I Guess We’re Going to Kerala

Wax and rice stall 2Once we found out that Gonzaga’s film would be screened in a film festival in only two days we scrambled to make our travel arrangements. The film festival was being held in the city of Thrissur in the southern state of Kerala. That meant another overnight bus ride stood between us and stardom. (Alright, we weren’t actually expecting to become famous at the film festival. We weren’t even sure what to expect from a small film festival in India. But we were hopeful we’d at least receive some free passes and we planned to wear our cleanest clothes to make a good impression.)Bike DipWe got on our Thrissur-bound bus at 11:45 that night. More accurately, our bus was bound for Kochin, the final stop in Kerala. Thrissur was supposedly a few stops prior to Kochin. We woke up the next morning around 8 AM on a mostly empty bus cruising through a very different looking landscape. We overheard someone mention Kochin, which concerned us slightly, since we were supposed to be off the bus before reaching Kochin. When Gonzaga inquired with our driver (who spoke very little English) how near we were to Thrissur, the bus driver informed Gonzaga that this bus was not going to Thrissur at all. What the what?! We deduced that since no other passengers were going to Thrissur, the bus driver decided to opt for a more direct route to Kochin, cutting Thrissur out of the itinerary altogether.Hampi StoneFortunately Gonzaga had great timing, because the driver stopped the bus and indicated for us to get out and hop onto a smaller local bus pulling out of a parking lot just in front of us. Confused, but with no time to mull it over, we grabbed our bags and ran out of our bus toward the local bus which was just starting to drive away. Our bus driver shouted to a man on the sidewalk who shouted to the local bus driving away, which then began to slow its pace just enough for us to catch up and jump onto it while it was still moving. Phew! We’d made it! Wait, what exactly had we made? Where was this bus going anyway?Wax 2.2David and Gonzaga got ushered to the back of the bus while Austin made her way to the front which was reserved for the ladies. The bus reminded us of a 50’s diner with its shiny steel details and molded plastic with patterns reminiscent of counter tops. It was soon filled beyond capacity (as we now know to expect, thanks to our first experience in Pushkar) entirely with junior high school students. Too squished to turn around and locate David and Gonzaga, Austin made herself as small as possible and envied all of the long, freshly oiled and braided hair of the young women surrounding her. She felt very self conscious, her short, humidity-frizzed hair sticking out in all directions and her armpits probably smelling like an overnight bus ride. Meanwhile, David befriended a 13-year-old young man who helped to make sure we got off the bus in the city center.Burlap ShadowBy the time we squeezed our way out of the school bus and stepped onto the sidewalk in Thrissur, Austin had been holding her bladder for nearly 11 hours and could barely walk as a result and David was still burping from a night of bus sickness and starting to come down with some kind of illness. Gonzaga seemed to be the only one who still looked human. Definitely not a tourist destination, we had a difficult time finding any guesthouse or hotel in Thrissur. We walked into the first hotel we saw which appeared to be completely vacant, under construction and without a receptionist. Austin made a beeline to the restroom to relieve 11 hours of pressure while the others waited for any sign of life to appear in the lobby. We ultimately checked into a room there, intending to stay just a few days to attend the film festival. Convinced that we were probably the only guests in the hotel, we ended up using our room as a place to party and do hard drugs with the other celebrities from the film festival.

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6 thoughts on “I Guess We’re Going to Kerala

  1. Where ever you two wind up down the road, at least you won’t be kicking your backside thinking “Gee, I wished I’d seen the world when I was younger!” Keep going and keep enjoying. Sounds like a grand adventure. Can’t wait to read your book!

    • Denny,

      Thanks for the encouragement! You are not the first to suggest this book idea. Maybe we should start considering the possibility!
      We love that you are still following along with the blog and always appreciate your comments.

      D & A

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