A Travellerspoint blog

some thoughts



my boss is starting to grow on me.He is quiet, and he is a workaholic. I think he starts about 6 am everyday and leaves about 7 pm. he lives above the office(which is right across the hall from me) and I hear him go up and down through the evening until around 10 pm. Sudha,his secretary, runs the office and tells everyone what to do. Sometimes I am glad that I don't really understand Tamil. Our electricity goes out alot, but my computer is not working right now so I don't use alot of it anyway. The only time it really comes in handy is when I am trying to sleep and b/c the fan really helps me stay cool. I don't know if the humidity has attacked my computer along with the all the traveling. I am allowed to put my camera equipment in a locker with incandescent lighting and salt to keep it dry and safe.

Laundry is a funny thing. It is raining alot so the ammas (women who housekeep around the office) cannot really wash the clothes b/c there is nowhere for them to dry. I have been washing by hand in my sink, and hanging them on a line in my room but since the electricity is out ALOT the fan cannot dry them and the humidity keeps them wet. It's alot like south georgia except for the no electricity part and the no dryer part.

Auroville is interesting. It is very spread out, connected all by dirt roads mainly consisting of clay so everyone's feet and shoes are red. In the middle is the Matrimandir which is a meditation hall consisting of 12 rooms around the inner chamber which is all white and has a perfect crystal globe in the middle. it is illuminated by computer driven mirrors that follow the sun's path and concentrate the light beam down the middle of the Matrimandir's interior.
there is a man who works there who's wife cooks at the canteen behind the earth institute and boy can she cook.For 30 rupees you get some kinda of meat curry, (chicken or fish) dahl,(a soupy, lentil sauce which is my fav)curd,(yogurt which helps with the spiciness)two types of rice(usually tamarind and plain white) Ammam,(which is really my favorite, its crispy and very flavorful)and a cup of soupy spicy vege stuff for digestion. I eat there almost everyday but the food is so spicy that sometimes i have to take a break and eat elsewhere. Alot of people eat at the Solar Kitchen. It feeds on an average during tourist season about 1,000 meals a day. It is completely run off of a HUGE satellite-shaped dish on the roof that collects solar energy for the kitchen.The food is great here too.

So far I have:
1. Gone to an Italian homeopathic doctor which was $6.oo! the medicine tastes like sugar and i guess it has helped a little, but $6.00!
2.My favorite nut is the cashew.I have eaten alot of cashews from alot of different places but there is an organic cashew farm here and they have the best cashews I have EVER tasted,EVER. I just bought some to send to my dad.
3. The local Auroville grocery is called "Pour Tous". I bought some recycled toilet paper hmm.....
4. Got some pants hemmed for 15 rupees (44 rupees= 1.00)
5. Ate some more favorites,Fresh Samosas everyday at the Ganesh Bakery... 6 rupees each.

Posted by vallismith 02:54 Archived in India Comments (2)

Repos beach

kinda like the Golden Isles

So today, I am at the beach. To get here you have to get on the main highway. Haven't tried going all the way to Pondy yet on the scooter, getting to the beach has been adventure enuff for now. I got ran off the road by a HUGE truck(didn't fall, just skidded),got stuck,dodged massive mud lakes, potholes,people,taxis, bicycles, cows, motorbikes,goats,rickshaws,dogs,mud and mud. I made it and after about a week, i have become a pro. I will be tackling the very popular motorcycle next, all the older french ladies drive them to the grocery and back. I think i'll try it.

The beach is apart of the Auroville community and is really nice. It has a thatched roof cafe, guest houses(one which has A/C) toilets, changing rooms and guards so that you don't get harassed once you are there. On the way here i passed the cute indian boy's shop that i bought my beach shawl from yesterday. he kept saying that we were getting together today but i just waved at him when i passed by.WE don't necessarily have to do anything for one.AND he had on,pay attention, black,corded,acid- washed jeans that tapered at the bottom. he was barefoot so i wasn't forced to see what kind of shoes he was going to sport. I can't get passed those jeans, i'm shallow.I think he had them on today but I was going very fast on the scooter and only got a flash of his pant.

the beach is great. the french men have on mostly speedos, one european lady had on a make shift-thong(i refuse to elaborate) but the indians wading in the water fully-clothed makes up for it. The wind is blowing just enough to keep the flies at bay and the water is cool enough to be refreshing, but there is a very strong undertow, so i didn't swim out far. I saw some dogs, but no goats or cows. there are alot of guys surfing and i think everyone is out and about b/c it finally stopped raining for a minute. a german man just showed up and is trying to fly one of those huge " kite-surfer" kites. he directed it the wrong way and hit a group of indian boys on the beach. i am glad he's not actually trying to surf w/that thing.

Posted by vallismith 21:59 Comments (3)

during the 2 weeks...

(from my journal)before auroville

The sleeping pills really helped Benjie and I thru the airplane-taxi ride to "Hotel Bright". Benjie has already rearranged the furniture for our benefit and I might add that it looks lovely.Our bags have been put away in their cupboards but the fireplace doesn't seem to work, neither does the tv. The flourescent overheads were not my first choice,however they DO work and lend a certain jen a sais quo to our accomodations...

So we thought we were going to the gov't tourist bureau. the owner of "hotel not so bright" called a driver for us and he took us to some alley full of rickshaws and dawgs(later we found all the roads and alleys look like that)Naive me kept nodding(which kinda means "no", but not the stupid grin on my face) and saying "yeah,yeah,yeah, that sounds good" and "oh, what a beautiful family". Benjie finally elbowed me again for the thirtieth time in the past thirty hours and mouthed "SCAM,SCAM". I couldn't understand at first then the switch flipped on. I wasn't giving in to this con, lonely planet taught me better than this! anyway, we only got scammed out of some rupees for a driver for our first day in india. In a city of almost 14 million people, I was overwhelmed but Benjie kept elbowing me and by 1:30 I huffed at the driver, " I am hungry, no, i don't want to go to that other restaurant and i do NOT want to see the red fort today!"He did have air-conditioning and all but we were really on a wild goose chase to a bunch of random retail shacks.
"lil' lamb" even told us that he was getting fifty rupees if we stopped at this one place.
Later, i took a nap and then tried to go to some local bazaar but we didn't even make it 1/2 way there when some auto rickshaw driver who called his "taxi" the black helicoptor b/c all the other 999,000 taxis had yellow tops charmed us into going to another blessed store. ( i got some facial tincture) this rickshaw ride was one of the coolest things i have ever experienced. the sun had already set and we zoomed thru the city
streets entering different smells like rooms in a lively home. we saw a man get off his bike in front of us, pee off the sidewalk, hop back on and take off. only two cows, but they had huge horns,Christian Bale(an actor),women w/ babies blowing kisses, and knocking on the plastic window of the "auto",people playing frogger across the streets,Indira Gandhi's compound, my life flash before my eyes, our driver screaming" we're crazy", then I screamed "YEEEEE HAWWWWW!", Benjie covering his glasses and grabbing the three duvets he bought before they fast-pitched out of the doorless rickshaw and so much more! you too could all this if you would just come visit me!

Posted by vallismith 21:18 Archived in India Comments (1)

new delhi, first day


just getting acclimated. benjie started hating our room by the third day. so did I.

Posted by vallismith 22:52 Comments (0)

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