To call Nagercoil dusty is to say nothing at all. By the look of the first photo even the locals think that. One thing I realised after a month of travelling in southern India is that restaurants in this part of India are often called hotels. I also noticed that India is a moustache country, almost every man sports one.

Trivandrum (new name Thiruvananthapuram) on the other hand is much cleaner than some of the other places I visited in the south, and generally Kerala is one of the cleaner states of India, with no cows, goats or stray dogs roaming the streets. It reminded me of Colombo, in Sri Lanka but with pavements. Billboards on the town’s roads and streets advertised fitness centres, healthy lifestyle, jewellery and models with duck faces. The streets are full of restaurants of various levels of cosiness. One of the most prominent landmarks here, near both the railway station and the bus terminal, is the spiral shaped Indian Coffee House designed by Laurie Baker. Visually Trivandrum reminded me of some parts of Moscow in 90’s with its red buildings and soviet flags. It’s probably because the state is ruled by two centre-left and leftist parties, one of which is communist. Visitors to the city and state will see signs of unions everywhere. Whoever said that communism doesn’t work might want to check out Kerala.