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First Visit To Gold Souk Mall

I went int Gold Souk Mall or Gold Souk Grande as it is officially called for the very first time last evening. I never was a mall kinda guy until last year and that’s mainly for the movies and in some cases the awesome food that some restaurants have in these malls. But Lulu and Center Mall have been the only ones I go to. Gold Souk was one that I had seen from outside but never gone into.

So last evening I took an Uber ride to the mall and went in. The place looked like a dump! There are some shops open but most of the upper floors look deserted. There is a Subway, a KFC and a Chick King. Ofcourse they have Q cinemas but I am not sure how good they are. There are a few small shops and some food/beverage/ice cream stalls. On one part of the first floor they have a huge furniture sale happening and it blocks most of the way. You can’t miss the chairs, sofas and stuff. Not all of them look cheap though; I myself wanted to check out the computer chairs but they didn’t have any of the type that I was looking for.

I could see into the Subway and it looked big and nice but the first floor of the KFC, though clean, looked a bit rundown. I ordered some food from there to take back home and drank a cold shake while I waited. There is a Big Bazaar grocery store on the ground floor which is the reason for a lot of people to visit the mall and that with the three major fast food chains and the Q cinemas should be reason enough for a good crowd but the rest of the place make it seem dumpy and sad. Oh well, I might visit them once in a while.

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Cochin & Kerala Experiencing Heavy Rainfall

Annual monsoon rains arrived at the Kerala coast in southern India on Wednesday, a day later than forecast, a weather office source said, easing fears over farm and economic growth after two straight droughts hit rural income and agricultural output. The monsoon delivers nearly 70 percent of rains that India needs to water farms, and recharge reservoirs and aquifers. Nearly half of India’s farmlands, without any irrigation cover, depend on annual June-September rains to grow a number of crops.

After its April forecast of above average rains this year, the weather office on May 15 said the monsoon would arrive by June 7. Despite the slight delay, the monsoon would not set back crop sowing and rains are expected to make rapid progress after their arrival, India Meteorological Department chief Laxman Singh Rathore told Reuters last month. Farmers plant rice, cane, corn, cotton and oilseeds during the rainy months of June and July. Harvest starts from October. Of its 1.3 billion population, more than 60 percent of people in India depend on agriculture to eke out a living.

As monsoon set in over the city on Wednesday, there were reports of flooding from several areas. The heavy showers that the city received in the morning inundated M.G. Road, Banerji Road, Shanmugham Road and Broadway. Heavy flooding was reported from Providence Road (where I live), areas near KSRTC bus stand, Chakkaraparambu and Punchathodu. Complaints of inundation also reached the civic authorities from the P and T Colony near Karshaka Road.
Vehicular movement along the flooded roads was affected as rain battered the city. Pedestrians found it difficult to move along the flooded roads.

Yesterday and today, my day has has been filled with hiding indoors from the rain as it continues to lash on the city and fill the roads and side gutters with rainfall. It’s kinda cold (for us this is cold) yet it’s a huge respite from the terrible February-May that we have had with blazing heat and energy sapping humidity. Now, you don’t sweat and you stay mostly fresh (as long as you don’t get wet) but going out is a choice I have yet to make as I don’t want to get soaking wet in the rain. Hopefully things will calm down a bit and we get pleasant showers that keep things cool but not drown us.

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Providence Road

Street – One Word Prompt

I thought of writing a post about my street, Providence Road, the one I live on since even a lot of local people aren’t aware about it. I think the name Providence came from the small old age home care that is located near the entrance of the road from the main road (Banerjee Road in Kacheripady) which is also called Providence home for the elderly. at the entrance is a small hospital, not a really good one but for emergencies people who live in this area do go to it, as have I on a few occasions.

There is a nice hotel, called the Senate, with small business / corporate halls for meetings, buffet dinners, coffee shop and restaurant. There is a small, tiny shop near it, a pet supply store with fish and small aquariums, stationary stores, ice cream parlour, shoe store, an internet cafe or two (I think one closed down), a printing and press shop, DTP center, and some other smaller businesses on one section. A few houses too. There is also a small college on the same road as well as a law office and a bank’s small office branch and we reach a four way junction.

Beyond the four way junction we have more stores, a grocery store (not the kind you think of just a small hole in the wall), a large stationary/novelty etc etc store, a men’s clothing shop, a women’s clothing shop, a small photo studio, three tea shops and small restaurants, a panwala, a printing store, more houses, 3 apartment buildings, a wood work and carpentry store, a small soft drink store, an office building for a press company. Whew all that on a small road like ours.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Night Shots

This is what I see on my way back to my apartment late in the night after work. I currently work a 4:30 pm to 1:30 am shift at work and reach home at around 2:20 am. The company provides us with cabs so we don’t have to depend on our own transportation. As there is a little work going on in the gutters on the perpendicular road I get down at the junction and walk the few 100 feet or so to my building.

Night time in the city is a whole new world almost. When I get down there isn’t another soul in sight, no birds or animals to be seen or heard. Ok I have spotted a couple of bats and an owl or two on different nights. But it is very quiet and a little like in a dream state.

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Here are a couple of shots of the street on which I live. Providence Road, Cochin baby!

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The Monsoon So Far

If it’s autumn or winter where you live, what are you most looking forward to doing next summer? If it’s spring or summer where you are, what has been the highlight of the season so far for you?

Fuck summer. Kerala has no four seasons, it has just two. Monsoon and bloody hot summer. There is no spring and no fall and no winter of any kind. The only kind of cold we get is when it rains a lot and there’s a cold win blowing and because we aren’t used to that, we tend to heat our water to take a bath. Otherwise, we shiver when we shower.

So far the summer was crazy hot & humid. Nights were terrible because I couldn’t keep the windows open for fear of mosquitoes out for my blood. As much as I hate mosquito bites the worst is when they buzz in your ears or your nose! Disgusting creatures. Sweating all day if you are in the sun and they sweating while you sleep – ugh. And then the monsoon finally came!

So far I have been ill twice – I had to take two days off work in June due to asthma and cough, cold and slight fever and I have started off July with a sick day as well. I have this bad cold that is affecting me badly and the cold air-conditioned offices aren’t helping either when it’s raining a lot outside. Also, yesterday was a no-rain, hot and fucking humid night – it was tough to sleep when I was sweating between the sheets. And then this morning it rained at around 7 am for just a bit and it’s sunny outside after that. And now it looks cloudy and a bit humid. What a weather we are having!

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Things Are Getting Very Wet

Temperatures are dropping as the monsoon is finally here. Although not in full force as we expected it to be. But today has been somewhat pleasant, overcast but not humid and it was a lazy morning that I spent at home. The kind of morning, from 8:30 am till 12 pm that it best spent with lots of black coffee and videos upon videos on Youtube; just cooking vids and travel vids and people being silly. Perhaps a puppy or kitty clip or two.

Now, as I am leaving for the office at 5:15 pm (remember I work a 6:30pm – 3:30am shift) it is raining. And it’s a cool kinda rain which isn’t that heavy but with a cold breeze makes things much cooler. It is making me feel lazy and sleepy and I am glad that I am in the confines of this car and not travelling by bus or bike. With the construction of the metro and the road work going on, the roads will get muddy and messy and create a lot of work for your washing machine.

Sleep will be much better at night as it will no longer be hot, humid and sweaty. Saturday night was so but last night was much better. Monsoon is here!

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Lists For The Foodie In Kochi

Top five sandwich places / outlets in Kochi:

  • Cocoa Tree (MG Road & Panampilly Nagar)
  • Fort Cafe (now only in Center Mall)
  • Coffee Beans
  • Cafe Coffee Day
  • Chai Kofi

I can’t help but to put up the best sandwiches even if it is a large international chain!

Top five burger places / outlets in Kochi:

  • Burgeria
  • Cocoa Tree (MG Road & Pannampilly Nagar)
  • Coffee Beans
  • Chai Kofi
  • Food Marley
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Early Monsoon?

Looks like the monsoon might come in early this year. It has rained a couple of times earlier this month with heavy doses of thunder and lightening but that soon passes and it’s back to boiling hot sunny days and humidity beyond what you would ever want.

But yesterday evening and now this afternoon it looks like it’s more rain and looks like the monsoon is soon upon us. Usually it’s by the end of June but hey no one is complaining if we get lots of rain to cool us off. Last night was ok, almost pleasant night. Except for the fact that also insects will start coming in to take shelter from the rain. Ugh!

So how often does in rain where you live dear reader?

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Things I Will Never Understand About Kerala

I don’t understand it when coffeeshops over here put a music channel on mute on their big screen and play totally different music on their music system! What the hell, that does not make any sense at all.

A leading hair transplant, hair weave company has as their brand ambassador an actor wearing a wig. He is bald!

A hair styling salon in the city has art work of Justin Beiber, Jennifer Lopez and two white people I do not recognize. The owners know none of the 4 people on their hoarding sign, their name or who they are.

Small restaurants, bakeries that have images of delicious looking food on their boards, hoardings and outside wall – none of which they serve or even know how to make!

Picking names of cities, famous movies, events, personalities, musical events as the name/title of their business or establishment that have nothing in common with the actual product or service.

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It’s A Really Dark Late Afternoon

Looks like it’s gonna rain pretty heavily this evening. It’s been so hot and humid this past several weeks that some rain is quite welcome. Now, I know a brief shower just makes things worse and makes it more warm but good solid rains and monsoon winds cool things down here a lot. It rained a couple of times the last few days and I hope it picks up and we get an early monsoon season.

The nights could use some cooling down. Once I close the windows in order to keep the mosquitoes and various other insects away (yes even on the 7th floor we get flying insects) it starts getting a bit warm and on some nights it’s so hot and humid that my sheets stick my thighs due to the sweat. Like a friend once said to me on a particularly humid and sweaty March evening back in 2007 “How do people here have sex in this heat and being so sweaty?”

His joke withstanding I do understand the need for some cooling down. It’s gotten quite dark outside now and it’s not even 4pm! Guess that heavy rain is going to fall any minute now.