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South India - what's not to like?

Updated: Feb 11

(The fishing beach opposite our home)

I'm going to have to kick off with some first impressions to set the scene.

We arrived in Pondi (Puducherry) in Tamil Nadu, south east India (via Chennai) a few days ago.

(The streets of Chennai)

Of interest, it's a three hour taxi ride and with Uber, yes India has changed, we got here for just £30.

(Shack number 7 on Serenity Beach where Savita cooked us an amazing prawn curry in the humblest surroundings : £5 for us both)

Please think of this blog as a toasted open shit sandwich. Which, come to think of it, is actually a pretty good analogy for India.

(traffic in Chennai)

(Our beach)

(Incredible Dahl Puri on street food tour Chennai)

(Pure Vegitarian first stop on our street food tour Chennai)

(Soan Papdi - tasty candifloss - see fascinating YouTube I found on how to make it - suggest don't try at home! )

(Masala Chai - spiced sweet tea)

(The best Kesar Lassi in Chennai - diabetogenic sweet delicious saffron, cardamom, and yoghurt drink - drink stand Chennai )

What strikes you almost immediately about this sandwich, is the shit. There is no escaping the fact that it's often human shit. And that it's actually either just under the pavement, which is the more pleasant version, or it's visible in the open sewer.

A close second is the raw poverty. Asleep, or we wondered, actually dead, on the edge of a major road crossing, with legs hanging on the road, traffic swerving to avoid the legs. Another man, barely four foot tall, awake, with skeletally thin hands outstretched begging on the pavement outside a fine hotel. "Make no mistake, he's not poor this fellow, he has a prime spot here! They don't come cheap" Intones a passing Indian tour guide. Oh let me tell you, he's poor, and any thinner and he would stop being thin and swell up. Sack covered city slums with children sorting rubbish, right next to a gleaming 5g Vodaphone shop, neighboured by a multimillion pound development . Poverty smacks you in the face and the hot stench takes your breath away.

The salad in this particular sandwich is the litter. Bags ripped open, food waste strewn around the bin in the hot sun. A cow tethered to the bin, because that is a good source of food for the cow. A cow eating discarded human food starts doing human style poo's. Next to its bin. Then lies in it.

The sandwich is as mentioned, toasted of course, by the 30*c heat.

Under this stinking top layer lies the bread. Maybe the Paratha or roti would be the better description. This is the wonderful part of the sandwich. India is the food, the colour, the vibrancy, the noise and the smiling happy positive people.

But make no mistake what you first see is the top layer of the sandwich. We are here for five weeks, and have very little in the way of fixed plan. Our aim is to settle somewhere and see life here as best we can without the daily compulsion to move on to the next city or beach. To get accustomed to the top layer of the sandwich, and to find the very best bits of the paratha underneath.

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3 comentários

06 de fev.

Make sure you go vegetarian out there, you never know if they’ve had power cuts and the meat could have been kept in dodgy conditions. But keep the blogs coming and great pics 😎


David Price
David Price
06 de fev.

That's put me right off my Subway!

Room for at least two more motorcycles in that gap, I'm sure they appeared as soon as you stuck your head in.

I'm not going to bang on about this, but I can't tell you how much I wish we were there. I want to see it all, the most vicarious of travel you can muster. Send me a smell. xx


06 de fev.

Wonderful composition as always Mick but you are not selling to me!.. my bowels are churning reading along… enjoying the posts

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