I've been meaning to write up a piece on my 8 days efforts in India, but have put it off due to not knowing what to write. Each day I was out there, I scribbled down on a pad a few hilights of the day, so that I'd be able to go into them in greater detail when I had a computer infront of me. However, now that I'm back in the UK.. writing daily updates belatedly seems fundamentally wrong.. and looking back I don't think I can do the emotional side of things justice; nor reflect accurately the change in myself over those 8 days. The man sitting here writing the blog now, is an altered man to that which may have written the post those two weeks previous.
I'll try and go back and see where my mind was at before heading out to India. I was expecting a dry and arid landscape, with relatively few people and lacking the hustle and bustle of a UK town. What I got was entirely different. As the plane came to land, Lorna (my sister) pointed out plumes of smoke rising from the palm-tree forest beneath us. I was pretty keen to decry her claims and put the plumes down to some 'geyser-ish' geology. Looking back, it was me who was the idiot.
The landing itself was fairly different from our landing in Dubai, seven hours previous. The runway was pretty bumpy on landing, and the modest terminal was an apt allusion to the chasm between Dubai and Cochin. Upon entering the terminal we were greeted with the warmness of a dead penguin - questioned as to why we did not know the full address and telephone numbers of who we would be staying with. After a brief exchange, and my insistance that we were getting picked up at the airport, and taken to wherever by a friend, we were let through to the baggage reclamation area.
Walking out of the airport was another new experience. There was a sea of brown faces, waiting in anticipation for their relative or friend to emerge from the airport terminal. Due to security restrictions, no one was allowed in the airport unless travelling, which accentuated the numbers waiting in the crowd. Not knowing who was waiting for us, we walking out the airport briskly, hoping that my Red Newquay Sweatshirt and the Guitar on my back would act as some kind of clue as to our identity.
After about five minutes of waiting, we were greeted by a lady who introduced herself as Lily, asking if we were Andy and Lorna.. relieved that she'd got the right people - Lily told us to wait where we were until the others came out, and then we'd get the Taxi to our place.