The flight from Heathrow to Mumbai lasted around 10 hours, dinner consisted of our first Indian meal of the trip which was a mild mixed vegetable curry, chapatti, potato salad, chutney and yoghurt. Around 11am (Indian time) we began the descent into Mumbai, before even landing I witnessed the harsh reality of absolute poverty in India as we flew over the Mumbai slums. Reality hit that I was no longer in England.
As soon as we disembarked from the plane I felt my clothes stick to me as I was surrounded by the humid, sweaty heat. The transfer for our next flight to Cochin was simple and we arrived there at around 4:30pm… only one hour late. George (the director of Jananeethi) and Destin (our translator and also an Advocate) were there, they were both delighted to meet us and were very welcoming.
The journey to Thrissur where our apartment is located was about an hour. I was overwhelmed for the whole journey; looking out the window and taking in the beautiful green surroundings of Kerala and the recklessness of the roads! We stopped off for food en route; fried banana and Ghee roast – which is an Indian pancake made from rice batter and lentils - with yoghurt and a chutney sauce. It was tasty, but left me with a runny nose and fiery mouth! I also had my first experience of eating food with my right hand, only the right hand is used as the left hand is for going to the bathroom.
Before reaching our apartment I didnt have particuarly high expections as we were paying around £200 between the four of us for the month. However I was pleasantly surprised. We have two air-conditioned bedrooms, a kitchen, living/dining area and even an English TV. After unpacking I headed straight to bed after a tiring two days of travelling.