September 18, 2018.If it weren’t for all the electronic equipment, entering the Trivandrum Airport would have been akin to stepping back into a simpler time, a more comfortable time. It was balmy hot but 30 degrees cooler than Dubai. The breeze was soft but yet springtime sweet even though Fall is approaching. We had to stop to finalize our e-visa which we had purchased online months ago. It was fast and simple. Luggage came and we were out the door.
We traveled to Dubai with friends. In India our friends and we joined a small tour of 14 other people. Some from the States, but most are from Canada. By 2:00 p.m. we were checked into the Taj Green Cove Resort in Trivandrum, India. It close to the lower tip of India, on the west coast on the Arabian Sea.
First impression: it felt a bit like Bali and a bit like Colombia to me. Lush green, an abundance of Palm Trees. Hot, muggy yet balmy and delightfully inviting. The multicolored building -- bright pink, turquoise, lime green, and drab white or beige -- were made of concrete block with flat roofs and stucco finishing. Litter -- plastic bottles, scraps of paper, miscellaneous junk -- everywhere. The stucco was stained by age, mold and mildew, or neglect. Ugly and beautiful in the same moment. Yet even the ugliness seemed to have a certain undefinable stature. As we bounced along on the bus from the airport to our hotel, I thought about how my first impressions of India were a mix of Bali and Colombia. It’s a mix of my past, of places I’ve been to and of places with which I am familiar, comfortable, and safe. I am begin this quest for “my safe place,” which is in the mix of the past, even in the seduction of the past, and it’s time to break free. So I will step beyond my safe place, but first I will acclimate here -- here in Trivandrum. From here, I don’t know but I realize that i am seeking a new kind of freedom. Freedom to become other than who I’ve been. Yes, this trip is going to be significant.
We arrived at Taj Green Cove Resort. Off the main road, along a short open road, we quickly came to the gates of an elegant resort. The sweeping wood floors and the lobby without walls, the local juice drinks as we waited to register, and the golf carts eager to escort us to our rooms, yes the resonance of Bali thrives everywhere here.
It’s a unwind and recover from jet lag day. However, having flown in for Dubai, it was just an unwind day in my ‘“safe place.” Down the cobblestone pathway we reached our room, a cozy cabin with a balcony looking out over the lush foliage that crowded the view.