Heavily moustached and with a frown on his face, the Indian man read the text on the side of the bus. “29 nationalities” “30 bloggers” “Trip of a Lifetime” “#KeralaBlogExpress” and each country making a banner around the top – it’s a lot to take in at a glance.
From the window seat, I watched his eyes dart across the words with curiousity. His gaze eventually met mine and I gave a wave. A bright smile erupted on his face as he waved back. This has been my India so far.
I’ve quickly learned that Kerala is a fantastic introduction to India. Where I can imagine being overwhelmed by the sheer chaos of somewhere like Bombay, Kerala seems to hold the balance of having a lot of people but spread across the landscape.
I cannot describe how lucky I feel. I’ve met not just exceptional bloggers but Indian people too. I have never felt so at ease in a foreign country – sure you could put it down to the fact that we’re being very well looked after by Kerala Tourism – but I think it’s more than that.
We’ve been on houseboats, seen the locals’ daily life but with every place, there has been a smile (and an affectionate head wiggle).
For someone who can quite often be introverted, these simple gestures are amazingly calming. They say that Ireland is the home of a thousand welcomes but I reckon Keralites have friendliness on their birth certs.
I could write essays about the people. Men donning moustaches, women with gentle grace, children full of the joys of living. All of their smiles would brighten the darkest of places.