What A Trip To Kerala, India Is Like
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What A Trip To Kerala, India Is Like

My experience with my own kind in motherland.

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What A Trip To Kerala, India Is Like
Kerala

Step out of the airport and get slapped in the face with the smell of piss mixed with airport. This sounds crazy but it smells like motherland. It’s been ten years since I’ve visited the motherland but I can still smell it to this day.

Step out of the plane and every hair on my head decides to explode outwards and I end up looking like Red Foo from LMFAO. My straightened and frizz free hair turns into a ball of greasy fluff. Humidity is the enemy.

Once I leave the airport, I find my grandpa and uncle waiting for my family and I, and we jump into the car with our 300 pounds of luggage. Half of this luggage consists “American food” and half of the food consists of basic and/or generic American candy that you can buy a huge bag of at Costco for five bucks. Step out of the airport and every single person stares you down. They all know your foreign. They all know you are American. I try not to make eye contact but it is the hardest thing. I feel like every ounce of my body is being judged. I feel my soul being stared through. YOU ARE AMERICAN AND NO ONE WILL LET YOU FORGET THAT. A little boy ran up to me one time and started to scream and point at me. “AMERICANS! AMERICANS!”. I will never forget that. I have never felt so American in my life. Someone literally pointed at me and screamed American. It was drilled in my mind where I am from a land where destroyed jeans are normal because in India they make fun of you.

Within five minutes of driving, I am scared for my life because of the wild driving. No lanes, bumpy dirt roads, and no traffic signals. Yet, I feel weirdly secure because these people are masters at driving in these conditions. I knock out in the car every time because of the time difference and jet lag from a 19 hour flight.

Three hours later, I reach home. Home is where my grandparents live, where my dad grew up. It is a small village called Thadiyoor. Right up the hill in front of the house, my great uncle and aunt have a home. This hill is flooded with rubber trees or as some call it, milk trees. It is a challenge yet an adventure climbing up this very small hill. I have seen snakes slither their way through small paths. Spiders the size of George Lopez’s head climb around the trees.

I wake up at 5am to the screeching of the pet rooster. He is not really a pet, but more of an emotional stability tool and eye candy for the hens. Our backyard is one huge ditch which is also a forest. In this ditch, we have a well where we get out water. There is a chicken coop where the rooster and hens reside. Waking up to a rooster at 5am is torture but it also ensures you are really in a foreign world. Weirdly enough, all old people in India seem to wake up extra early. My grandparents wake up before the rooster starts to scream. Once the rooster decides he wants to wake up the whole neighborhood, I hear my grandma talking to the chickens. When she talks, she is not actually talking. She actually clucks back at them which is the funniest thing to hear while laying on a hard cott bed at 5am.

Exactly at 9am every single day, I hear my grandma outside my door. She does not go one day without doing this. “You want milk?”, she asks. She asks if we want it, yet she still makes it even if I say no. It is a sin to not drink milk in the morning. Everyday, a girl brings a huge bottle of fresh cow’s milk to our house, and we pay her. We then use that milk for a range of necessities such as making butter, yogurt, and regular milk. We pasteurize the milk at home to make all of these things. My grandma magically makes Ghee(indian butter which is amazing) and yogurt.

Since I had no sort of technology, my only source of entertainment were dogs. We had different dogs every time we visited. My routine was: wake up, go play with dogs, lay in the AC, drink milk and eat breakfast, go play with dogs, lay in the AC, go play with dogs, each lunch, play with dogs, lay in AC, play with dogs, lay in AC, eat dinner, play with dogs, lay in AC, gather in family prayer for 2 hours because everyone decides to read a whole chapter of the Bible and my grandma prays for about an hour, then play with dogs, lay in AC, and fall asleep.

A few times a week, we go on adventures. Shopping is a big deal. There are massive department stores that hold all different types of Indian clothes to American clothes. Sari shopping is a serious thing. The service is A1. Someone assists you as you walk in and offers you masala chai or Tang. The whole place looks luxurious and it has a certain smell to it which I love. If you’re Indian, you know what Sari smells like. It is a long process because there are endless options of clothing. Someone behind a bar shows you all different types of a certain style and it takes forever. The American clothes are in an area where you can take it yourself. Let me tell you how behind the American fashion is there. The jeans are always acid washed for some reason and has the most unnecessary things on it, it gives me entertainment looking through the American clothes.

Once we finish shopping, we head out to eat. The food is always fresh and tasty, and there are no utensils. Hands are your utensils. A bowl of water and wipes are given to you after a meal. Indian ice cream is to die for. All the ingredients are fresh. Real cow’s milk, real cocoa beans/vanilla beans are used. Basic flavors like chocolate and vanilla taste delicious.

Something you would never see in America unless you are in San Francisco or Wicker Park is men holding hands. In India, it is normal for two straight men to hold hands. They even hold pinkies. This shows the cultural difference of manliness in India versus America. In America, most straight men view this as “gay”, however in India it is completely normal.

Homelessness in India Versus America is a massive difference. First off, there is a huge change in population. India has triple the amount of people in one space compared to America. Homelessness therefore is much more of a problem in India. You can really see a difference of who is homeless in India. Most homeless in India have physical deformities or have special needs. There are many who are missing limbs or other body parts. Many are blind,deaf, or both. It is a real change in scenery and it is very sad to see because it is common. In America it seems to be a racial divide, but in India it is a divide of people who are mentally unstable, paraplegic, those with special needs, and those who have physical deformities.

While traveling around, you see so many exotic things such as coffee and tea plantations, exotic animals, and exotic plants/landscaping. It is truly beautiful to be in India. I feel like I am living in a tropical farm. Coconut tree are in my front yard, cocoa plants in the backyard, and cows crossing the roads.

Once I get back home to America, the first thing I do is jump onto my bed. I can’t tell you how amazingly cloud-like and soft my bed is after laying on a cot for a month. However, nothing is the same anymore. I am hit with cold wind in my face and bipolar temperatures. Ice cream tastes fake now and I take AC for granted. My hair finally falls back in place but my big brown heart is left in India.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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