Weirdo and Cranky did something right! As usual, they tried to save 20 rupees of bus by hitchhiking out of Kochi to destination-unknown. The third dude that picked them up invited us to his home, as it happens quite often. Normally I get to hug all the wives and grandmas and daughters in the block while the two imbeciles finish their cup of tea. This time it was latish, the sun was getting close to the horizon. The dude and his wife went and invited us in their home for the night.
Now, the cooler part is that, just down the street from said home was a big euro-style church that’s quite famous around these parts. And it was festival time for the church-people. Oh yeah !
The processions were coming up from the beach, along one kilometre of a small street before reaching the church. First a team of boys with drums making way too much noise, then a team of girls carrying little golden things with banknotes under them and then came the elephants. That’s right!
I even got close to one of them.
When we reached the beach, it was sunset time. Really crowded place, with all the pilgrims taking a break and all. Weirdo striped to his bright red trunks and threw himself in the water, everyone staring. I couldn’t blame him, he seemed so happy. That’s when the sky flared up.
Once Weirdo had done his think, we sat some more until the fire had gone from the sky. Then we walked back to the church, dodging elephant poo on the road that were the size of pumpkins. And big ones too.
Back at the church, we found they had wired it with colorful light. It created a very non-meditative atmosphere.
We queued behind a procession to get in. There was a statue of the bleeding saint. Saint Sebastian, a martyr. Two priests on each side were picking up the offerings and throwing them to the feet of the saint-statue, where quite a pile of banknotes and golden thingies must have been accumulating. Some times a pilgrim handed a personal object to the priest. They quickly rubbed it on the saints statue and handed it back. It was really reminiscent of that time when a family of Hindu pilgrims had taken us around to see temples and people were queueing with offerings and money that the priest would pile up in a corner.
Then we went off to our host place so Weirdo and Cranky could help fix dinner and I brighten the atmosphere with some of my killerest smiles.
Dinner was good, according to the two gluttons. I couldn’t taste because it was too spicy. I had pinaple and banana which was awesome. And we slept very well too in the guest room.