Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Sometime last year, I had written about my trip to Pondicherry; about the whole tourism trap; about their love for white skin and plenty other things.
However, what I did not mention is that I would go back to that place again, when time permits.
And I did. Last weekend.
It's the same old place really. Some new restaurants have opened up. There seemed to be lesser people than last time (which was odd, cos this was a long weekend) and the sea looked lovely.
The trip to Pondy from Bangalore is kinda long, given the roads aren't really great. That
reminds me, do all roads leading from anywhere to Bangalore suck?
Take the ECR (the one that's from Chennai), it rocks! But wanna get out of Bangalore, fight the roads first.
I don't want to write pages of what I did there and I don't think very many people would be interested. My observations therefore, are in bullets.
* Patricia's guest house: All foreigners love her. She has guest houses spread all across the city and they are done up in a very quaint fashion, almost nice. We had stayed at one of them on our last trip. But now, greed has gotten the better of her. The rooms are expensive and the service is bad (actually whatever little service exists). I wouldn't recommend anyone to visit there unless she cleans up her act.
*Hotel Ajantha: The place we moved into after quitting Patricia's guest house. New, on the beach. The staff are very cordial and they have a nice pub attached.
Rooms are nice, clean and the airconditioning helps to get some sleep if you can't stand the heat.
Food is reasonable and average to taste. But you dont want to get stuck there and miss out the other joints around.
* Hotel Promenade: Owned by Hidesign. We didn't stay there but spent some time at their restaurant. It's nice. not expensive. You get good food. The decor is nice and as expected, lots of leather but classy.
*Rendevouz: No racism this time. The food was good. The ambience was as it was the last time. I think they have changed their staff as service was prompt.
*Madame Shanthe's: I am quite convinced that the house belonged to someone called Shanthi or Shantha in Pondicherry. But I guess a restaurant with the name Aunt Shantha/Shanthi wouldnt have been a great idea and given Pondy's relationship with the French, Madame Shanthe's was the obvious choice for a name.
The food is good but you may not get all that you want. They even run out of potatoes at times :)
On a serious note, they dont serve anything but beer, you will however get fresh juices there and the usual 'coke pepsi'.
We walked down Mission Street (shopping hub of Pondy) on a busy night. It's hard to believe that its a part of the quiet, peaceful Pondy we are used to. But I enjoyed it immensely. The kind of people you meet there are so completely different from what we are used to.
Our trip to Auroville was nice, though the sun was killing us. Unfortunately we missed the German Bakery. But the cafe inside the visitors' centre at Auroville was really nice. They have a store attached which sells some real neat stuff and they are affordable (couldnt resist the hats I bought)
One of our friend's Navin locked his car with the keys inside so we had a little adventure as Rajesh tried to break into the car (with instructions from the service station!)
We had lunch at Aubergine, which also happens to be one of my favourite food joints there. But somehow, my friends didnt like it there. I couldn'[t tell the difference.
Am back to work today; a little hungover from the trip, but happy. I wish diwali would come more often. :)