Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Whoa, it's Kerala

Not only is Kerala the home of ayurvedic medicine; it is also the closest tropical holiday destination from the Middle East and can even provide a cure for dry skin. Believe it, my friend Prasanti and I are shining like stars in all our photos because of the humidity.

We are also treated like stars. Prasanti is a South African Indian beauty that can easily pass for a Bollywood actress and I have white skin. In India, the whiter your skin the more beautiful you are regardless of your features. Isn't it ironic how white people spend so much time and money on bronzing themselves while skin whitening treatments are all the rage in Asia?

Point is, apart from the fact that our tour operator takes care to make our holiday special, we also attract a lot of attention. It's not unusual for an Indian person to stop and stare as though they have never seen a human being before. Prasanti likes to call it 'visual abuse' and we take care to hide behind pashminas and big sunglasses whenever we feel uncomfortable. Celebrity style. Our taxi driver takes pride in watching over us like a bodyguard whenever we step out of the car to take photos or enjoy coconut water.

The humidity quickly gets rid of our make-up and with the monsoon rains high heels are out of the question in the mud. After an ayurvedic rejuvenation massage we can't be bothered about any of these pretentious things anymore. Instead of concerning ourselves with the fact that our faces become so shiny that the palm trees could reflect off it we concentrate on the rice paddies and the happy sound of the ducks.

Soon Kerala has us firmly enchanted. Whether it is the fresh air or some kind of magic spices in our curry, the charm of this area takes us by storm. Thunder and lightening and all.

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