Friday January 4
Kochi Fort, Kochi, 18:30
Sreni collected us at 8:00 for what was advertised as a drive of almost six hours. After an hour we stopped for a Kerala breakfast at a restaurant called Al Saj, in Kazhakutton. The breakfast was served in smaal outdoor cabins, each of which held up to six people. We ate with our fingers. We had appam, which are slightly sticky half-globe pancake-esque things made from rice flour, served with chicken curry and vegetable curry, with a sweet chai tea and chappatis.
We arrived at Kochi seven and a bit hours later, and checked into the Hotel White Rose, in T. M. Mohammad Road, which was perfectly acceptable. It was clean and quiet with air conditioning and a working fridge in each room.
Then we drove to Jewtown to look at the oldest synagogue in India, which was closed because it was Friday. We spent a couple of hours dealing with the official traders, during which Irma bought some door knobs and an old wall plaque.
As we walked past a disused building we stopped to look at an exhibition that was part of the Biennale. The building had been taken over entirely for a show by, dedicated to, dissident Burmese artists, celebrating the role they played in the 8888 uprising.
The girls were desperately hungry so we walked to Café Crafters, where I had a Jewtown Club Sandwich, Irma had a chicken burger and the girls had fish fingers and chips.
Now we have driven to Kochi Fort, the island that houses the Chinese fishing nets that everyone photographs, including me. We are walking along a very large fish market where the stalls will cook the fish while you wait, and give you a takeaway meal. Interestingly, some of the stalls offer free wifi while you wait.
As I take my photograph a large cargo ship sails by. The exposure is so long that the boat dissolves into a streak of lights.
We will soon discover that our hotel is five minutes walk or less from the fishing nets, and also from the main venue for the Biennale. We will go to our rooms, get washed and fall asleep in seconds.