Things you would notice in Kerala
As a boy from southern India, I was always expecting Kerala to be similar to my home state of Andhra Pradesh. I chose Kerala to visit the beautiful destinations and I discovered a lot of things that I found out to be weird and my misconceptions about Kerala. Here are some of the things.
1. Communication is not a problem most of the time
Before I toured Kerala, I was taught it would be difficult to communicate with the local people as I hardly knew Malayalam. But to my surprise almost nine out of ten people from street vendors to priests in the temple, in Kerala can understand and talk English. Few of them can also speak Hindi but English is the primary language to communicate if you are a foreigner.
2. Foreigners and people of other religions are not allowed to enter most of the temples
Kerala is known for the unique architecture of its temple. The most shocking thing I discovered was that foreign nations and people of other religions are not allowed inside most of temple. Also few temples do not allow female visitors. There was a case when the whole temple was washed to purify it because there was a female visitor in it. And in some temples men have to remove their shirt and wear a sarong (known as lungi or pancha in a more formal way).
3. Not everything is cooked in coconut oil
It is a myth that most of the food in Kerala is cooked in coconut oil. There was no instance be it street food or food at a posh restaurant, where I came across food that was cooked in coconut oil. This is totally a false impression that tourists have about Kerala.
4. Hot water being served in restaurants with spices added to it
Do not be shocked when colored hot water would be served to you at a restaurant. The color comes from the spices that are added to the water and hot water is served because it improves digestion. If you do not like to drink hot water, you can always request for cool water being served to you. You need not worry about the hygiene of water because Kerala has the most purest water in India.
5. Kerala women are traditional and contemporary at the same time, and horny sometimes
One of the quality of Kerala women that attracted me the most was that, they were traditional and at the same time they had a contemporary thinking about life. Most of the women I came across always had a smile on their faces and always carried a little bit of humor with them. Also this nature of Kerala women makes them to be the most hospitable women in India. But the main thing I noticed about Kerala women is that they would turn you on with their smile.
6. Traveling by government or privately owned city buses might be a roller coaster ride
While traveling to Marine Drive Walkway in Kochi, I had to board a bus from my hotel. The buses were very old and I could hear the noise of the parts rippling under the effect of speed. The drivers drive the buses very fast on the heavily crowded roads, maybe because they have time limits, but a ride in bus would definitely be a roller coaster ride. Instead I would take a tuk tuk rather than a bus though they are more expensive.