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In order to get to Fort Kochi (the backpackers part of Cochin) from Ernakulam, you have to cross over a bridge and as we did so, we saw some amazing fireworks from the auto rickshaw. Our driver informed us it was some religious festival or another, which seems to be a daily celebration in India! We arrived into the main drag quite late at night but Fort Kochi appeared to be a delightful, peaceful haven, perfect for a couple of days of shanti (peace) before venturing further.

In order to get to Fort Kochi (the backpackers part of Cochin) from Ernakulam, you have to cross over a bridge and as we did so, we saw some amazing fireworks from the auto rickshaw. Our driver informed us it was some religious festival or another, which seems to be a daily celebration in India! We arrived into the main drag quite late at night but Fort Kochi appeared to be a delightful, peaceful haven, perfect for a couple of days of shanti (peace) before venturing further.

We found a hotel room, ate another awful meal [seems to be the trend in Kerala] then watched a bit of football in an internet cafe and befriended a Londoner in the process. We’d made plans to meet an old school friend and he eventually arrived with his sister & picked us up at 11 pm. They took us to some house party which we were evidently NOT dressed for but it was like entering another universe. It turned out to be a palace of a house; almost out of the scene of a Bollywood movie with fancily clad, fashionable people on show and waiters mixing drinks at every beckon & call. It was bizarre! The host was very drunk but overly welcoming and we felt comfortable in no time at all.

Food was served around 1 am but did little to deter the drinking and laughter surrounding; we settled ourselves in an expensive little corner and tried to be as inconspicuous as possible in our traveller attire. What a night, what a bizarre experience! Another of those gems that only comes through knowing the locals. After much entertainment and merriment, we returned to the hotel at around 3am (waking up the poor hotel-staff to let us in since the door was bolted & closed) still in awe at what we’d just experienced. The upper class certainly live well in this country…a stark contrast to the millions struggling to eat from day to day. But of that I will say no more. ’twas truly a magical, fantastic evening.

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