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Farout Blog

Trip to India, Nov 09

2010-09-22 10:49:37

Just back from a time in India buying textiles and jewelry.  Visited the usual places -- Delhi and Jaipur.  But also managed some time in Kerala and managed to find some silk patchwork bedspreads and also patchwork pieces suitable for framing.

In Kerala I visited Fort Kochi, which is actually an island off the coast linked by bridges or ferries.  Things seen: The Chinese fishing nets, which were installed originally in the 15th century apparently.  They are attached to the shore with a kind of pulley system so that they are lowered naturally into the water but raised out by fishermen pulling on ropes.  The system is balanced by stone weights.  Quite a large net which is left in the water for a little time, a few minutes, and then lifted out.  The men collect the fish and return the net.  There are about six or so of these functioning.  Not many fish are caught each time but over the day the amount is still useful days fishing.  I imagine that in the past the fish were more abundant.  Also there is the oldest European church, where Vasco de Gama was buried -- although he has been removed to Lisbon since.  I found myself in a wedding when I walked into the church and was instantly treated as a special guest and asked to meet the bride and groom. Down the coast a loittle there are these amazingly tranquil backwaters, which are sometimes freshwater and sometimes salty.  Very tropical and lush.  You can take a boat trip in a punted boat -- lasts most of a day.  The trip includes seeing how spices grow and a traditional Kerala meal on banana leaves.  When the meal is over the remains are thrown into the water and suddenly there is a frenzy of fishes cleaning up!  Made me think of Piranas.