Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On board, Logos Hope @ Kochi

At last I got on board a ship. A first in my life. The ship Logos Hope was anchored at wellingdon island in Kochi, and was open to public to view their book exhibition. A book exhibition, in a ship was a new experience, and they had a fairly (not exemplary) collection of books. Here are some pictures;


MV Logos Hope is operated by the German charitable organisation GBA Ships e.V. As the fourth ship operated by the organisation, she follows in the line of MV Logos, the wrecked hulk of which now sits on a rock shelf on the Chilean coast, MV Logos II which was retired in the fall of 2008 and which Logos Hope was designed to replace, and MV Doulos which was sold to a Singaporean interest in 2009.
Twice as big as any previous ship operated by the organisation, the ship was completely refitted over a period of 5 years. Logos Hope provides a better quality of life for crew as well as a wider range of activities for visitors and guests. The newly created Logos Hope Experience (which is situated on a deck that was installed into the original ferry’s car area) holds up to 800 visitors at any time, with capacity to host an additional 700 in the Hope Theatre and Logos Lounge. This publicly accessible deck offers visitors an introduction to the vessel and the organisation, a book fair featuring around 7,000 different titles, a visual presentation called the Journey of Life and the International Cafe.
The all volunteer crew and staff of 400 people, represent around 50 different countries. Unlike the crew during her original use as a car ferry, crew and staff normally join the organisation to live on board for two years.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chemmeen Ularthiyathu - a delicious local preparation of prawns

Chemeen (Prawns) Ularthiyathu is a local prawn preparation which is really delicious. The key ingredients are prawns, onion and coconut pieces cooked along with masala. Becuase of the proximity to the backwaters, we get enough good quality prawns at affordable rates throughout the year. This dish is available in some restaurants, and it is prepared in almost every house hold in the coastal Kerala. As we move from southern Kerala to Northern Kerala, the spice levels also increases. Before the invasion of the modern dishes, amount of sweating by the consumer of the food (due to spicy food) was considered as a measure of the quality of the food. More spicy means, better food - that was the norm. Since my Mother is from Trichur (central Kerala), she cooked very spicy food, where as my Mother in law (from southern Kerala) cooks food which is moderately spicy. In Trichur (dominated by Christians), most of the men and women had the habit of having a drink at the end of the day, and they liked spicy food along with alcohol. This could be a reason for the spiciness of food from central Kerala. Depending on your spice tolerance, be proactive to mention that to the cook, else you may not be able to enjoy the food.

Shopping at New VIC wood craft, Pattanakkad, On the way to Alleppey.

Shopping at Fab India, Ernakulam