Rip me off in Fort Kochi!
The original plan was to get to Fort Kochi by bus but a nice couple at the homestay gave me a ride instead. On hindsight, I should have taken the bus and experienced what it would be like, but this just gives me an excuse to go back to Kerala!
The driver took a while to find Lazar Homestay (addresses do not have a number, just a landmark. I wonder how the postman does his job) and I must admit, I was pretty disappointed when I got there. I had chose the homestay based on all the great reviews on Tripadvisor but it seemed like I was staying in another house. Having gotten used to my other homestays, I guess
I should not have expected much from some place that was half the price. The room was clean enough but the sheets were not spotless (OCD remember?) and there were ants in the toilet, and subsequently, the room! Apparently, this is common so I just used insecticide generously.
Wanting lunch, I asked for the owner to arrange for an auto to take me to Grand Hotel, which is supposed to have one of the best restaurants in Kochi. It was in Ernakalum, which was maybe 45 minutes away by auto. The food was delicious and reasonably priced too. It was also packed and I had to wait for a bit before being seated.
On my way back to Fort Kochi, I asked the auto driver to take me to the chinese fishing nets and famous
Church. The fishing nets were pretty blah and the fishermen wanted money from me just to take photos.
As my auto driver was not from Fort Kochi, he did not know the area well. He just have told another driver and they kept pushing for me to get into the other auto. I think they thought I was some money machine. This new auto driver kept wanting to bring me to shops where he said if I just went in, he would get some vouchers for diesel or something. I refused and he kept pushing. By then I was freaking tired of people trying to get my money and couldn’t be bothered to be nice. I insisted on being taken back home.
I didn’t venture out at night as the homestay was in some small lane I guess I was afraid I would be harassed the moment I went out. So I can’t comment on whether it is safe for a female to travel alone at night. I was in India when the Delhi rape case happened, so even the homestay owner said he wouldn’t advise me to go to the cinema alone.
Fort Kochi was the place I liked the least as there really wasn’t much to see and the people there tried all ways and means to suck every penny and energy out of me. I actually spent the day at Oberon Mall as my flight was really late and even there, kids were asking me for money! In the freaking mall. I’m not sure if that is normal and I don’t know if they only say that to foreigners but it was pretty unsettling. They did not seem poor and maybe they were just out for some fun. I don’t see any reason to return to Kochi where I did not feel the hospitality I felt when I was in alleppey or even Trivandrum. So long India. I will be back, but definitely not to Kochi.