Day 6: The morning started off beautifully - it poured! I sat on my balcony and had toast and coffee, watching the greenery take on deeper emerald hues. M asked me if I would mind if Frank (the Italian guy I met at the coffee store in Trivandrum) showed up for lunch along with a Malayali writer (who she warned me was very "boring" and quiet). Why would I mind? This was such a good opportunity to meet more local people! So she set about preparing an elaborate meal with Vasantha’s help and I got out of her way.
I went for a walk to the temple down the hill, which has a lovely view of the beach, and returned to find the two gentlemen had arrived. Frank had had a fall the previous day so he was resting upstairs. Later, we had an interesting discussion about the differences between Italy and Sicily. He also described to me how he arrived by the overland route to India, via Iran and Turkey, in his car in the 70s. The writer was anything but quiet - he said he knew several celebrity authors and journalists and peppered the conversation with their names, asked me personal questions, wanted to know how much I earned, etc. I had to keep deflecting him till he gave up and went to the porch to take a nap next to the cat.
The afternoon was quiet as we all snoozed after a fantastic but heavy traditional lunch served on banana leaves. In the evening, M and I took a rick to a resort down the road that has stunning views of a pristine private beach. The resort was packed with Americans, young and old, who I was told came in sizeable numbers to get Ayurveda treatment at this and many other expensive resorts in the area. They stayed sometimes for as long as six weeks but hardly ever stepped out to see anything of the local sights or experience the wonders of God’s own country.
Back to the villa to pack and now, this morning as I get ready to leave, a footnote:
It would be ungrateful and remiss of me if I did not mention the events of this morning. When I woke up at 6 am, M was already up and brewing me a pot of lemon ginger tea because I had an upset stomach the night before. She also made me some toast despite protests that it was too early to have breakfast and insisted I eat a little since I had a long day ahead. As I packed my hand baggage, she brought over a packet of palm jaggery as a gift to take for my mother (who I had mentioned once likes to use jaggery in her cooking). And as a final magnanimous gesture, she announced she would not be charging me for the many cups of coffee I drank at her place since the day I first landed!!
(These Kerala diaries are from a trip I made to the Kovalam area in June 2017).