Banana plants are everywhere here from big plantations to scraps of waste ground to gardens, they even grow on the beach. The plant has a two year fruiting cycle then is usually chopped down or printed back hard but every part of the plant is used.
I've had a lovely day in Kovalam today. After breakfast outside on the terrace, I headed across the bay to post a card at the post office - I send a postcard every day to my granddaughters just in case they forget who I am. I number and date them all and they have fun seeing if they come in the right order and if any are missing. Sadly Kovalam is the only place where I can buy cards as they are not generally used in Tirunelveli, so I have to make sure I stock up with enough at the beginning of the trip.
From the post office I took the bus into Trivandrum - also known as Thiruvananthapuram - the state capital of Kerala. It is a big town very busy, dusty and hot but being one of the few white people around is fun as everybody wants to try out their English on you which is great but the stock questions can become a little wearing :
Hallo, how are you?
What is your name?
What is your country?
How do you like our weather?
What about the food?
I'm always polite but just sometimes wish I could ignore the questions.... just for wee while!! As a teacher though how could I refuse people who are taking the chance to put their learning into practice.
I went to Pothy's, there is one here as well as in Tirunelveli. It's a very elegant big store and if you Google it you'll be able to see what it is like. I also went into the market which is a complete contrast and for local people really. I had a good wander for an hour or so, but its over 40° so I was very happy to see that the bus at the bus-stand was one of the more expensive AC ones.
Nice to have a swim when I got back and I then had an attempt at getting as much as possible into my case. Weight is not a problem, there is a 30kg allowance, it's bulk. Looks good though so far, only a few things are still left out.
I had a chicken biryani tonight for dinner in the Kingfisher restaurant which was very tasty, hen am early night. I was woken at 2am by the sound of torrential rain, happy to be inside for that, I can tell you.