Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

My New Year's Eve turned out to be not like any other I've ever celebrated. Not that NYE is usually a wild and crazy party or anything. Normally I hang out with a few close friends, make dinner or order pizza, drink a few bottles of champagne, watch a movie, and turn the channel just in time to see the ball drop. It may not be exciting for some people, but for me it's perfect.

I spent yesterday exploring Fort Cochin and Mattancherry. The hotel is in Ernakulam and you have to take a ferry to get to these areas (the whole area of which makes of Cochin). The ferry process is a bit wonky, so we ended up waiting a lot more than I'd have liked. One ferry goes to Fort Cochin and another goes to Mattancherry. Ideally, you'd queue up (there's a ladies line which is always shorter than the gents line), buy your ticket and get on the appropriate ferry. In reality, tickets are only sold for 10 minutes prior to the ferry departure and only until they're sold out. This means that you might spend a half hour standing in line only to get to the front and find out that no more tickets are available and you have to wait until they go on sale again. Eventually we did make it there and it's very cute.

(A lazy day in Fort Cochin)

Perhaps the biggest draw at Fort Cochin are the Chinese fishing nets.
It's a very old way of fishing and it takes four men to operate the nets. Along the waterside there are an assortment of vendors selling all kinds of things - clothing, jewelry, bags, coconut monkeys, musical instruments, magic tricks, peanuts, fish, ice cream, you name it. I wasn't so interested, but it was Amiri's first time in India and first chance to do any shopping, so he stopped at quite a few stalls. We wandered around for awhile before deciding to rent a scooter and check out the rest of the island. Amiri wanted to go to the spice market in Mattancherry, but "spice market" turned out to be a lot of stores calling themselves spice market and selling spices, rather than an actual spice market like the one I saw in Istanbul.

After wandering around for quite a few hours, we caught the ferry back. The plan had been to take showers and naps to rest up for a bit, and then we were gonna go out to celebrate the New Year. What ended up happening was that my body decided a nap was way more important than partying. I woke up briefly at 11:46pm and promptly went right back to sleep. Amiri said there were fireworks and people shouting down the New Year countdown, but I was completely oblivious to all of it. Sometime around 2am (I think), I woke up long enough to order room service and then it was back to sleep for me. It makes sense, really. I'd only had about seven hours of sleep total in the two previous nights. But it ended up meaning that it was the first time that I can remember not making it to midnight on NYE.

Today the plan is to go to the beach, but my stomach is feeling a little iffy, so I'm sticking around the hotel for a bit longer to see if it works itself out. Fingers crossed that it does!


  1. You slept through the start of the new year?
    How... old of you!
    Oh well, it's not the start of the new year that's important, it's the rest of it. :-)
    Wishing you the best,

  2. Happy New Year! I can't wait to see the fort pics.


    Promote Green and Live Healthier !!!!!

  4. Sounds like an excellent day. Happy New Year!! It's a special new year in this case. How often do Americans get to celebrate in other countries? Especially one as exotic as India. I'm glad you had company and a good time.

  5. HAPPY NEW YEAR! Still can't beleive you slept
    threw it though.

    Love ya,

  6. Thanks, everyone! Yes, I actually slept through the New Year. Apparently, I really am getting old. :-)

    ToadMama - the fort pics are probably not the fort pics you'd expect. It's called Fort Cochin, but it's not really a fort like Red Fort in Agra or Tiger Fort in Jaipur. I haven't uploaded them yet, but I will soon.

  7. It will be great to watch Rent, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.