Postcard from Kerala

by Jeanne

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Today is the last day of the tour and everyone is preparing to head home or to other destinations.  A handful of us headed out very early this morning to visit a stop at a Hindu temple and the market.  We are having our farewell dinner tonight. In preparation we all took the shopping list and divided it between us–I thought I had it easy–carrot, shallots and curry leaves.  Right,  until the vendor is waving all plant life in your face and you are nodding no, no, no.  And another man is behind your shoulder smiling widely and nodding, "where you be from?" United States. Ohhh, are you alone? are you married?"  Well, I am not alone. "My name be Akbar, like the king." I smiled and said "of course."  You help me find curry, OK?" After many stall visits we did and he pointed to my camera and said, you should have photo of me, so you be remembering me."  So I did. 

The image above is not Akbar but a brother and sister whose proud parents wanted me to take their photo.  As galfriend Jen says, "darling."

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Right now, lunch is on the stove, a Keralan fish curry, pictured above.  One thing about cooking here–spice is used in generous portions but it is not overwhelming.  Before my visit to India I found cardamom a nice alternative, something to use occasionally.  Today I am a smarter woman.  I ADORE this spice.  I have not only eaten it but the Aurevedic massage oil that I was slathered in yesterday like a piece of sirloin sent me into a state of bliss.

OK, must get ready for lunch, and then mehendi the henna painting done for weddings.  Tomorrow’s a travel day to Delhi for the second phase of the trip.  I’m still looking for my copy of Bollywood’s Om Shanti Om. I do like the looks I get when asking for it!

o

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