Friday, January 27, 2017

What Confused? the Skittles - Carver


We arrived in Kochi late at night after a flight. We wanted a SIM Card but we were told that we would have to wait a day. But SIM Cards most times don't work when we first get them. And we didn't want to have to go back to the airport to fix it (because less so than in KL, but still comparable, the airport is ridiculously far out of the city.) Also only Vodafone SIM Cards only work in all of India. Other ones only work in that state. So we had to get a Vodafone SIM Card. But in Fort Kochi, the main part of the old city, we couldn't get one because they all wanted a sponsor. We finally found one near the docks. But they said it would take a day. It turns out someone in the government has to check everyone. So that Confused? us. Also, someone didn't do their job in time because when it didn't work like it was supposed to and we went back, he said it would take another day.

The first night was Confusing? as well. We arrived with no SIM Card because we didn't want to get one at the airport. We were staying in a hotel. But when we arrived, we couldn't find it. We saw a big sign for it but we couldn't figure out how to get in. Our taxi driver we took from the airport was very nice. He helped us find it. Even when we found the entrance, no one was there. After the taxi driver made many calls, someone came down and checked us in. On the main floor, there was a dead roach. Admittedly, the lobby was open and had no door to the outside but our room also had one. Fortunately, we never had a problem with live roaches while we were there. That morning, we took an Uber to Fort Kochi because we didn't have cash we could spend (the ATM in the airport only gave 2000 Rupee (or Rs as you see written here) notes. That morning, we also found a bank that would give us small bills for our 2000s. Fort Kochi was where we had to pay cash upfront for the entire stay. But we did.

One day I am going to write a blog post about public transportation but first let me say a little bit about the public transport in India. Kochi has around 600,000 people and not even a single train line. It is building one (but has gone past a deadline and then past a new deadline.) Jaipur has 2.3 million people and only one Metro Line (again, they are building another but they haven't finished.) Fortunately, Delhi has 5 Metro Lines, a Loop Line, and an Airport Express Rail.

So Kochi only has buses and ferries. The ferries are easy but the buses are much more Confusing?. There is not a map of the bus routes and most of them have their final destinations written in Malayalam only (which is completely different from Malay, the language of Malaysia.)

Kumily was probably the easiest of everywhere. The Internet didn't reach the third floor and we had SIM Card problems. We were having problems with the SIM Card when we left Kochi but it was too late to deal with it there so we called Vodafone Help and we put on an exact amount of money that they told us to. Then it worked. That was another Confusing? thing. Probably, the person who sold it to us didn't pay some fee and so we had get exactly that to pay the fee. When we had tried with other amounts of money, it said it couldn't process.

We returned to Kochi and flew to Mumbai. Mumbai wasn't very hard either (except for the crazy Uber driver) but we were only there for one day.

Here in Jaipur we are having a hard time as well. We can't find grocery stores and we need them now (in Kumily we got breakfast and dinner and in Kochi, there is always stuff all around because we were in the main part of the city. We also weren't tired of always eating Indian food yet.) There are no malls and nothing feels American. The roads are loud from honking (or sounding your horn, as they would say.) On the back of many vehicles, it says "Sound Horn". This means to honk if passing (or overtaking, as they would say.) There are rarely sidewalks. One day we found a store called the Country Store full of imported products. So many American things were there. They were also horrible prices but I saw American things including Veggie Straws (my first time seeing them since the U.S.) and Pop-Tarts (also my first sight of them since we left.) They also had a good selection of cold cereal but we don't have bowls, spoons, or a refrigerator to store milk in. They also had Confused? Skittles. On the bag was written "Confused?" and then down lower on the bag "Skittles". They are apparently Skittles with colors that don't match the flavors. And the Skittles are Confused? because they are in India and India is Confusing?.

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