Monday, January 8



Kanakunnu Palace, Trivandrum, 13:43


As always I got up and took Bruno for a walk. Irma did several loads of washing, so that we can store our India clothes here in our tin trunks when we leave.

Sreni arrived some time before 11:00 in a huge white car, and we set off for Trivandrum. We stopped first at Modern Book Centre because Irma wanted to buy coffee and cashew nuts from the shops nearby. Naa bought two more books by Cecelia Ahern and I finally found Staying OK which I have looked for (not very strenuously) for thirty years.

On the way Sreni had mentioned that the Trivandrum Flower Show starts today so we drove to Vasantholtsavam (its official title) at Kanakunnu Palace to have a look.

In tomorrow’s New Indian Express I will read that

The visitors have a chance to experience the the real forest through the miniature models complete with the flora and fauna of the particular places. Even the sound of the forest reverberates here.

The children as well as the sdults did not feel they were walking through an artificial forest.

This will puzzle me until I remember the little tent with plastic tigers where Naa took a series of selfies because the ridiculousness of it all amused her so much.

Vasantholtsavam turned out much, much bigger than we expected, and the “look” took about two and a half hours. Since it almost all took place in the open air, at the hottest time of day, we arrived at the exit with everyone on the verge of their own personal version of grumpiness.

At the exit we stand waiting for Sreni to appear from wherever he has parked the car. I notice a family outing and photograph it. Two couples have arrived on their motorbikes in the traditional Indian manner. The father drives, the mother rides side-saddle and the children sit on the handlebars, stand in front of the father, or get held in the mother’s arms.

Finally Sreni will arrive and we will go to Style Plus before finishing at Big Bazaar.

On the way home Irma will decide that we should stop at the Muffin House for some snacks. Steni will not know where to find it. Irma will give him the phone number, but he will get no answer.

Naa will find it on Google Maps and after several detours we will get there. We will find it closed and shuttered with huge piles of building materials in the courtyard. Some things change fast here, and some things never change.

At home we will all say goodbye to Sreni. A few minutes later Tangaray and Irma will leave to the local shop. Irma will decide to withdraw some money from the ATM for next year, and a complex and lengthy adventure will ensue.

Did she lose her money, or did she just attempt to exceed her daily limit? We will find out in Helsinki.