I arrived in Ernakulam this afternoon. It’s noticeably cooler than Ottapalam, presumably due to being on the coast. I walked from the station to the hotel I wanted to stay at, underestimating how far I went at times and so ending up on Jew Road. Yes, there’s an ancient Jewish settlement in Ernakulam/Kochi, according to my guidebook dating back to either the 11th century BC as part of King Solomon’s trading fleet or to refugees fleeing Nebuchadnezzar’s occupation of Jerusalem in 587 BC.
The main drag, MG Road, has a feel that combines Princes Street in Edinburgh with the mid-market bits of Birmingham city centre. I speak Malayalam about as well as I speak Brummie so I feel just as at home!
My hotel is in a fairly middle-class shopping area near the waterfront – handy for getting to old Cochi and booking stuff to do over the next few days. My room has a shower/toilet room, a wonderfully soft bed, a TV*, blessed relief from traffic noise and is completely clean. I wonder how long that will last with me in it. It’s Maple Guest House, XL/271 Cannonshed Road, Ernakulam, 0484235 5156.
* a mixed blessing. I’ve just been watching coverage of medical students protesting in major cities and a doctors’ strike. The student protests seem to be about a government decision to increases the number of places reserved for ‘Other Backward Classes’, according to the Times of India. I’d be interested in computerland opinions of such affirmative action: over to you