The journey from Thrissur in Kerala to Coimbatore takes about 4 hours. The train passes through several stations, and travels through a stunning mountain range that separates Kerala from Tamil Nadu- the end of the Western Ghats, a world heritage listed natural wonder.
As usual, I travelled with an unreserved ticket, and didn’t see a conductor at all during my trip. I have an unfortunate, unavoidable habit of falling asleep while travelling: I sat on my window seat, had my arm over my backpack and slept. Being a seasoned public transport sleeper, I always make sure to put at least one earbud headphone in and set an alarm for 10 minutes before my scheduled arrival time, to make sure I don’t miss my stop! So, I woke up to my alarm a few minutes out of Coimbatore, and hopped off.
Trying to get from the station home was a nightmare- the taxi guys in Coimbatore are very difficult to negotiate with. The group was trying to charge me 3 times what I had paid to get to the station four days earlier- apparently the cost of petrol had risen significantly since last I was there (it hadn’t). Eventually a rickshaw wallah wandered over and offered to undercut what the taxi guys were trying to charge me by about 100 rupees ($2), so I just went with him.
The mango trees are starting to get heavy with mangos!
Mangos are my favourite thing in the world. They are wonderful by themselves, they are wonderful in cooking. And they are wonderful as pickle.
Problem is, they grow in tall trees. So they aren’t always easy to pluck.
Now there’s two ways to pick mangos: one is to climb the tree and pluck them. However heights and I don’t agree, so that’s not such a good option for me.
So instead, I used a stick to hit them and shake them loose.
RK showed me the technique: the trick is to hit the mango with the stick from behind, and to try to knock it down.
Now it seems quite easy in theory. But in practice it took a bit of work. We managed to hit down half a dozen green mangos before we bent the metal stick we were using. Game over.
Australia Day spent relaxing in Kannur, Kerala
Last night I went to see a film at this old theatre in Thrissur. It is one of the few old style cinemas left, most of the other have been pulled down and replaced with huge air conditioned multiplexes.
I was warned repeatedly before we went that it was not a very good cinema, and that it was quite old. But as soon as we pulled up in front of it in the rickshaw I fell in love a little bit. These places don’t really exist anymore at home either, and there is something magical about going to see a film in such an old theatre.
We walked in and there was a foyer with a ticket office. We bought a ticket for upstairs, and walked up the stairs and into the hall. It was a huge hall, with two levels. No air conditioning meant that it was a little warm, but because it was so big there was enough air flow for it not to be uncomfortable. The seats were the old style bench seats that swing up when you stand up, and they were organised into narrow rows.
There is something really nostalgic about sitting in such an old theatre and waiting to watch a film. I feel as though I appreciate the whole experience a great deal more, becauseI’m filled with that amazement about the magic of the movies, which doesn’t happen when you are seated in a huge technologically advanced multiplex. Its that magic and amazement that the audience was reminded of in Hugo, and which has been lost with the advent of animation and box office hits.
Unfortunately, the movie we watched in such a magical setting was GI Joe. What a waste.