Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ROW Lecture Tour - India Part 2.

This was my home for most of the time whilst I was in Kerala. A most delightful setting amongst the fruit trees, cocoanuts, bananas, jak fruit, and many others. Each day I was able to bathe in the river which made me feel very much at home, the river being a short walk through the plantation of cocoanuts and bananas.

And here we have the ubiquitous tuk tuk the local peoples taxi which is to be found almost everywhere in SE Asia. They are great for getting around in and quite reasonable with their fares. Although of course you need to learn to bargain, for this is a part of the Asian culture. And to always be sure to do so before you set out. Today some have a meter, which of course precludes all discussion. Even here though caution is required for in many instances the meter just does not work. One thing they can be good for too, is a great adrenalin rush, for driving in India is not for the unwary.

This was my contact with the world, the local internet cafe. Whilst in India I had the opportunity to use many such places, and this one was my favourite as it was scrupulously clean, something which was a rarity.

This is a view of the street which we visited to buy dates in bulk, with nearly every store, if not all the stores selling them

The dates were packed mostly in cartons, although as can be seen here, they also were available in larger quantities in plastic bags.

Here is the train on which we travelled for 8 to 9 hours to Bangalore. These trains usually consisted of 20 or more carriages and seemed to be always full to overflowing with every seat occupied and people sitting in the corridors. Although all the windows were open and they had lots of interior fans, the air still seemed to hardly circulate and it was quite hot. This did not bother me, it was the long period of sitting. So when I could, I spent many hours standing by the doorways.

All who visit India, so I believe, should avail themselves of the opportunity of travelling on the local trains. They are not essentially clean by our standards, and most certainly not the most comfortable. Yet the experience of the contact with the local people is one, which in my opinion, is well worth having. I most certainly would not have "missed it for quids", as the saying goes.

You need to rise very early in the morning if you wish to beat the traffic. This is a normal street scene at almost any hour of the day, seven days a week.

Another of the sights still relatively common on the streets in India is the provision of secretarial services on the sidewalk.

Walking the streets, one would be hard put to think that there was refuse collection. Yet here is a refuse truck to refute such thoughts.

Yet the piles of refuse continue to be found on the streets, never seeming to be coming less.

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