I knew it was a backpacker hotspot. I knew there’d be touts and tourists. But I went anyway, because some woman I spoke to for four minutes said there was a nice breeze. And, drenched in the thick heat of Cochin, a breeze sounded like the best thing in the world.
There was a breeze. There was also every type of person that I have, in general, spent my life avoiding.
There was a dress code. Everyone, everyone in Varkala wore harem pants. Everyone wore scarves, tie-dyed tops, sandals, string bikinis. Mandalas, peacocks, elephants, Buddha. Fuschia pink and neon green. Four-year-olds in beads and eighty-four year-olds in sarongs.
There were restaurants. Fish, pasta, chow mein, salad, ice cream, toast-butter-jam. Beer, wine, margaritas.
There were five-star hotels, Ayurvedic retreats, massage parlours, cooking classes.
There were beaches, volley ball nets, sun loungers, bright umbrellas.
There was anything and everything anyone could want, whether a retired businessman or a shoestring backpacker. And there was nothing to do but eat it, drink it, buy it, lie in it.
I hated it.
This wasn’t India. This was first-world exploitation of India. The better-off-than-Indians floating around in recycled saris and slurping out of coconuts, traipsing up temple steps with smartphones and prancing down the beach in string bikinis during puja.
And never smiling back.
Fuck Varkala. Lesson learned.
#Varkala #beach #wherenottogo #notmything #youcankeepit #foreignersinIndia #loveIndia