It all started on Thursday afternoon with clear skies and a bellyful of slices that had been served knowingly by Paul who worked beside his brother Ralph at Galleria Umberto inside Boston’s historic North End.

From there it was a veg meal and a cramped flight to Amsterdam and a numb transfer to a second plane that took us to Mumbai.  All sorts of white lies were told on the ground there prior to take off.  Something about four babies taking our seats. Babies turned out to be FAMs, undercover, and while the marshals did their thing, Lance sent us to Business, which made all the difference on the nine+ hours to Indya.

I’d researched digs and the rather splendid ITC Marauthya is no more than a mile from the airport.  Starwood points, and we were in bed and asleep soon.

Mumbai in a mental fog the next day, but sufficient consciousness, after a four mile run, to enjoy dosas for breakfast, a cold beer at the Leopold,  views of the Gateway to India, the Muslim accented Raj era train and police stations, and the tragic interior of the Taj motel now open since the bombings where photos of stars studded a long passage, including one of John & Yoko, looking beatific while barefoot.

Later that night, it was by far the best South Indian veg meal I’d ever eaten, what with beautful sambals, etc.  This is from Dakshin restaurant.

And now we find ourselves in the Fort area of Cochin at dawn: Birds squawking, few people awake, the prior night a wash due to exhaustion and stomach readjustments.  They say the Jews, the Dutch, the Arabs, and the Portuguese made dents here.  the evidence is there in the architecture.

Cocks crow.


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