Travels

By rowboat on the Alleppey canals

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Like the picture that makes up any motorized premises, we ride Isa and I on the moped with Joseph, who takes us to the point where the boat will pick us up, a shipyard where we see several boats in different phases of construction. After a few minutes, Mr. Rajeesh arrives, who will be the human engine of our boat.

The walk is made first by the largest canals, the river highways that we share with “ketuvalloms”, ferries and tourist boats. With the power of their engines, they reach us and advance with ease but we, at the indolent rhythm of Asia, glide smoothly enjoying every minute on the water, even when the monsoon fires with fury for a few moments.

Water sports, even when they are contemplative, end up whetting your appetite. We stop to eat in what should be the most popular restaurant next to the river among the “rowers”, as it is packed with Hindu tourists and, with the exception of three other western tourists, there are no more white faces. The food is served on a fake banana leaf, which is actually a kind of plastic paper. We opted for three huge prawns that look more like lobsters and a grilled fish that has an oval shape and that kill me if I remember the name. Apart from that, which we will share, we each ask for a vegetable curry. First they serve you the sauces, four in our case, some spicy, other refreshing, and then the rice. With your hands you take the curry, toss it into the rice and stir. And if you run out of any of the curries, the waiter is ready to serve you more. Eating with your hands is going against decades of education, from the earliest childhood, but I think food is savored more because, are not the hands, not the view, with what we really perceive what surrounds us?

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