them was unplanned. I need to catch up on French and writing.)
I sat out on the balcony… and read romance books. I decided that I needed to get it out of my system, and so I am perhaps frivolously indulging and enjoying myself regally, which is the entire point. I don't feel guilty about doing it— which means that I need this break— otherwise I'd not be enjoying myself.
After hours at the hotel, we decided to go to the Dutch palace. A small, white washed house, inside there are murals— scenes from the Ramayana. The palace serves as more of a museum than anything else. (Possibly more later.)
Afterward, we headed toward the Paradesi Synagogue, with imported blue floor tiles from China— each unique, beautiful lamps, and light blue interior walls that made it comforting. And open. (Possibly more later.)
We ate at Caza Maria, which according to Mom had the best Indian food in India— but to me it tasted like soap (cilantro is a strange herb)… and there were no spices at all. I don't like spicy foods, but I'd been almost looking forward to eating some. The hot banana and ice cream didn't appeal to me. And the mint and sugar lassi tasted like… fresh mint. In short, I had a bad meal and I was, in the words of Kat Stratford, 'sweating like a pig.'
Ioan sat in front on the tuk-tuk home, and the driver, as all tuk-tuk drivers do when Ioan sits in front, asked Ioan his name, introduced himself (Haneesh— pronounced ah-NEHSH), and told us he sang. His group's small poster was on the backrest of his seat.
(Haneesh looks a little like Hrithik Roshan, but darker, and with a completely different smile. He also chews gum.)
As he took off he began humming a song we recognized.
We spent the next two minutes singing "Barbie Girl" by AQUA while Haneesh drove at top speed over bumpy roads.
And suddenly, the day was immeasurably better and I was in a better mood than ever.
It's the little things that count. It's the people. It's the little chance encounters that make this topsy-turvy life interesting.
After we reached Orion, we kids took a picture with him. He asked us to send him the picture and we asked for his e-mail address. When he started writing down his home address, we realized that we might not actually be able to send it.
BUT— we are most certainly going to try.