Last days in Cochin…

After walking the streets of Fort Cochin for hours in the company of Johnson…

After being astonished by the queues of cars waiting every day for the ferry to reach the other side…

After trying to count the countless motorbikes that were also waiting to take the ferry…

We enjoyed strolling along the harbour of the Mattachari Peninsula in the evenings to watch the cargo ships and cranes in the naval port opposite old Kochi, alongside the Indians.

We enjoyed getting lost in the crowd at sunset and waiting, along with the locals, for the enchantment to unfold each evening on the waters.

We loved watching the fishermen working tirelessly in the harbour in front of the huge freighters coming and going.

We were delighted by the barges from another time.

We were fascinated by this Malabar coastline and the Mattancheri peninsula which hosts one of India’s largest ports.

We particularly liked the coming and going of the colourful boats.

These fishing boats that set out morning and evening to assault the canals and then the sea.

We were impressed by the charm of the nets spread out along the harbour.

We particularly enjoyed listening to the songs of the fishermen coming back from fishing and working together in a good mood.

We had fun watching the counterweights of the Chinese nets go up and down.

We were moved when the setting sun licked the waters of the harbour as it slipped through the mesh of the huge tiles.

We had fallen under the spell of these large Chinese tiles.

We loved the pastel tones that unfold on the boats and on the shores in the evening.

We were completely immersed in this unique atmosphere.

We were touched by the looks and the know-how.

Afterwards, we liked to wander a bit more through the small streets of Old Cochin, those charming streets where you can come across the purest beauty without expecting it.

We had stopped at a restaurant that smelled of the 70s and where we had found a connection with the European continent for a few minutes. The cook was busy preparing a Matar Paneer that we still remember. We watched the cook and the waiters come and go as they fetched the vegetables and spices from the small shop next door. There was no doubt that the dishes were the freshest.

We then stopped at a street stall stocked with locally produced spices, tea and coffee. A pure moment of happiness!

We had finally hung around the square where the youngsters played cricket every night, Indian style of course.

We had discovered the reading rooms of local newspapers in the streets of Old Kochi.

We had found a small shop where a very nice young woman was busy. Seeing our clothes, with great talent, she had perceived our taste for orange and blue and had deployed all her know-how to find among the 100 coupons and rolls of fabric, those that would make our eyes sparkle with desire and happiness. In no time at all, she had taken our measurements and the very next day we were able to put on our tunics made with perfect mastery by a charming fairy from Kochi.

We had loved coming home each evening to Edwin and Sheeba’s house in Greenwood and enjoying the excellent Kerala pineapples – the best in the world, we were told. Sheeba knew how to cut them with technique and with a lot of love in a few minutes.

We loved the exchanges with these two lovers of life with a sparkling look of benevolence.

What a joy it was to receive their attentions every evening and every morning! How fortunate to have had the benefit of Sheeba’s wise advice in finding tunics as colourful as those she wore so elegantly! And what an honour to have had the joy of enjoying the food on the terrace at the top of the house.

And then on the last evening, we had to load all the spices, teas and coffee beans into our well-laden backpacks and think about the return to our daily lives in Paris. We were also and above all going to bring back to Paris, an infinite range of precious memories of these wonderful encounters and good times shared.

Par Nathalie

Translated with (free version)

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