I made a really short trip to Kerala during the Eid holidays last week to attend to some personal matters.
I knew I had a tight schedule but while packing my cameras I figured I’d get some free time to go out alone but that didn’t happen.
Here’s some of the few photos I did take during the week I was there.
Another thing I found out that most of the bars in Kerala have now been shutdown due to some court order and that means getting a drink with your lunch means you’d have to go to a place that’s above 4 Stars. Quite a shame really as there are many hotels in Kerala that have a nice ambiance but the alcohol bans keeps out the clients during lunch time like this place below.
My friends and I were talking about the cinema options in Cochin and discussion turned to the new PVR multiplex that’s opened up in Lulu Cochin. My brother and I watched Pacific Rim and Wolverine there during our holidays and it was great.
Was it just my imagination or is the 7.1 Surround Sound system in PVR miles ahead of the ones in Kuwait? The caramel popcorn was definitely better than the ones we get here and we didn’t have much trouble finishing off that large tub you see in the picture. Back in 2004, as a broke bachelor in Bangalore, one of the things on my wishlist was to buy a Gold Class ticket at PVR in Forum Mall. That hasn’t happened yet but we did watch both movies in the VIP class in Cochin and at 300 Rupees a pop it was quite reasonable. The multiplex is very cleanly maintained and as you can see from the picture the toilets are spotless!
Every time I’m in Kerala I get to meet my brother and have a nice long chat over some good food and Kingfisher beer and in the process explore more new places. Read about my previous visit to the Harbor View Bar [here]. This time around we weren’t near MG Road but on the way to Kaloor we came across Presidency Hotel.
It was almost 3 o’clock when we got there and most of the restaurants were closing their lunch orders. We asked the front desk if the bar was still open and he guided us to the top floor. Once there, we had to go through a Japanese restaurant and finally walked into the bar. It looked like the bar was closed too but the friendly waiter on seeing that there was just two of us asked us to have a seat and brought the menus.
Recently a colleague of mine got a full physical checkup at a hospital while on vacation in Kerala and was explaining the procedure to me. I’ve never had any major tests done on me except for the blood group test so I thought it would be nice to see if everything was in proper working condition.
I found out that most hospitals have health check packages that you can choose from based on your requirements so I opted for something that would give me an overall understanding of where I stood health wise. The package was called the ‘Master Health Check’ and consisted of the following;
I was relieved to find out that all tests came back with optimum results except for maybe my lung capacity test (which could be attributed to the fact that I used to smoke occasionally before I quit in 2006) which I hope to improve by running and swimming more in the coming months.
My heart and circulatory system are in perfect shape and I even got good results on the stress tests. I’m thankful that I decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle and based on the two consultations I had with the physicians, I’m just an average guy with a slight weight problem that can be solved by moderation in caloric intake and increasing physical activity.
Since I enjoy my alcohol I also decided to get detailed information about my liver functions. Based on the tests performed I learned that my liver is just as good as the next guy and with that information in hand I hopped into the nearest bar on the way back home for a celebratory drink.
The Master Health Check package cost Rs. 4500 and takes about 4 hours to complete all tests. If you go early in the morning you can be out of the hospital before lunch time.
Jet Airways commenced direct flights to India last month and I was on the inaugural flight to Cochin. Things started off with celebrations and warm smiles but the weather played spoil sport and we had detour to land at Trivandrum airport, refuel and then fly back to our original destination. I thought it was a major pain in the ass but then reconsidered when I saw the news that very morning about [this flight].
You can find the schedules listed [here] and for convenience sake I’m listing the Cochin flights from Kuwait.
Snakes on the plane
The return flight back to Kuwait was even more eventful as a couple of drunken Malayalis (drunk would be an understatement, more like blown out of their goddam minds) boarded the flight and were served even more booze by the flight crew. Long story short; drunken fist fight, physical assault on innocent passenger, stern warning by stewardess, threatened with arrest on landing, drunk guy quiets down, flight lands and everyone breathes a sigh of relief.
I guess the crew won’t be so generous with the booze on future flights to Kerala. Some bastards just have to spoil it for the rest of us, don’t they?
I’m taking a break for the next couple of weeks and will be visiting a few places in Kerala. Its been almost 3 years since my last visit so I’m really looking forward to this trip. I won’t be posting much till I get back but you can keep track on my Instagram account.
The picture above is from my last trip, at Shankumukham Beach, Trivandrum.
Over the past few months there’s been an increasing number of reports of people falling sick from stale food served at restaurants in Kerala. So much in fact that reading the news and watching the video reports is like watching an episode of Fear Factor.
As a resident of Trivandrum its no secret that some joints reheat and serve dishes thats been around for a few days but the latest reports of live worms and cockroaches found in cakes, fried chicken and curries is just crazy.
I think it all started in July this year when a young man died after being poisoned by stale shawarma, this was followed by shops being shutdown after raids by the food inspection departments. The latest in the new is the fried worm meal that was served to a customer at KFC in Trivandrum. Here’s the [link] to the news reported in Hindustan Times.
IBN News Youtube [link]
Photo from India Times [link]
Now this looks great but if only this project gets done properly and on time. Looking at Kerala’s track records in public infrastructure it doesn’t look too promising but I’d be happy if at least on city in Kerala gets a proper mass transportation system.