Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hello Kerala

I arrived in Kovalam Wednesday. I booked a homestay place for two nights with the intention of looking around for another place. The homestay was okay - it seemed clean, I had reliable internet, and there was a lock on the gate. But it came with a "host" - J, a needy man with a speech impediment (hey, I've got one too, it's okay) who would bark "OK OK OK OK" every time I asked a question, or even spoke (this was not the speech impediment at work; J might have some communication issues). He had planned my entire three weeks in Kerala for me (remember, I had booked only two nights) - elephant rides, shopping in Trivandrum, tours to other towns. I said, I'm here to focus on yoga and writing and he barked, "OK OK OK OK OK." It turned out I could only stay two nights at his place (named Gokulam House, oddly enough), anyway. I moved to another guest house just across the lane. It was nice, and it came with a little white pomeranian (!) but I had already looked into other accommodation. Walking around I had found an okay priced apartment overlooking the ocean. Amazing!

View from apartment. Not bad, huh?
Oh, except this isn't quite the view from the apartment. This is the view from the roof on which the apartment sits.
That is the box in which I would live.
But for a self-contained apartment with kitchen, the price was right. And it was private enough.
It's kind of nice, right?

Then, last night, sitting out on house #2's porch, I heard a thumping bass coming from the beach. Fearing the worst, I went to investigate and found that, indeed, the noise was coming from the restaurant 4 stories below my soon to be apartment. I climbed up and found that the ocean actually droned out other sounds, so I felt better and decided to move as planned (I had already given a 20$, or 1000 rupee, deposit).

So this morning I leave house #2 and arrive at the apartment on the roof. I leave my bags and head for breakfast. Halfway through my dosa, I almost choke: it dawns on me that the roof and the balcony are so close together any idiot could easily step onto my balcony. And, the door separating my balcony from my apartment is held closed by a couple latches. I pay and run back. 

See? I can climb this. Even GIGI CAN CLIMB THIS.
And then I really look at the apartment: there are no bars on the windows, the lights are weak, the water pressure is almost non-existent. Safety concerns aside, this isn't a place I can stay in for more than, say, a night. Forget three weeks. And, are the guys downstairs, the ones who work at the place, kind of creepy? Maybe a little creepy? Maybe.

So, back to house #2 for me. It might not have a view of the Arabian sea, but it does have this little guy:
Meet Ruby, the white pom. 
And it has a kitchen...
Not bad!

and a lovely table where I can write...
and a desk in my room (no pictures of my room, my stuff is everywhere!). 

The owner's son, a young man studying commerce at university, took me for groceries, an internet USB, and fruit on his motorcycle. And, the owner lowered the rent. 

So, it looks like I'm all settled in Kovalam. Hopefully. Fingers crossed. Knock forcefully on wood. 


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