Sunday, October 15, 2017

Kochi, Kerala, India

I was in Kochi some months back to attend another friend's wedding. We went through the food, pretended we were part of another group which, unlike us, had got a gift for the couple, got our picture clicked onstage with that group, and then headed out.

It was between swallowing pride and letting it say alchol or typing out prohibited in Malayalam again.

Vypin Beach

The beach is where I discovered that one of my lenses was broken. That, combined with a low sun, resulted in my pictures looking like they were clicked with an alien invasion underway in the background. It couldn't have been us considering that we were only four in number and one of us even had Kerala connections, although it was Palakkad. If we'd dressed up better for the wedding, we could have also claimed that we came in a two piece and conveniently mumbled the 'a two' part.  Actually, we didn't have to do all that. We could have just said we came in peace. It's not like we didn't come in peace.

Kochi has other beaches by the way, some of which are much closer to the city too.

Caught the one on the left in the middle of being beamed up.
Beaming up failed and now that's the aspect ratio he's stuck with.

That glow will keep growing and soon encapsulate everything and turn every living thing to vapour and ashes.
Except, obviously, tardigrades. The next day they'll be like, "Where is everybody?"
Concern will slowly give way to truimphant bitching about how they hated the rest of us anyway.

The sea could be solidified granite.
I'd love to see the expression on Moses' face when this refused to split.
The Arabian Sea bed would have been a very long walk anyway.
Might explain why there as so few Jews around?

Captain Planet came under a road roller.

Uttaranchal POV looking at UP.

Fort Kochi and Jew Town

I wasn't sure where Jew Town started and ended exactly so this goes in with the rest of the island.

Bonus section
Being a nice, soft sounding word of just one syllable, it's very easy to do Jew puns -

What did Anne's friend say to her when she was leaving for her tuiton with her siblings?

What did Woody's wife ask the maid after she returned from a long trip?
Did Jew miss me?

What did the doctor say when Scarlett complained about a fungal infection?
Mild Jew?

An Albert collective pooled in all their art to start this.
Or they missed the apostrophe on the Albert.

A mirror on a tree has to be a remnant of a barber shop.
Business must have been boosted by having the eye brows and hairlines appear closer than they were.

A transformer and an ent had a baby who didn't want any of the excitement as her parents.
A quiet life and a career in real estate suited her just fine.

One of the friends was wearing a t-shirt by a brand which had unfortunately decided to call itself Spunk.
In hindsight, we should have gone to this restaurant for lunch. They might have given us a discount.

Prosecuted is spelt procecuted, okay, but why is it in sing-song?
The person painting the sign was probably under the influence of alcohol, unaware that it was prohibited.

In Delhi, this word was used for a horny woman.
It also conveniently rhymes with dhadkan, which means heartbeat.
It deserves to be a part of of a lot more lyrics than the 0 songs it is at right now.

If a graph theorist repainted The Last Supper.

It's harder to fit, "Day To Mark the End of Another Year You Haven't Been King For."

Santa Cruz Basilica

There was a really big church which we couldn't go around a lot because mass was underway. This is another show of the double standards we have in society - when mass is happening in church, it needs to be respected but when mass is happening in people, it can be made fun of.

Every time I look at a church, I think adding some really wide
wings to it, would make for a very interesting looking aircraft.

Every high school maths teacher right before the calculus lessons to the commerce kids.

Kerala Kathakali Centre

It's basically a bunch of curios lying around and an auditorium where they apparently schedule performances if at least eight people buy tickets, or something along those lines. You could check their website before heading there.

When your Kathakali performance involves portraying a character who is stoned.

A really good actor can emote with just his double chin.

The Indo-Portugese Museum

The museum makes for an interesting tour with lots of tidbits from earlier centuries. Photography was not allowed.

Chinese Fishing Nets

These are the symbols of Cochin apparently. In fact, one of the proposed origins of the name, Cochin, is that it was originally co-Chin which translates to, 'like China'.

The locals must have been so gullible. They probably had no idea what China even looks like. Except for this dimsum place we grabbed a snack at, the similarity with China wasn't obvious to me either. Unless of course they installed the nets first and then put spin on the obvious similarity to make it sound like a discovery. The second theory gather weight once you factor in that it was the Chinese who named it co-Chin.

One possibility behind the acceptance is that their earlier name was too long and given the clear lack of good spellers they had to keep doing their letterheads over and over again which added to the budget. This shorter name, irrespective of what it was, was welcome. If it were left to me, I'd rename Kota as Cochin, and the Cochin could then be called whatever it wanted to be called.

Looking at it, I get the feeling that they work like chopsticks.
I'm going to call them co-chopsticks.

Koshi Art Cafe

Our stop for lunch was probably severely over-priced by Kochi standards but very affordable by Bangalore standards. I've since been told this is a very mainstream-ey restaurant and there are better, cheaper options.

What the corporate hierarchy feels like at banks.
Even the guy doing photocopies is a vice president.

The person in the background is the Spunk t-shirt wearer.
Just remembered how he is also the co-founder of a company
that is trying to make sanitary pads more accessible.
It makes sense now.

No amount of nudging or prodding or poking got this cat to move away.
A couple of months later, Richard Thaler, the nudge theory guy, wins a Nobel prize.
Exactly the sort of thing that makes me wonder whether I should have my hypothetical children vaccinated or not,

Burning Man or Burnt Man?
Coachella or Kochi?

All this recent hype about AI? It's all because of a technique called deep learning.
To the, uhm, untrained eye, this is what deep learning looks like.

Elephant Sightings

One with a mat finish.


Kate Moss.

The ancient Hindus invented plus sized models.

Ginger Cafe

It's just like regular food except the hair you find in the food is red. It's also expensive because they have an antique store boutique sort of thing attached to the restaurant.

With this government's emphasis on yoga, even mermaids have to do surya namaskars.
They can't do all the asanas, so the ones they can manage, they have to do for longer.

The ancient Hindus invented serial killers.

Line it with some bar stools and it's a party boat.

Gingers might be secretly building a Death Star-like weapon.
Maybe it is to teleport them to their home planet,
Mars, and it just hasn't come directly overhead yet?
I hope Elon Musk knows about this.
Wait, what if Elon Musk's hair is dyed?
And maybe he's actively sabotaging SpaceX?
So he can lead a race of only gingers on Mars?

To answer the question posed by the Arctic Monkeys to the rest of us, even if rhetorical, if
they were pleasant, and if they could have a laugh, then they'd look like this and nobody would
really take them seriously 
and that would defeat the purpose of having them in the first place.

Mattancherry Palace

The palace, also known as The Dutch Palace, has lots of glorious murals of ancient Hindu stories which do a great job of reminding you how disconnected you are from your own culture. They also have these signs which make you not regret the disconnect from our own culture as much.

Photography not allowed again.

We weren't approved guides but we went in anyway.

At least two of us weren't Hindus but we went in anyway.

Pardesi Synagogue

It's a very old synagogue, which didn't permit photographs either. We were there for a good half hour, and also tried to find a floor tile which was a duplicate of any other floor tile to counter their claim that all the tiles were unique, but didn't bump into any famous Jews there so that was a little disappointing though. However, ticket prices would probably be higher if they could guarantee celebrity run ins.

Lulu Mall

At the end of the two days, we copped out and ended up going to this famous mall. No regrets because Paragon served the best appam-stew I've ever had. Photography was allowed for a change, but there wasn't much to photograph.

If anybody has contacts in Sparky's, please let me know.
I should be collecting some money from them for this product placement.

While We Were Getting Around

Don't you have to wear seatbelts in ferries?

There is a Counter Strike map inspiration to be had here.

At the bus pick up point, noticed that Modi now grants franchises.
It's ridiculous, the extent to which this government will go to supplant the constitution.

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