Local Flavor: Protests, Posies, and Cotton Exposition
Bougainvillea on Arch in Park
I've been back in Trivandrum for exactly 4 days and we're taking off tomorrow for another 2 week swing, this time in the south of India. While here, I visited a cotton exhibition at the bottom of our hill, and I feel like I have really arrived in India, because even without the signs announcing which state each booth is from, I can tell the ikats of Orissa from the block prints of Rajasthan, the silks of Varanasi from the stitching of West Bengal. Second, there was yet another protest, this time from the Banker's Union. This state, Kerala, is famous for its communist leanings, and also for its overuse of the protest. I found the placards these bankers were carrying quite interesting, because all of them could have been carried by someone in the United States, save the one about the 5-day workweek. We don't have the saying of "banker's hours" for nothing. Finally, a walk through our park signaled that spring/summer is officially here, with the bougainvillea and other trees in full blossom. There is lots of humidity to help the blossoms along, and it promises to increase until the monsoon arrives. I checked to see exactly when we could expect some relief, and the monsoon arrived on June 2 last year. It's going to be a muggy, hot spring/summer. I guess we'll just have to spend more time at the beach.