Monday, December 26, 2016



I could not always walk, many times I felt tired. My room was not close to the campus anyway. In the first semester of my Master Degree in Trivandrum, I stayed in an old hostel in the city while my campus was 12 km away, lucky to have a campus bus that I could hop in. I shifted to a house in an area named Karyavattom closer to the campus, in the second semester of my study. I rented a room with a bathroom attached. There are 5 rooms inside ‘Thanal- the name of the house, which in English means ‘shelter’. Malayalee- people of Kerala- usually give names for their houses. And it is with kitchen too, pretty spacious actually and clean. And near to a noisy temple.





Some months in Kerala are hotter although the green environment is everywhere. However, some other months are milder. And when the wind that flicks the hair has blown, that means the best months have arrived. I won’t need an umbrella at the end of the year when my favorite months in Kerala usually comes. The people in Trivandrum often use it, both women and men, in the rainy monsoon and in the hot summer. December is the best in Kerala since it is when the breeze from Arabian Sea kisses Kerala Coast. It has really made my days calm and relaxed.


They, my Kerala friends, mostly stayed in Men’s PG-postgraduate-Hostel. The hostel is inside the campus so it is easy for them to go to the campus, near. But when you were loaded with class schedule, exams, assignments in between, and your being away from your home country without your bike or car, walking was the only choice left. My limited amount of Rupees made it impossible for me to buy vehicle, unless I had saving account in USD, ha ha. I was thinking of buying a cycle but my local friend suggested me not to, considering the road is not cycle-friendly. But for me, buying one might be complicated too. So I cancelled it.

Varkala Beach- 40 minutes away only from my house.
 Sea breeze that kisses us on the cheek.


I could not take auto all the time. Auto is another name for tuk tuk in Kerala. In Indonesia, we call it Bajai. Kerala Auto is more spacious and can fit 3 people conveniently. The auto ‘chettans’ – chettan means  ‘brother or abang in Bahasa Indonesia’-  usually understand English, well at least they manage to follow you while shaking their heads- a gesture of agreement or saying yes. It is so Indian and unique and I still sometime do it spontaneously here in Indonesia- a strong culture will leave marks on you especially when you lived in a country like India for 2 years.

Busses are there actually and they are cheap too. But in the last semester of my post-graduate study, I lived in a flat with my local friend, Arun. His home is a bit inside down the road. It was surrounded by coconut trees and was across a big sport stadium- really cool and green! I had to go outside the road to reach the bus stop, it took time to walk. I burned lots of calories by walking, it was good anyway. I lost weight from 82 to 67 within 2 amazing years in Kerala.

In Kazhakuttam, around 1.5 km away from my house, there is an IT park where you can find lots of IT offices and techies. Nice big compound. Techies are people who work in IT sectors. The IT parks in Kazhakuttam is called Technopark and it has drawn techies from all over India- you can spot many Desi such as Punjabi, Sindhi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bihari, Northeastern, and South Indian too. Restaurants, shops, banks, money changer, hospitals, and traditional markets are in that area too, so I loved to go there.

Amidst the challenges I faced, there should be fun solution. In one fine afternoon, I sip my Chai - typical indian tea with milk- and munch Ulee Vada – it is almost like bakwan in Indonesia or a batter of wheat flour mixed with chopped onions and flavoured with masala, formed in a size of a cake then they are deep fried. While enjoying the chai, I spotted a man from a distance. Standing near the road, he was on Mundu- traditional Kerala Sarong. He sticks out his hand couple of times to bikes that passed by. And not very long, there was someone stopped to give him a lift. 

Many times, when I wanted to go to the campus and to eatery, I did the same thing like that man did. I did not feel embarrassed, some people looked at me. To my surprise, my first hitchhike was no need of long wait. A guy with a nice bike stopped. I went to the campus faster and for free. Small talk with him on a bike and found out that he is a techie from Calicut, North Kerala. That first time luck brought me to another sticking out thumbs.

Addy, my Indonesian friend on visit to Kerala.
I encouraged him to hitchhike to in Varkala and he loves it.
I stand near the road, stick out my hands with my thumbs up and throw an optimistic smile- a smile of hope to get a lift. Rub my head to tidy my hair. It is always amazing to know that one of them finally stopped and asked me where I wanted to go and until finally they offered me a lift -an Indonesian student whom they always thought as a Nepali, ha ha. But the truth is, it is quite easy to get a lift. Malayalee is nice people. They are friendly.

A lesson that I have learned in my campus in Trivandrum is then, not only about Political science or Socialist-Leftist thoughts like most people are inclined to in Kerala, and not only about Gandhian values either. It is about the simplest thing a human can do to others. It started when I saw the man near the road. It has touched and gave me the idea in the same time. A simple lesson from India- a lesson for being helpful and test your patience. Hitchhike.

With Arun who has consistently offered me a lift. He is actually my housemate- the best.
Two fellows at the back are from Couch Surfing.

12 comments:

  1. Your experience extraordinary bro, i'll wait part 2 🤗

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Anney, Thanks for waiting :-). Will finish it soon

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    2. Hi Anney, kumaha damang, check -check lagi postingan tulisan Kak Belly ya, ada yang baru lo heheh

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  2. Belly... it is so nice to read out these memoirs... :-) Hope you ar doing great... tc..

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    Replies
    1. Rajesh, Thank You for reading it. I am doing great and hope you are too, stay in touch Brotha

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  3. it gives me pleasure reading every piece of it kakak belly :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Kaka, it makes me want to write more, please keep reading my blog ya Ka :-)

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. I never hitchhike to a stranger before. Sure it must be a new experience for me. So the hitchhiker doesn't ask for anything in return ?

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    1. Hi Arief, thanks for your response. You could try. Based on my experience nothing they ask for in return, instead they offered me some snack. All i did was accompany them along the way, especially the driver needs someone to talk to heheh, (not shoulder to cry on ya...hahah)

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  6. Yang ini aman gak bang kalau buat cewek, haha.. gak recommended deh kayanya :D

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lila, terimakasih respondnya, Kalau mau coba HH mending di Indonesia dulu, kalau mau ikut komunitasnya juga ada lo....berani ga? hehe

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Hello, Nama Saya Belly Rahmon or Bellmon. Website ini adalah platform saya menyalurkan hobby menulis dan menjelajah minat saya dalam berbagai Hal. Im looking for a good trip to view and meet splendid places and fab people.

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