A Very Different Christmas.

When we’ve been away for Christmas before, even in non Christian countries, you’ve always known that it was Christmas. Not here. We hear the sound of the call to prayer at the mosque, and the singing from the Hindu temples every day, & I thought that I heard hymns on Christmas Day, from a church. But Kerala, or at least this part, is clearly 50/50 Hindu & Muslim. Apparently Kerala has a democratically elected communist government– now there’s an oxymoron!

We decided to go and buy our replacement bag today, and the Hermitage organised a car and driver for us. When we arrived in shorts, it was suggested that Lou went and covered up!! Below knee length shorts were not recommended, and we could see why when we went out. We were surprised at the numbers of women completely covered up in black. The Hindus were welcoming, but the glares from the others was surprising. We saw a similar thing in Malaysia– the creeping “arabisation” of Muslims.

Nevertheless, a successful trip, and very interesting. The replacement bag was £11. When we arrived, we were astonished at the driving. On a scale of 1 to 10, with say British drivers at 9, India would be at 2 and French drivers now at 7!! Until we came here we thought that the French were terrible!
We’ve seen the light! Although we are now beginning to see some of the unwritten rules. The horn–1 toot means I’m here, 2 means I’m passing, 3– well? The cars seem to be so underpowered that no-one is going too fast, the phut- phuts are beautiful and everywhere and the roads so bad that again it’s all very slow.

With shorts frowned upon, Lou’s having the tailor here knock up another dress, as you do. At these prices, I understand why.

Amazingly, so far Lou hasn’t hijacked the yoga classes, but it won’t be long now I suspect. And perhaps a cookery class, because time is slipping by! Otherwise it’s just such a perfect climate– warm, balmy days and evenings, with dinner on the beach every night. We’ll see the difference when we move on I guess, as we move northwards.


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