After 4 hours of sleep at the hotel we were off in a taxi out to Fort Cochin where our homestay is located. Driving in India is an art. The cars, tuktuks, lorries, motorcycles, scooters, cows and people all move like an intricate puzzle. It's amazing and scary. It is wild traffic with horns constantly blaring but the drivers aren't angry, there was no "road rage", it is just how things are.
The landscape is lush, banana and coconut palms fill the skies. Flowering shrubs like jasmine, hibiscus and bulganvalia take over derelict buildings and lots. Small smoldering trash piles dot the broken sidewalks. It seems every block has a building project in the works or abandoned mid construction. The air is heavy with warm, humid smokey air.
Our homestay is great! Our hosts Beena and Sudi are lovely people and great cooks! Our room is very nice with our own bathroom(with western style toilet and toilet paper!) and a balcony. The beds are small pads on wood, which is typical for India and a bit firm.
We settled in a bit, relaxed in our a/c then ventured out to see the neighborhood. The main street to our homestay was decorated with streamers across the road for nearly a mile creating a beautiful canopy. Paper stars are hanging from the power lines and from trees and in front of people's homes. I think it is Christmas decoration but I'm not absolutely sure. The people are very friendly and light up and come over to us when they see Lee, he is a very popular guy! He seems to be doing fine in the heat, and isn't too grumpy and tired...yet. He loves when people come up to him and seems to be enjoying all the sights. There is a lot to look at!!
We had an amazing dinner and passed out at about 9p. Perfect.