...esp. for the non-Mallus
1. Thou shalt not deny the booze. There is no excuse to say no to alcohol. Not after the uncle offering you the booze bought five bottles of whiskey on his way back home from a bypass surgery.
2. Thou shalt diversify. No edible item at the table is 'the best'. The moment you start stuffing yourself with fried fish thinking it's the yummiest thing on the menu, you discover the chicken curry. But you might just be a kilo too late.
3. Thou shalt extrapolate. Even if you don't understand the language, you shall do your best to reconstruct a coherent sentence from the 2 words you understand out of every 30.
4. Thou shalt not try fancy, new-fangled technology devices. Mobile signals are weak and the GPS thingy does not even connect to a satellite. Shame on you for fiddling with that fancy phone.
5. Thou shalt never ever, EVER travel by sleeper class. Whether it's the noisy guys on the way to Kerala or the ribald Romeos on the way back, you don't want to have to show your macho moves to save the wife. Mainly because you don't have any.
6. Thou shalt not accept gifts heavier than 1 kg. You now have enough rice flour and bananas to adopt a pet monkey who likes appams. And if it weren't for coolies, you would have lost a shoulder.
7. Thou shalt lose weight BEFORE thou travel(eth?). Because 3 breakfasts and 2 lunches and a smorgasbord for dinner everyday will push you over the quintal.
8. Thou shalt believe in a higher presence. Not because there are a large number of places of worship per area, but because you have travelled on a road not wide enough for two cars at 80 KMPH and lived to tell the tale.
9. Thou shalt respect traditional dress. The mundu is not only airy, but also customizable from long to short at a single flick of the wrist.
10. Thou shalt not state preference of food under any condition. Else thou shalt have to eat thy preference till thou loosen thy mundu, regain thy weight, and manage to speak the two words to communicate that you are done.
But seriously, Kerala is a beautiful place to visit especially if you have relatives there like my wife does. Despite not understanding the language, I really look forward to going because of the copious alcohol, the delectable cuisine, the fresh air and the warm people. What more is there to life, really?