When A Country Is Closed

Today was a lazy day.

We didn’t originally plan it as a “down day,” but as is my pattern, India held a strike today. This wasn’t just a specific museum being closed, or the metro being shut down – this was everything. Stores weren’t allowed to open, with some specific exceptions. And taxis weren’t permitted to run, although consideration was supposed to be made for tourists. Of course, they wouldn’t get very far because the gas stations, too were closed.

The nice thing, is it was an announced strike.

We learned about this when we first arrived in Kochi a few days ago. Our original plan had been to stay in Munnar until this morning, but when we learned of the shutdown we weren’t certain that we would be able to make it back from the mountains today. Because we have a flight tomorrow, we decided an early return would be best. The others were disappointed on my behalf, but I shrugged at it. These things happen when I travel.

So today with the world shut down, we stayed around the house and the neighborhood.

We walked down the street for a bit, under the relentless blaze of the unclouded sky. A few scooters motored by, but only rare cars.

We also stopped at the corner market, which was open and selling fruit. We bought bananas.

Later that evening we would mash the bananas with our fingertips, sprinkle them with ghee and sugar, and crush poppadoms over the top in an easy delicious dessert.

It was a lazy day. And it was great.

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