February 2014. That was my first time in Kerala and more so Alappuzha. The narrow winding roads seem to be a feature of the city. Fortunately I discovered that Kerala has beaches and boat houses which will forever be engraved in my mind. My Malayalee friend had booked this private water floating gadget a month in advance for one full day (bless his soul) and the rest was up to us to jump on to the boat with all the excitement of three-year olds. We were not worried a bit about the safety of the car because they were private parking spaces on the shores manned by different contracts. The driver would hold out a hand for each person to enter and asked politely that we take up position on the well laid look alike red velvet cushion filled bed situated in the center of the boat. You had options of resting on the bed, gazing into the water, sitting on the available chairs or meditate with all the calmness around. We took a round trip through the core backwater area, looking at the green water, over 100 bigger boats, women hitting the clothes on the stones located on the shores, duck farming, movement of smaller boats ridden by women and children. Since our boat did not have a kitchen, the driver recommended some of the best make shift restaurants for a meal. True to his word, the freshly caught fish and the big grained white rice Kerala is famous for was worth the stop over and filling. Some other local delicacies made out of rice powder and duck were available at a cheaper price. "Indeed...so many movies have been shot here" was on the driver's lips and am yet to see them since he wrote them down for me on a piece of paper. The natives seemed unbothered by tourists from Africa, America or Europe. Some would try once in a while to ask 'what country..what country.' The honeymooners could be seen stealing kisses on the shores and from their private boats. 5 pm, he made the trip to the docks indicating government regulations on anchoring before dark.
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