Friday, December 30, 2011

Trivandrum is hot but reasonable

Right, so Trivandrum, or Thiruvananthapuram, the biggest city in Kerala. It is pretty clean and reasonable. There were some things to do, so we did them:
a zoo (you can tell it's an owl because it has a face like a dosa)

The famous Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple. This recently became the richest temple in the world, after they discovered secret underground rooms full of treasure a few months ago. We non-Hindus were not allowed in.

Also, a planetarium, a couple art museums, milkshakes named after Arabian cities, and movies. We saw Shahrukh Khan in and as "Don 2". It was exactly what we expected and hoped.

This may not sound particularly exciting, but Trivandrum has been the first city that's big enough to have these sorts of things to do, but not all full of people trying to take tourists' money. Besides trying to walk down the street (difficult anywhere in India), there has been a remarkably low amount of hassle. You might say the hassle has been very less.

Here is how reasonable Trivandrum is. I wanted to get a lightweight short-sleeved shirt for all the hot weather I'll be traveling through. I went to a Khadi (woven cotton) shop and found one on the rack. The salesman helped me find the right color and size. The prices were fixed, no haggling, and the shop had a 30% sale on everything. I wore it out of the shop, immediately ripped it on a trash can, then got it fixed by a kind tailor, who wouldn't even let me pay him.

On a train, wearing my new shirt. (The guys next to me were playing with my phone.)

I'll deal with all the perils of modernization (megamalls! Brahminization of tribal religions! face-whitening commercials!) later, and just say for now that Trivandrum was pretty nice.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dan! Good to catch a new blog.
    Nice shirt- and good thing, it will be hot in Australia and NZ.