April 30, 1978, Sat: |
On my way as early as 06:00 enjoying the cool and the sight of many girls sweeping their sidewalks with brooms moving the dirt to the center of the road, then washing and painting white symbols on the walk. I felt a little weak probably because of skipping too many meals. The only cars you see here are Ambassadors and Fiats. I walked past some temples and several stately but direly neglected buildings decorated with lions, I sketched the outline of some decorative roofs of some buildings reminding me of Batak houses in Indonesia. Noted that police wear shorts and some mytercap headware. I walked till 07:00, then stopped at a teashop to admire the agility of the servers pouring tea back and forth without spilling and to enjoy some fresh cakes.
|Next, I boarded a bus to Valiathura, the harbor and found a wide and long coarse white sand beach. The wave period was 10-12 seconds and there was slight tar pollution. Many fishing boats with sewn seams and several catamaroes, numerous reed shacks to store ropes, nets and other fishing gear. I took my last pictures of children and huts before getting to the scene of some 40 men (not Roman Catholics, who did not work to-day) pulling in a large seine net which took more than half an hour and yielded less than 5 kg fish! Nearby, people were taking their morning defecation in little pits along the waterline, washing off in the surf while crows were hovering nearby to take their turns at recycling.|
|One of the many church goers stopped me for a chat and referred to an employment agency in Erie, PA; over the next cup of tea, I was happy to be able to give him the name and address of my fellow director of LEMSC (Lake Erie Marine Science Center), Alex Thompson, Manager of the Erie Bayfront NATO. After that, I took the bus back to Trivandrum and walked once again the long Mahatma Gandhgi Blvd, arriving back at my hotel by 09:00. I took a shower, packed my luggage - leaving a second shirt behind and putting on long pants and sandals - and corrected my account which amounted to R 44 for 2 nights. Noticed that this hotel was owned by a lieutenant colonel who lived upstairs with his family. He ordered a taxi for me to the airport where I was to get the plane to Colombo at 11:30. Here it was unbelievably crowded and disorganized with one single man doing all the booking and checking of luggage. I had no problems with the customs, changed my remaining few rupiahs for $ 3 and wote up my diary in the cool lobby as late as 12:20...|
|This was also the end of my journal, which I had started in Kuwait on January 1m 1978 as record book # 7. A good time to contemplate and acount. I was happy to have visited at least part of India and to have enjoyed its charm, fragrance and friendliness, fruits and flowers. On the other hand, I was overloaded with impressions and ready to leave and get away from the strident poverty, overpopulation, fecal pollution and interminable bureaucracy. While worried about my increasingly poor memory, I was proud of my journal and found, indeed, that now (2006) after almost 40 years it was indispensable to refresh my memories and impressions. Unfortunately, my photographs were a bit of a disppointment. Anyhow, on to the next country, Sri Lanka, a.k.a. Taprobane, Ceylon, Serendip, orcetera|