Thursday, 5 February 2009

part five of 'Mumbai, Goa, and Kerala'

(continued from part four)

The next day we took on the famous ‘elephant shower’ that had been our main motivation to make the journey all the way to the East, or I should say, my main motivation which dragged Marieke along. ‘Washing an elephant’ had been the metaphor for my main impetus to make the whole journey down south in the first place. Hence we sat on the back of one of those units the next day while the guy guiding the animal maximally exploited the capacity of our camera by constantly taking the most random pictures, initially appreciated but later slightly scrutinized by us as during later stages (the actual shower) the device had almost run out of battery. After the ride we took the elephant to a basin where it lied down to be washed. Along with its caretakers we used pieces of coconut shell to scrub off dirt and dung from its body (we actually paid a whole lot for this :P ) while cooling it down with water from a tube. After washing the elephant it was time to take turns, as I got to sit on its back once more but now to be given a shower! Taking water from a bucket with its trunk in order to subsequently splash it all over me the elephant returned the favour of a good cold midday bath! Truly an exceptional experience that was worth all the money we overpaid for it.

The last day of our trip was spent in Fort Kochi, a lovely Portuguese town with picturesque streets, charming cafes and houses, pretty white churches and view on the harbour. The Dutch palace we visited was Dutch nor worth visiting but the two rupee entrance fee was not a big loss. On the airplane several hours later (after the usual rush within too tight a schedule and the slight touch of excitement that goes along with it) neither of us felt like going back to Delhi (to express it decently) but inevitably we ended up back home. Sitting in a cab Sunday night with my backpack full of dirty clothing next to me thoughts drifted back to the scene depicted below..

(the end)

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