Friday, March 15
We both had a disturbed night’s sleep. Irma lay awake for several hours with various family matters refusing to lie down and remain quiet.
I woke up at one point, having dreamed that I had to review two books. The first Other People: tools or toys? explained in detail how to deal with everyone else in the world by dividing them into just two categories. It had chapters like Using tools properly and Throwing away unwanted toys. It had become a bestseller.
The second had proved more controversial. Children are edible: cookery tips for Extreme Living argued that one should view cooking and eating roadkill as the start of a journey into a new form of civilised living in which some tools will prove satisfyingly edible if cooked slowly.
Breakfast took little time and checking out took less. We left the tiger reserve just after 9:00.
We stopped soon afterwards at Flavours, a farmers’ shop, where Irma bought some local spices. I noticed a poster for Spicesandcrafts.com, a farmers’ shop near Venkara Temple, Thiruvallam, Trivandrum.
At 10:00 we stop at Green Valley spice garden, Kumily, where we take a thirty minute tour that lasts just over an hour. We spot a very large caterpillar making its way round a rubber tree. I watch it for some moments while the guide walks ahead with Irma.
We will pass through a string of small towns and villages, built alongside the main road. At 12:45 we will drive through Ranni, a large town that stands either side of a big river that has never recovered from the flooding and now sits almost empty.
At 13:30 we will have lunch at a restaurant in Pathanamthita where the menus and signs exist only in Malayalam. Even the name occurs only in Malayalam. Vinesh tells me that the name means “Pepper”, although it actually refers to a very particular kind of pepper that he cannot translate.
At 14:23 we will drive through Kottarakara, another large town. Naa and Irma will have a WhatsApp conversation, during which we will pull in for samosas.
At 15:08 we will notice an Indian Coffee House as we drive through Karette
At 15:39 we will spot another Coffee House and a 35 storey building as we speed through Kazhakuttom.
We will pass through Techno Park and then we will join the highway and head home.
Molly will pop in and Irma will phone Tangaraj who will arrive to take her to Divine Supermarket.
We will sit on the balcony in the evening, watching the eagles as the sun goes down, and drinking some of the beer that Anib has left in the fridge for us.