A set of lungis
One of the main pastime in Kerala is to marvel at the way people mix colors and patterns. Particularly the working men, who are always pairing their shirts and lungis with what looks like infinite refinement to us Westerners.
The long skirt they wear is actually just a rectangle of fabric that they drape around their hips. I had to bring at least a few in case they might turn into clothes or cushions when I came home !
Three japa mala necklaces
Buying jewelry in India can be tricky because it might end up with you looking like a Bollywood runaway when you decide to wear it in Paris.
So when I saw those sandalwood necklaces in a small shop right next to the temple in Allepey I instantly felt good about them. This was only the beginning of our trip and those necklaces were going to make a lot of Indians curious, I was constantly asked where I got those and well, why. It turns out those particular japa mala were only for sale at this particular time of the year, and worn only by men for a specific religious holiday. Fortunately, they don’t puzzle people that much in Paris, it’s just the manageable amount of exoticism I guess…