It is entertaining to wake up, open the curtains, and see what new place we have arrived in. Sometimes we are far from the action, other times we are in the thick of it. When we opened the curtains in Mangalore, India we were greeted with – industry. Piles of coal. Steel mill. Cement factory. And of course any time you have piles of coal around – dust. Things looked rather grubby and beat down.
We had a tour booked – a short one. Usually when the tours in a big city are all short that means there is nowhere that the cruise line feels is acceptable to take us for lunch. In this heat we’re feeling that shorter is better, so we were good with a short visit.
Mangalore is a busy place. There were the usual vendors at the port, but once we were out and about very little obvious tourist infrastructure. The city looked better than the port.
Our first stop was a house from the English colonial period. Somehow the house has survived and has been lovingly restored and tended by the current family, who raised their family there. We had a chance to meet the owners and tour the house. It was very nice and very interesting. Especially the kitchen. When they bought it after the war there was a hearth and fire in the floor. Now it has all the mod cons. As you know Indian cuisine requires the preparation of many spices into blends. Someone has to grind grind grind with a mortar and pestle. This house had a mechanized version:
There’s a burr on the top – he is holding a coconut in place. Once the meat is ground out he puts it into the bottom portion where the coconut and spices are ground round and round and round into a paste.
Back on the bus and off to the fruit and vegetable market. We passed the fish market but our guide said we wouldn’t be stopping ‘Odour is very bad’. Hard to argue with that!
It was interesting to walk through the market – so many unfamiliar and interesting fruits and vegs. And so many kinds of bananas!
The souvenir sellers in India can be very aggressive. It is hard as a tourist to be in refusal mode most of the time. This was a tour where I felt like we met more of the naturally open, friendly, kind people of India. They knew we weren’t going to buy 25lbs of bananas and a durian fruit. They welcomed us, asked where we were from and tried to make connections. A good memory!