Thursday, December 24
Leo Restaurant, 19:30
We got up early this morning into another bright, clear day. I got up earlier than the others and began thinking about what I intended to write this vacation. I intend to mail Jake a plan before we leave Kerala, as well as preparing the digital version of Community, Art and the State for processing in InDesign.
Anib popped in with a cake while we were eating breakfast: a big chocolate cake for Christmas. We added a large slice to the end of our breakfasts.
We spent the morning and early afternoon browsing and reading in the sun. We got red for the first time, although everyone had the sense to move into the shade before actually getting burned.
I started a novel by Anshok Banker; an Indian crime novel called Blood Red Sari. In some ways it reminded me strongly of Mark Timlin’s books. It moved fast; had short sentences; contained local colour in local slang, which it didn’t explain or translate; and dropped you into the story without much exposition, leaving you to find your own way. 100 pages in and I am liking it, and thinking about whether I can get the sequels before we leave.
Shortly after 17:00 we got our now-regular rickshaw to Hawah Beach where we met Åke as we walked to Leo. We walked past to say hello to Michael and Vincent at Jeevan’s where they gave us flower garlands.
Leo was almost empty and remained so the whole time we were there. The staff have almost all changed and the boy working the tandoori was being carefully instructed.
I have chosen a snapper and here it is. To my surprise it has no spices at all. The previous tandoori chef made everything very spicy or extremely spicy. This will taste like a fish from a very good fish and chip shop without the batter. It will be very nice but not what I was expecting.
Hari will join us for a chat and then Anu will turn up with Santa hats for us and a small cake. The rickshaw driver asked us to phone him when we wanted to go home (an indication of how few tourists there are this year) and so we will. We will be home before 21:00, ready for another slice of Anib’s cake.
Fifteen minutes after we are back at home with Bruno excited to see us, Uday will phone to see if we are on the beach and ready to meet for a drink. We will arrange to meet him tomorrow,