We only chose to stop in Mangalore to see some Diwali action. Kerala does not really celebrate this Hindu festival as the majority of people are Christians. So it was goodbye to Kerala and hello to Karnataka.
Mangalore city is a clean city, by Indian standards and the climate, due to its location near the sea is pleasant. James has booked us into a pretty swanky hotel, by our standards and we have been enjoying some of the finer things in life over the past two days. As there aren't many tourist sites to see as such we have been attempting to soak in the Diwali celebrations and frequenting the city centre for food and fun.
The Diwali festival is celebrated within the family environment so it was a shame that we couldn't join in with all of festivities. We did attempt a stay on couchsurfing but, as expected, the families who host are not available during this time; I suppose it is the equivalent of our Christmas. The only side of Diwali that we could enjoy (I use this word lightly) is the fireworks. I was expecting big fireworks that we enjoy on Guy Fawkes Night or the displays they have in West London for Diwali, we were disappointed! I should have learnt from my last trip to India there is nothing they like more than floor firecrackers. So we had to avoid crazy fireworks that were exploding on the main road, right outside our hotel, it sounded like a war zone! From the safety of our room we could watch safely but to be honest it was mainly just noise and smoke with a few nice fireworks going off in the distance! The fireworks weren't the only mental thing happening on Diwali night. A HUGE storm hit from the coast, the lightning was immense and on the news two teenage girls were injured when a flying sheet of metal hit their car.
During the day we went bowling and I got the score of my life. Apparently all I need to perform well at ten pin bowling is a huge group of Indians starting at me! It was so bizarre we started our game and within the first two goes we had a group of around 35 people gathered round the sides staring at us as if it was a professional competition. The show off in me stepped up to the plate and scored 134, my previous best is 100 but I probably average 65! We played two games with the crowd watching our every move and James won overall, and I nearly scored a turkey so we were both happy! The crowd dispersed as we handed back our broken bowling shoes and left to find some lunch.
It was a bit like a date weekend what with bowling and some room service in the evening so to top it off we went to the cinema. Not to watch Bollywood, which we will do in Mumbai but to watch a serious and emotional film called Captain Phillips, based on the true story of Somali Pirates. The film is good, I would recommend it but I would not recommend watching a serious film in India. The man next to me was on the phone, I asked him to please hang up or go out and he looked at me shocked! In moments when the film got a bit tense people were whooping and cheering and in some harrowing and sad moments they all burst out laughing at the most inappropriate times! It was weird, I think they are so used to Bollywood when the 'badies' are more like pantomime bad guys that they don't take anything seriously, and this film is based on real life events. No more serious films in India, just Bollywood or a comedy!