By Richard Hsu
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The People of God's Own Country

Friends of mine already know what I think about Kerala and its people, especially Kochi [Cochin]. Its the most beautiful place that I have ever visited. No wonder, someone came up with "God's own country" as a way to describe this green carpeted state. But its not only the land scape or the natural beauty that is nice about Kerala, its also the people here.

Keralites are mostly honest, civilised and nice people. This I state in comparison to people in Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Maharashtra and a few other states that I know a little bit about. This is an entirely personal opinion [as it always is].

Just last night, on the train from Chennai to Ernakulam [Cochin], the air conditioning in the coach I was in was not working and there was a married couple with a sweet little daughter and the poor child couldn't tolerate the heat in the air tight AC coach. My other co-passengers were also very uneasy but then, most of the people travelling were from Kerala [most were Malayalis] and so they showed patience and acknowledged the efforts the railway folks were making to fix the AC. I didn't hear any shouting or abuse, the kind that we can expect from a people from other parts of the country, especially my home state Bengal. I look 100% Chinese [read: foreigner] and in all my stay in Cochin, in hotels, while traveling in auto rickshaws, buying things from shops, I have never come across a person who tried to cheat me or fool me given that I am not a local. Trust me, I would know if they tried it. Contrast this to Chennai, Kolkata. Mumbai and other cities where railway stations are filled with touts and crooks.