Back in India

After a whirlwind tour of the Gulf airports – Khartoum to Abu Dhabi to Bahrain to Muscat and finally to Chennai – we are back in Pondicherry.  Our jet-lagged senses assaulted by the smell of urine, litter, and the incessent honking, we closed our eyes on the taxi ride from Chennai to Pondicherry only to find that the driver had taken the road to Villipuram.  We then had to get into a local taxi at the border of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, not far from the checkpoint where our driver realized that his permit to enter Pondicherry had expired.  A four and a half hour trip that should have taken two, with stops along the way for diesel fuel, coffee, and a near miss of an elephant on the road, and we got home around 11:30am.

Our rooftop abode was relatively unscathed by the non-stop rains that hit south India in the last month.  The walls of the room are still wet (there was some rain in the morning), a few items of bedding and clothing taken over by mold, and a musty smell on everything, but not the wholesale destruction that I feared.

An onion rava dosa at the Hotel Surguru and a pomegranate juice later, and things are beginning to feel normal.  The pandemonium on the streets will go back to seeming tame compared to the streets of Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad.  The incredibly cheap prices will entail endless haggling.  And the humidity in the air will become oppressive.  We are already wishing for one El Fasher day to dry everything out.

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