Kochi

KATHAKALI DANCE

Here goes high culture after all: we did catch a Katakali show in Kochi on our last evening. The show no longer is where it used to be and stat an hour earlier than advertised so on our second try we actually did succeed.

Kathakali is a very refined South Indian art form in which the dancers execute dance moves to tell ancient mythological stories. The characters, different make ups and gestures and hand movements are highly specific and a result of several years or training. 

 

The place we went to is very modest. It is a small place on a narrow street well away from the upscale and touristy parts of town.

The place we went to is very modest. It is a small place on a narrow street well away from the upscale and touristy parts of town.

Here is a picture of the hall. Th show begins by the audience being able to watch the artists get into makeup, which takes almost an hour!  Lili and Dante are in front row on the right.

Here is a picture of the hall. Th show begins by the audience being able to watch the artists get into makeup, which takes almost an hour!  Lili and Dante are in front row on the right.

Both the dancers were men. The artist on the right is actually making himself up to be a woman. 

Both the dancers were men. The artist on the right is actually making himself up to be a woman. 

Imagine our surprise when we saw this on the wall: these were the very artists the Prince of Wales saw in his recent trip to India! How great is that?? 

Imagine our surprise when we saw this on the wall: these were the very artists the Prince of Wales saw in his recent trip to India! How great is that?? 

And here they are - in full action. It was very special to see how this performance, and especially rewarding as the artists spent a long time demonstrating and explaining how the gestures and actions work before the 'actual' piece started.  

And here they are - in full action. It was very special to see how this performance, and especially rewarding as the artists spent a long time demonstrating and explaining how the gestures and actions work before the 'actual' piece started.  

VERY HIGH CULTURE

This post is for those friends who hold that our trip is one unending immersion into deep, authentic and original cultural experiences. 

In the last 24 hours we have been at our hotel in Kochi, enjoying such luxuries as clean bedsheets, well functioning wifi, warm showers and having personal space. We missed a Kathakali dance performance (this would in fact have been genuine high culture) due to a common Indian experience of many people telling us different things, and posted times being incorrect.

So we took a rickshaw back to the hotel, ordered stuffed parathas and lassis from room service, played cards and watched a James Bond movie. It was an awesome night.

 

 

Oh yeah. Roger Moore and Grace Jones. 

Oh yeah. Roger Moore and Grace Jones. 

The internet advises us that A View to a Kill is, out of 23 Bond movies, the second worst ever made. (Apparently ony Octopussy is even more awful). Bwahahaa!  But we enjoyed the horse riding and scenery from Paris which we will visit later this year.  In the pic above, James Bond is in the Eiffel Tower.

The internet advises us that A View to a Kill is, out of 23 Bond movies, the second worst ever made. (Apparently ony Octopussy is even more awful). Bwahahaa!

But we enjoyed the horse riding and scenery from Paris which we will visit later this year.  In the pic above, James Bond is in the Eiffel Tower.

OFF TO KERALA FOR A VISIT

We took off for a quick trip further South to meet up with our dear friend Dr. Bobby (our ND and family doctor). We added a new travel sleeping experience by traveling on an overnight sleeper bus.  

Here is where we travelled by bus. It's a long way! 

Here is where we travelled by bus. It's a long way! 

 

Waiting for the bus in Pondi. We were all tired - it left at 10 pm. 

Waiting for the bus in Pondi. We were all tired - it left at 10 pm. 

In the morning. The ride was almost 10 hours. It was great to be able to sleep. 

In the morning. The ride was almost 10 hours. It was great to be able to sleep. 

Dante on the bus. 

Dante on the bus. 

Here we are at the Kochi railway station (which is actually called Ernakulam Junction) waiting to take a local train to Alleppey (also called Alapphuza). The ride is about 80 minutes and cost all of 145 rupees ($ 2.90 CDN) for all three of us.  

Here we are at the Kochi railway station (which is actually called Ernakulam Junction) waiting to take a local train to Alleppey (also called Alapphuza). The ride is about 80 minutes and cost all of 145 rupees ($ 2.90 CDN) for all three of us.  

The trains are so cool. This car can be a sleeper car or seat car depending on need. Seat on left has backrests down to make one bed and on the right side of the wall the backrests are up to make two seats. 

The trains are so cool. This car can be a sleeper car or seat car depending on need. Seat on left has backrests down to make one bed and on the right side of the wall the backrests are up to make two seats. 

And a cup of really nice South Indian masala chai on the train - yum yum. 

And a cup of really nice South Indian masala chai on the train - yum yum. 

Lots of interesting things to see from the window. 

Lots of interesting things to see from the window.