Upon arrival: Remembered first impressions of India

My flight from Singapore to the Cochin International Airport was an hour late and I arrived after 11:00 pm. I gathered my checked baggage … oh, my, I can hear you saying, “You actually checked baggage?” Yes, for my six months to a year, I needed to take too many liquids over three ounces. So, I decided since I was checking one bag, I’d go ahead and check two. So I didn’t carry much onto the plane this time, which was really nice! I can now see why people check bags! Except of course, when you get on the other end and have to wait … and wait … and wait! But arrive they did, for which I was truly grateful. (You all know how bad my baggage karma is!).

My driver was waiting and even though I got into the car totally exhausted, I spent the time looking through the darkness getting glimpses of things along the roadways I had forgotten.

For example, I was reminded of the buildings with rows of small lights draped over them, similar to Christmas lights, but not limited just to December.

I saw people, including children, walking at this very late hour, very close to the road, their backs to the oncoming traffic, completely oblivious and totally unconcerned about the cars passing very close by.

I remembered the billboards, all different sizes and shapes; really large ones with faces of people looming out of the night sky. And smaller rectangular ones, all colorful with messages in interesting and beautifully written languages that I couldn’t even begin to grasp the meaning of. Signage here overwhelms the senses, blocks the views and hangs from fences, poles and even trees. The environment is colored by flowers, greenery and overwhelmed with signs vying for your attention! There’s certainly no such thing as Post no bills here.

Fairly organized signs

Fairly organized signs

I recalled a time in the US when many more billboards and signs dotted the landscape, grabbing your attention and clouding the beauty of the land. It made me realize how grateful I am to Lady Bird Johnson for her Beautification Campaign.

I got to the hotel after midnight and went to bed about 2:30 am. I didn’t wake until 1:00 pm and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked at the clock and it read 1300. So, it was a really good thing I came on the weekend.

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