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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 56: New Year's Eve

INDIA | Monday, 31 December 2007 | Views [1216]

Monday 31st December

After a good nights sleep, I made a few phone calls to see which hotels in Fort Cochin had free roos for the following two nights. I presumed that there would be more going on in terms of New Year celebrations in the old town of Fort Cochin than the more modern town of Ernakulam across the water. After a couple of failures, I spoke to a hotel manager with a free room, so got myself together to head over and sort it out.

In order to get from Ernakulam to Fort Cochin, you have to take a 15 minute ferry, sailing past the considerably large docks and cargo tankers that are stationed there. I found the guesthouse – Adam's Old Inn – and checked in before taking a walk about the town. After some food and spending some time getting my bearings, I went back to the Hotel Bharat where I had stayed the night before to pick up my stuff, bringing it over on the ferry yet again.

The ferry was packed with people, clearly a sig that things were getting busier for the night that was in it. Fort Cochin was full of people as I made my way through town to the guesthouse. It was particularly humid, so the walk through town with all my stuff on my back left me in serious need of a shower before heading out for the evening in search of the festivities.

I left the hotel at about 20.30, and as starving after a busy day, so returned to a restaurant I had passed earlier in the evening, out of ease more than anything else. It was pretty busy, hardly surprising given that it was New Year's Eve, but not chaotic. I ordered and expected a bit of a delay, but didn't anticipate that I would still be waiting for the food three quarters of an hour later. The waiter kept saying '5 minutes, 5 minutes!', but I had seen an English couple walk earlier, so knew that there would be problems. When they broought me the wrong food, I got up and walked out, fed up at the shabbiness of it all.

I found somewhere else for dinner, expecting very little in quality, as long as I got some food into me while it was 2007 then I would be happy. I wasn't disappointed on either front, with some crappy pasta at least filling me perhaps only an hour and a half before midnight. I was joined by a Swiss guy called Fabian who was also travelling alone in India. He was a nice guy and we had a good chat about our respective travels before going in search of the New Year celebrations. There was a lot of people and the usual noise (expect nothing else in India), with the crowd full of tourists but predominantly young Indian guys blowing horns and dancing.

The actual celebrations at the stroke of midnight were quite confused. Instead of the traditional countdown to call in the New Year, some sort of effigy was set alight to the cheers of the crowd, a time that coincided with midnight, but it wasn't definitive. Anyway, the crowded dispersed, people wished each other best wishes, fireworks were let off, and the dancing continued. Being a white person, I got extra attention from the India contingent, and I must have shaken the hands of about 100 people during the course of the evening. It was all very warm-hearted and friendly, but it seemed to peter out shortly after, so Fabian and I went for a lte drink. I had been a long enough and busy day, so I said goodbye to Fabian and crashed out about 02.00. 

Tags: Party time


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