From Bangalore, our final stop before heading back to Mumbai was Cochin. My dad was hoping to spend a quiet weekend where there’s somesort of a Jewish community, and Cochin certainly has the longest history of a Jewish community anywhere in India with the tourist attraction “Jew-town” (a name I feel utterly uncomfortable with, bringing up Holocaust connotations). To further enrich our Christ College experience at Bangalore we talked to this lovely Indian woman on the phone who owns a homestay option in Cochin and her driver picked us up from the airport.
The house was gorgeous, British colonial style, lots of space, expensive looking furniture and design.
The Indian couple greeted us on our way in, talked with us for an hour or so, invited us to dinner in the main room and helped us plan the following day.
Which… turned out not to be all that exciting, just a long tiring drive to see lousy tourist attractions that we felt like we’ve already seen better elsewhere –
Temples closed for tourists …
And beaches that don’t really compare to Goa…
But, we finally made it to Cochin by taking the ferry to the island.
One final remark regarding Indian pollution issue that really spoiled things for me in India, especially when it comes to water which the Indians rely so much on. Take those next photos for example …
This here, is not an un-common sight. On one side, the fishermen happily fishing, while – meters away, a huge ship is both polluting the air and is dumping disgustingly huge amounts of garbage and industrial waste into the water. After the first time I saw this I refused to eat anything that resembles seafood in India, not that I thought the rest of the meat was any better. Vegetarian was the way to go for us during our trip, and thank Buddha – we had zero stomach problems.
Anyways, evening time, to celebrate the coming of the Jewish Saturday, we went for a tour of the old “Jew Town“, which now only has a very small community of a few Jews living there.
There were alot of Hebrew signs and Jewish symbols everywhere, indicating that this way indeed a thriving lively Jewish community long ago. Quite surreal finding this kind of thing in southern India.
The next day was pretty laid back at first, only that we heard that there are some riots in Cochin planned for the next day. Planned riots, there’s a new concept for you. It was something to do with the government planning to raise the gas prices at midnight that day and the masses were preparing for an all-out street war against authorities and so we were kindly suggested to leave back to Mumbai earlier that day rather than the following day. We took up on that offer and said our farewells to Cochin around afternoon.