I flew into the Cochin airport in Kerala a few days ago for the first time. This is my first time to Asia and to a country whose language I do not speak (fluent in english and spanish). I was greeted by Udayan, one of Raxa Collective’s drivers who began driving me to the hotel. If you had read my last post, you would know that I am here to do an internship under Crist and Amie Inman (owners and operators of Raxa Collective), who I have been communicating with for months now. Amie especially, had warned me of the driving and how “In some parts of the world, people drive on the left side, others on the right side, but in India people drive everywhere”! That could not have been closer to the truth. As soon as we leave the airport parking lot, I hear horns going off, almost in symphony to one another, communicating back and forth. Tuk-tuks (a type of small yet quick 3 wheeler) are swerving in and out of traffic, motorcycles and cars zig-zagging in and out. The driver, completely calm and very good at what he does tells me that it will be a 45min drive. In my mind, I thought this wasn’t driving, but a type of noisy tetras.
Slowly it became normal and I was able to relax and concentrate on my surroundings. By that time, we were in Fort Kochi where the view became even more charming. There were shops selling herbs and spice, countless chai shops, fresh coconut stands and a large fish market in front of giant “Chinese fishing nets” which I will go into more detail in another post.
Upon arrival to Spice Harbor (the hotel), I was greeted by Christine who began to give me a tour of the property and tell me about its history and how the building where the restaurant is in, was an old godown where ships were repaired and items were stored. She proceeded to take me to my room on the second floor which was called a “Harbor Room” since it overlooked the same. Overlooking the water, which is less than a stone’s throw away from the balcony, rested colorful deep sea fishing boats with 15 foot tall bows at eye level. After Christine left me, I proceeded to take many pictures, as if everything was going to disappear in front of me. I finally relaxed and took a seat to watch the sunset and the newly arrived fishermen untangling their nets and begin preparation for the next two day/overnight voyage.