Before Pondicherry, the four of us decided to go for dinner on Brigade road at restaurant 24 Feet. The food was pretty good, but my eyes proved bigger than my stomach after ordering the biggest slice of cake ever and attempting to finish it! I almost ‘spiga’d’ ( vomited) straight after and never thought I’d be able to eat another bite! After a quick pack and seeing off Bekka and her boyfriend, we ‘ricked it in torrential rain and classic Bangalore traffic to Bangalore coach station
After a 9 hour semi sleeper coach, we arrived at the southern Indian coastal town of Pondicherry, affectionately referred to as Pondi. It was beautiful! the sun was beaming, the palm trees swayed deliciously in the breeze and the French facades of crumbling colonial building and wide shady avenues melted my bad mood like an ice cream in the sun.
We wandered around the French Quarter where old men in shorts cycled past on old fashioned bikes and the street names read Rue St Martin or Rue Marina and settled on Cafe des Artes for breakfast. Sat in wicker chairs, we ordered croissants, baguettes, waffles and eggs and for a moment, it was easy to forget you were actually in India!
We were quickly reminded though as it took longer than an hour and a half for our order to arrive. Stuart quipped that it was our own fault as we had chosen a French cafe in India- service would hardly be prompt when those two nationalities were combined. Luckily the food just about made up for it though.
In the afternoon, we went to a the famous elephant temple in Pondicherry’s French Quarter, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Ganesha, where visitors could be greeted by the resident elephant Lakshmi, who would bless you by tapping you on the head. I love elephants, and this one was so cute. Decorated with paint and anklets, Lakshmi was friendly and a must visit if you’re ever in Pondicherry. Other landmarks to visit included the Mahatma Gandhi monument, Rock beach and the shady botanical gardens.
That night, we went to The Sunrise Festival, an all night music festival organised by events management company Indivibe. We’d managed to get invites after meeting Dutch-American, but in his heart Indian, organiser Priyam Cornuit, at the fashion show we’d attended a couple of weeks before. The festival was at Ashok Beach Resort and it was the perfect remedy to the Bangalore Bores us interns had been experiencing of late. The festival was mainly EDM music, which is a massive scene in India. The line up featured some of the best DJ’s in the country and it was a really great night in a wonderful location -right on the beach. People were dancing till late on in the morning and it was so refreshing not to have to take off our dancing shoes at half 11 like in Bangalore.
The next day we went to Rendevous, a restaurant that served amazing seafood. Even Stuart, an ardent seafood fan was overfaced and couldn’t finish his seafood platter. The restaurant was really cool and combined the French and Portuguese infulences of the city in the decor and the cuisine. A must visit! They even played some Mauritian sega music there, so naturally I was a fan.
After that, I chose a deck chair and pretty much did not move all day. I watched the tide shuffle in and out in that relaxed way everything in Pondicherry seemed to exude. The palms swayed without a care in the world, the whisps of clouds floated contently by and the sun smiled on Pondicherry as we sleepily enjoyed some peace and quiet. There was even hammocks! Postcard perfect cannot even begin to describe it.
Pondicherry was the perfect French remedy to the past week and it left me feeling ready to go back to work with vigour. This time, it would only be me and Claire left in Banga. Jenny and Stuart were continuing their travels around Southern India.
In other news, I got the job! Sat after a long first day back at work, still a little tired from the overnight bus back from Pondicherry, I got an email from Ebury Publishing, imprint of Penguin-Random House Publishers, letting me know I was successful, and if I was to accept, they would like to offer me the job! ME! I still can’t believe it and have now read the email over and over more times than I care to admit.
My days in India are numbered, but there’s some exciting travel plans in store, so keep tuned.
Namaste for now
- A day exploring Pondicherry (of Life of Pi fame) (sianarulanantham.wordpress.com)
- Pondicherry (raxacollective.wordpress.com)
- Pondicherry: The Landmark of French Colonization history in India (travelattractions2.wordpress.com)
- Rhiannon in India: A Trip to the Beach (urtravelogues.wordpress.com)