Kochi to Mumbai, India
Day 185: Country #20.1
Having already leveraged the city’s transportation options, bus, metro, and ferry to see the city, I made an even more extremely efficient plan to visit museums along the way to the airport.
With my bag, I walked to the bus stop by the Chinese Fishing nets and got on, making sure to board the official orange one, which run on a set schedule, unlike the local ones that leave when full.
I waited anxiously as other tourists came and went; directed my locals to take the other buses. Oddly, two orange buses arrived at the same time, so I got on the first one to depart. The weather was a bit gloomy and wet so I was glad to be covered and dry most of the day. Sadly, many people had to walk about soaked. Umbrellas didn’t seem to be too popular.
As we crossed a bridge I noticed a bunch of red flags displaying yellow hammers and sickles and wondered what the communist were doing in the far edge of democratic India. Despite the heavy Chinese investments in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, neither of those countries were communist beachheads.
Before I could think about the communist situation too much further, we arrived at the Kerala Folklore Museum stop. I got off, walked a short distance to the building, locked my bag on a big bench, then entered the eclectic collection of folklore, artifacts, paintings, masks, and whatever else could be crammed into three floors.
I didn’t spend too long in the museum as I wanted to catch the next bus, else wait an extra half hour potentially in the rain. I gave myself a few extra minutes to walk around the neighborhood before hopping back on the bus, which then dropped me off right in front of the Museum of Kerala History, a moderate size multi-building building park
I walked through an exhibit of dolls wearing ethnic costumes, an art gallery, then to the main museum, but it was locked because there were no other visitors. Luckily, a lady runs up and opens the door then flips a few switches and begins a really cool show featuring a series of life size displays depicting scenes through Kerala history. The lady sat in front of a box and like a DJ, she manually switch lights on and off to guide me from display to display then played English audio explanations. I learned that Kerala has a home grown communist party which has governed the state for the vast majority of the time since Indian independence, and attributes the state’s general higher quality of life and wealth relative to other Indian states to this difference in government.
Again, timing worked out great since the show was based on my schedule, so I was able to catch the bus on time and make my way to the airport and fly to Mumbai. I opted to skip Goa despite it’s popularity among tourists because I was concerned about very slow land transportation between Goa’s beaches and villages.
Once I arrived in Mumbai, I headed to the local buses, which took me to the nearby Andheri train station, where I actually found a seat on the train since I was going against the local commute.
I ended up talking to someone on the train and went all the way to Churchgate, the last stop, so I had to go back a few stations, and found my hostel without much issue, albeit pretty late.
I realize my pictures were pretty bad today…
Bring a bike lock or something metal with enough length that you can loop around your bag and something else so you can secure your luggage whenever you take it. Do not bring a chain as that may get confiscated at the airport as a weapon (this happened to me twice so far on this trip).