No doubt you want to hear all about our trip to Kochi (AKA Cochin) in southwest India. No sign of Columbus, but Vasco da Garma was buried there.
Good flights via Doha, on Qatar airways which deserves its excellent reputation. Breakfast omelettes at 30,000 ft in an (almost) double bed!
We stayed initially in a Hyatt on the waterfront. We watched snake boat racing from our room, and enjoyed a huge varieties of spicey dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fred was impressed and a little nervous.
The conference was impressive, thank you Dr Philip Augustine, seen here with family and his co-organizer. Happy to renuite with Jang Dilawari (my first trainee in 1974, in London) and work with superstar Nagi Reddy (Jang’s trainee and thus my “endoscopic grandson”). The quality of the presentations was excellent, a testament to the huge strides India has made in recent decades. Very different to those at the first meeting of the Indian Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, that I attended in 1978.
One of the sponsors bought more than 400 of my “Tunnel” books for me to sign.
Kochi is a thriving typical busy busy coloful noisy Indian city, but leavened by remnants of Dutch, Portuguese and British influnces from its long history, notably in old “Fort Kochi”. “Jew Town” has narrow streets previously jammed with spice sellers, and a synagogue which is more than 500 years old. The mechanical fishing devices arrived from China. I love fish markets, but this one was a little basic
Our host kindly arranged two side trips, which gave us a glimpse of rural India (although sometimes our eyes were closed as the traffic swarmed around us).
We went to a nice ecologically sensitive beach resort which felt like a safari camp (but without any animals) and to some magnificent waterfalls in the Ghats (mountains). Interesting meals on (plastic) banana leaves. Some needing a fire extinguisher!
Back home safely, but still virtually in India, watching the cricket world cup which their team is likely to win (now that England has ben eliminated, rather easily)
Feeling very lucky and blessed. All part of life’s rich tapestry ….