1/4/11 - Kochi - A Day of Recuperation

Fab India

We took it easy on this day.  It was high time, we had been on such a rushed schedule ever since our arrival in India!

In the morning, Tricia and I went to a store called Fab India.  It is a chain store in India with nice, inexpensive clothes and housewares.  We were on a hunt for salwar kamises, the tunic and pants outfits often worn by Indian women.  Shobhana stayed at the hotel to work on her conference presentation for Mysore.  

Two and a half hours later, Tricia and I were done shopping.   I had found one outfit and Tricia found several.  The first part of our time was spent learning cultural clothing norms – for instance, we discovered that the longer the tunic, the narrower the pants should be.  In any case, the shopping process was quite entertaining, although the driver seemed to despair that we would ever finish – he came in the store several times to encourage us to move on to lunch.

The driver of course had a restaurant that he recommended for lunch.  However, we asked to be taken to a restaurant that we found in our guidebook.  The food was just as good as anywhere, much cheaper and less touristy!

Ayurvedic Massage

In the afternoon, all three of us got Ayurvedic massages at our hotel.  I was interested to discover a new massage philosophy and technique.  This one seemed to rely mainly on pouring hot oil on the body, and little circular massage movements.  To my mind, it was not as effective in relaxing the muscles as other massage traditions.  However, the oil was a powerful sensory experience – it was strongly scented and almost felt like eating a meal.  Several scents were used during the massage – the one that I remember most strongly had a spicy flavor, reminiscent of cloves and allspice.

Fancy Fish Dinner

For dinner, we ate at a well-known local fish restaurant, located on the premises of our hotel complex.  It had a lovely, outdoor setting, lit by lanterns.