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2009 April 7

Dear Daily!

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Shveta Komra, Billy Farrell and Bob Morris at the at the grand opening of Vikram Chatwal's Dream Cochin Hotel in India Shveta Komra, Billy Farrell and Bob Morris at the at the grand opening of Vikram Chatwal's Dream Cochin Hotel in India
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(MUMBAI) Dear Daily,
I'm in India with nothing to do. Lakme Fashion Week just ended, and I'm merely moments from returning to the United States. Here's how my day passed:

10:30 a.m.: Receive a call from PR inviting me along for a day out and about.

10:45 a.m.: Bob Morris is waiting in the lobby wearing his bathing suit. A driver appears, and we head off for the Arabian Sea.

12:20 p.m.: We get to Cherai Beach and are torn between the water and the Kingfisher beer at a restaurant with a view.

12:30 p.m.: I choose beer.

1:30 p.m.: We decide to swim and find that the water is even warmer than the beer. I float 'cause I’m fat...and so is Bob.

2:30 p.m.:  Bob knows how to take a walk. There was stuff going on. We come upon ten men with sticks and chains who are chain-ganging to create a sea wall. After joining in to help move one VERY large rock, I remember why it's a good life to be a traveling party photographer.

3:15 p.m.: A local man invites us to stroll through his village to the famous backwaters, which we've heard so much about. We pass an amazing amount of hammer & sickle propaganda (The state of Kerela is communist). Further down the road we decide to hop a ferry that takes the locals across an estuary to their respective villages. The best 40 cents I ever spent.

5:45 p.m.: Back at the sea wall, Bob whips out his ukelele and amuses the children who gather around in full face make-up in anticipation for a festival taking place in town that night. The chain-gang is taking in the sunset. They've moved 50 boulders and feel good about it. This is how people live.

7:00 p.m.: ...And this is how we live. Wilson, our driver, takes us home. Extreme's "More Than Words" begs us to sing along in the minivan...distracting us from the some seriously troubling driving maneuvers.

8:30 p.m.: Again, Bob comes through. He spots a growing crowd of ornately dressed women holding candles in procession for a Hindu ceremony. We hop out and join in. Pictures happen.

10:00 p.m.: We arrive back at the hotel and are greeted by 14 lobby concierge hopefuls...another kind of ceremony.  I bid Uncle Bob goodnight and download today's pics. Nat Geo for an hour, then bed. Done.

BILLY FARRELL




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