Catching up with Howie in the far southwest of India (And don't forget: Goo-gle SUCKS!)
a clip you can view here. (I couldn't embed it because the demolished the rest of this post, thanks to the software our bloghost, Blogger (now owned by Google), forces us to use, the worst software of the last 1000 years. Let's say it all together: Goo-gle SUCKS! Goo-gle SUCKS! Goo-gle SUCKS!
As many readers will have noticed, Howie has been in India these last two or three weeks -- first in Delhi, where his friend Roland eventually joined him, then in Cochin in the state of Kerala (see the map above). I have been perhaps remiss in directing attention to the posts he's been putting up on his travel blog, "Around The World Blog." So I thought this would be a good time to catch up. There are more posts to come, including one on the, er, adventurous return journey (still in progress!). But here's what has already appeared.
"Would You Stay In A Hotel Named Eros?" (Dec. 29)
The biggest story in Delhi for the week we've been here so far-- dominating the front page and next 4 pages of every newspaper-- is about a young woman who was gang-raped on a bus and how common it is for women to be sexually harassed. The whole city had practically been shut down by the protests over the episode and the woman was so brutally assaulted that she may die and has already had her intestines removed. [As we know, the woman was evacuated to Singapore, where she died. -- Ed.</>]
"Kerala -- Where To Stay In Cochin" (Dec. 31)
Kerala has come a long way since [Howie's first visit, in 1970]. It's a relatively wealthy state now and has been successfully promoted the way Florida was in the U.S. in the 50s and 60s-- a beautiful, unspoiled tropic vacation paradise. The explosively expanding Indian middle class likes vacationing here. So do Europeans. . . . Our first choice in any case is to rent a house. So we did. This one is a brand new apartment overlooking the Arabian Sea, a little way (5-10 minute walk) from the hustle and bustle of the real touristy parts of the island. It's nothing too fancy. . . . Roland and I are only the second guests to have stayed here; it's that new. Two weeks ago Cochin had a big music festival-- it's in swing 'til March-- and M.I.A. (Maya), a U.K. pop star/rapper-- from Sri Lanka-- headlined and she and her family stayed in our house. They were the first guests. Her father was a well-known Tamil activist. She got into some kind of twitter argument with Anderson Cooper after she felt he implied she's a terrorist (which she isn't).
"Ayurvedic Treatment In Cochin, Kerala" (Jan. 4)
Traditional tourist guide books all say Cochin in central Kerala is a beautiful town but they them give it the bum rap of claiming it's the kind of place to stay for a day or two before moving on to see the rest of the state. That may be a good way to go-- but it surely isn't the only way to go. Cochin (Kochi) is a dreamy, mellow tropical paradise, an idillic place to just veg out and relax. . . . I found a serious ayurvedic clinic and the doctor understood how to treat hives. . . . She gave me a topical cream and some herbal manjishtadi kashayam tablets (which claims to be good for skin diseases, obsesity, gout, syphilis, eye diseases and the common cold). . . . The massage was inexpensive (around $18) and absolutely expertly done, good enough for me to make appointments for every day for the rest of our stay in Kerala. The thing I like about it are the long stroke-- like one powerful stroke from the neck to the ankle or one the entire length of the spine.
And don't forget: Goo-gle SUCKS! Goo-gle SUCKS! Goo-gle SUCKS! Tell your relatives, your friends, your enemies. Goo-gle SUCKS! Goo-gle SUCKS! Goo-gle SUCKS!