Day 104, Year 5: What A Difference A Day Makes
Date: Sunday, February 7, 2010
Weather: Sunny; Temps in the 80’s
Location: Bolgatty Hotel Anchorage, Cochin (Kochi), India

After bottoming out yesterday, everything today seemed to go just right. We ran the engine to charge the batteries and everything worked as it should. We ran water through the toilet that Mark patched up with 5200 and so far, no leaks. I battled with Mark’s computer for three hours trying to place an order with Amazon, but was continually taken offline. So we installed the new modem in my computer and it has been working beautifully. So the issue with the old and the new modems was not the modem or the wireless service at all, it was Mark’s computer. It works fine for navigation, but everything else will have to be done on my little IBM ThinkPad.

We made our second visit to the International Book Fair and bought five books for $30 US total. The price at the book fair is less than half of what it would be back in the US. Not bad. We bought a Southern India cookbook, a Wilbur Smith novel about South Africa, Ken Follett’s The Hammer of Eden, Richard Dawkins’ The Greatest Show on Earth outlining the evidence for evolution, and A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. After leaving the Book Fair, we walked to a restaurant that another cruiser had told us about. It is called the Saravana Bhavan. Nothing on the menu cost more than 50 rupees which is about $1.10 US. So for 151 rupees, or about $1.75 US total, Mark had Muttar Paneer Masala, I had Chanah Masala, we shared a wonderful lightly fried rice, had a side order of Naan, and shared a large bottle of cold water. And all of the food was wonderful. We kept watching these huge rolls of friend bread being served to others and asked what it was. It is called Masala Dosai and the next time we are in town for lunch or dinner, we will definitely try that. There were all sorts of little side dishes with the bread and we can’t wait to taste it.

Once I got over the frustration of spending the better part of three hours trying to place a book order with Amazon, I was able to do a lot of research online about travel in southern India. We’re hoping to do the waterway tour this week and the tea plantation and wildlife reserve next week. We have to wait until business hours in the UK tomorrow to get the information needed to send money for the compressor via PayPal. Once that order is placed, I think we will be able to relax and enjoy. At least let’s hope so.

So all things considered, it has been a good twenty-four hours beginning with the Kathakali performance last night. The high point of the day came at the very end when we connected with Heather, Jed, Sam, and Jonah for a Skype video call. Both boys are sick, but we got some great smiles out of Jonah and Sam pretended to be fishing for tuna and octopus and fed us right through the ethernet. Amazing. We then talked to my nephew Todd’s wife, Shelley, who just had Kyler Channing Martin on February 3. My brother Dickie and his wife Conda are the proud grandparents. Todd and Shelley have two little girls, and now a boy, so they are a very happy family. Our congratulations to the parents and grandparents.