The people that had told me that the south of India was completely different from the north were absolutely correct. In fact, I would go as far to say that you could draw a line in the middle of the nation and divide it into two countries — that is how widely different they are! The most noticeable differences were the terrain, the weather, the look and the attitude of the people, the language, and the food. Does that really leave anything else? I am obsessed with the tropics, so I was already in love with Kochi before really exploring it. If I see a palm tree, I am instantly smitten with the place.
Having just spent a week racing from one monument to another, I felt it was time to relax and enjoy my surroundings and for me the best way to do that was to spend the day at the beach. My friend Kristen and I hired a taxi to take us to Cherai Beach, which is about thirty-five kilometers away from Kochi. I had been told that Cherai Beach was different from other nearby beaches, as it is very clean with calm surf, making it ideal for swimming and sunbathing. Another bonus of going to Cherai Beach was the view during the drive.
Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted the photos I took during my time at the beach. While it was not the most beautiful one I had ever been to (though I did very much enjoy my time there), there were hundreds of Indian women swimming in the ocean with their saris and it made for some stunning photos that I wish I still had.
After several hours it was time for some lunch and we headed to the Lonely Planet and New York Times recommended restaurant in Fort Cochin called Tea Pot. They claimed to have the best dessert in all of India, which was named “Death by Chocolate.” Since my friend and I are both chocoholics there was no other choice than to eat there. Of course, it was no surprise that the only people in the restaurant were tourists. Overall it was a pleasant experience, however when in India, eat like the Indians do.
My back was starting to really hurt me from a week of sleeping in hard beds, so I decided to visit another Ayurvedic spa in hopes that a massage would help. When I went to make an appointment I was sad to discover that they were completely booked for the rest of the day. I then called to our hotel’s spa, which was a Western spa, and they did have an availability, although with a male massage therapist. Normally that would have not bothered me in the least bit, since I am a Medical Professional, but I had seen the Massage Therapist at breakfast time and there was something about him that gave me the creeps. Nonetheless, the pain I was experiencing won the battle over my intuition and I made the appointment.
The first five minutes of the massage were normal and I started to question just how good of an intuition I really had. Then the Massage Therapist started to get closer and closer to places that only a lover should be touching me and before I knew it he was touching me in those places. I asked him to stop and instead he asked me if I enjoyed it and why I was not making any noises. He continued to touch me inappropriately and it took everything in me to not kick this guy in the face. I quickly got off the table and started to dress. As he was walking out the door, angry that I had ended the “massage” early, he confessed to me that he would not be able to sleep that night, as he would be thinking about my body. I rushed back to my hotel room in order to take a shower and wash away the experience. Even though I felt violated, I was more upset that I did not follow my initial intuition — something I had worked hard on to develop as a female traveler.
I did not want this terrible experience to ruin my fondness for Kochi, thus my friend and I went to watch the sunset along the water. I am so delighted we did, because I was able to end the day with smile on my face.