February 15, 2011
Bolgatty Island, Cochin, India
Randal and I are really enjoying just wandering around the different parts of Cochin; sometimes on errands and sometimes just wandering. Tomorrow, we are off to Delhi, Old and New, Agra to see the Taj Mahal, and probably Rajasthan to maybe ride a camel and hopeful to Varanasi to see the Ganges. We have booked our flight to Delhi and a hotel for 4 nights. Then we’ll decide what to do. We’re going with Linda and Michael from the sailboat B’Sheret who are very seasoned travelers and, like us are happy spending as little as we have to for a hotel room. They have the same requirements: clean, a bathroom in the room, AC, WiFi. Linda managed to find us rooms for $33 per night that met all the requirements and has an electric kettle so we can make our morning tea. She also hunted down the airline tickets. We just have to show up. We’re leaving tomorrow morning from the marina at 9 am and should be in New Delhi by 5 pm. Our flight leaves at 11:20 am but we have one stop, I think in Mumbai. We’re taking our small ACER so hopefully I’ll be able to send photos but they will be in the form of attachments.
The paperwork is pretty much done for shipping DoraMac and we’ll leave Cochin the first week in March and head to the Maldives. It’s about 400 miles but we should have favorable winds and weather going in this direction.
Ernakulam is another one of the small areas that joined together to form Cochin. For the past several days we have been exploring the streets and alleyways just across the river from the marina. We have also been “way the heck on the other side” to visit the Big Airtel Service Center, 3 times. But the tuk tuks are cheap and it’s fun just to go for a ride.
Airtel Service Center
In India we needed cell phone SIM cards and an Indian SIM card for our 3G phone that we can use with our two larger computers. Our Netbook doesn’t have a cd drive and we don’t have a portable cd drive attachment for it yet so we couldn’t load the 3G phone software on it. We decided to buy a dongle that would hold a SIM card if that was possible. Many of the cruisers have bought a “use only in India” dongle, but since we had the phone we didn’t want to pay $45 US for something we’d use less than a month. Because we were still having questions about our 3G phone service we went off to visit different, larger Airtel Service Center and there discovered a dongle that would take SIM cards so could be used in other countries. Our first visit we bought the dongle. We decided to buy a second SIM card so we could use the dongle and the 3G phone and “not have to share.” But, though dongle purchasing doesn’t require showing your passport, SIM cards do, and also a small passport size photo to attach to the purchase forms they keep on file. Randal had a copy of the passport and a photo but they wanted to see his Indian visa also. We hadn’t realized that had also been required when we had bought SIM cards earlier. At that time Randal had his actual passport with the India visa affixed to one of the pages. I said we couldn’t be in India if we didn’t have a visa, but that was not acceptable. Our second visit we used the address on the receipt for the dongle, which funny enough is not the address for the Airtel Center, so we ended up on a small side road somewhere, we aren’t sure where, but had an interesting walk around. When we asked for directions from a Nokia Mobile shop they said the Airtel Center was closed on Sunday anyway. Our third visit was totally successful since we had the address we’d used the first time to find the place and we got the second SIM card as Randal had brought his passport and a small photo.
This was my only photo.
I wish I could rave about the library, but I can’t, EXCEPT, if I had brought a note from the marina, I very likely could have gotten a library card. I speak no Malayalam, the local language. No surprise there. But the head of the Ernakulam Public Library seemed to speak almost no English. So we really couldn’t communicate beyond the bit of information about the card and how I needed to go back downstairs to leave my backpack at the security desk. Randal and I had gone to look at travel guides to save ourselves 1000 rupee at a book store. But the guides in the Reference Area were quite old and falling to pieces. Another reminder of how fortunate we are in the USA.
I wanted to visit for another reason, S.R. Ranganathan, a name once learned in library school, not ever forgotten….
S. R. Ranganathan is considered to be the father of library science, documentation, and information science in India and is widely known throughout the rest of the world for his fundamental thinking in the field. Wikipedia
An ideology of librarianship was created by Shiyali Ramamrita (SR) Ranganathan in his classic The Five Laws of Library Science. He formulated objectives and principles for the organization of, access to, and use of library materials…….
Ranganathan’s five laws:
- Books are for use.
- Every reader, his book.
- Every book, its reader.
- Save the time of the reader.
- A library is a growing organism.
Ranganathan also writes about the importance of good catalogs, especially those with effective cross references. He advocates good marketing of library resources. He even suggests popularizing certain books as parts of edited series, so patrons learn that a book has "cousins" on other or related topics. In this way, Ranganathan suggested, new vistas are opened to users via books similar in style and approach to books they already know and like.
Do digital libraries violate the Third Law? By Michle V. Cloonan & John G. Dove — Library Journal, 04/01/2005
After our library visit we went off to lunch of Biryani Chicken and lots of little dishes of stuff to go with it. I’m not so much of a rice fan and ate much less of it in China and the Philippines than I am here in India, but it tastes so good and it’s one of the few dishes I actually know what it is.
“Biryani is usually cooked with a choice of meat or vegetables and rice flavored with a blend of aromatic spices. Usual accompaniments to this dish include Chutneys (generic reference to an Indian relish) and “Raita” – a creamy yoghurt side-dish that is the Indian version of a cold salad. Biryani is a hodgepodge of exotic spices and condiments. Cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, star anise, pepper, cumin, chili powder, turmeric, ghee (clarified butter), and saffron are some of the additions that give the biryani its distinct aroma, flavor and its signature yellowish tinge.
Ice Cream to cool off from the hot, spicy food.
One day our explorations started with lunch with Linda and Michael. After my chicken biryani, I was too full for ice cream of my own but helped Randal a bit with his. I thought it tasted good but Randal mentioned something later about wishing for a Dairy Queen. Linda’s was quite exotic and included noodles at the bottom reminding me of the Philippine halo halo that had beans in the mixture. Michael asked for the plain two scoop ice cream but wanted one each of vanilla and chocolate. What he got was two dishes of ice cream, one with two scoops of vanilla and one with two scoops of chocolate.
I knew from reading The God of Small Things that the Communist Party had supporters in India but this flag certainly caught my attention.
One of the tour boats is shaped like a giant goose.
Lots of different tour boats go past the marina several times each day. This one was parked in the spot across the river where the Bolgatty Ferry ties up. You can see it to the right of the goose. We had to climb out of our ferry and onto the goose and walk through and out onto the landing.
He asked me to take his photo so I obliged.
A “godown” is a warehouse but sounds more intriguing.
It was really dark inside and my flash automatically went off.
She is up in a huge glass box and the same stray dog sleeps at the foot of the monument every day.
I think these were bags of rice.
He was making these giant baskets.
We walked through the streets and alleys where fruit, vegetables, live chicken and hanging legs of some kind of meat are sold.
The more we explore the different parts of Cochin, the more we really like it.