Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Pondicherry


Pondicherry was just our second stop in India after Chennai and I'll never forget the sound of our bus driver calling out for all the passengers to board the bus, yelling deeply a hundred times in a row with the same loud sing-song tone and that distinct India/British accent, "Pondy, Pondy, Pondy, Pondy, Pondy, Pondy, Pondy, Pondy, Pondy, Pondy"...you get the idea. 

I didn't realize it at the time, but Pondicherry is actually a super quiet town by India's standards. It is quite charming to tourists due to the large amount of French influence (both in food and architecture) in addition to the Sri Aurobindo ashram, one of the biggest in India. 

A cool story: Bradford and I actually stayed at one of the ashram's guesthouses, which was a neat experience. We had to remain super quiet and peaceful in the guesthouse. The rooms were simple (with rock-hard beds!) and the showers were cold, but the food at the canteen was amazing and super cheap! Every morning we would stuff ourselves with breakfast (hello, aloo paratha!). One day, my morning sickness got the best of me and I totally upchucked my entire pineapple juice upon returning to our room after eating. 

On our first night there, we were walking along the boardwalk by the beach and totally stumbled on this amazing parade of pink Ganesh statues! It was one of those moments that could not have been planned any better and I was struck with the weirdness and loveliness and madness that is India--it was perfect. The parade was so long, we didn't even stay til the end, but we did watch as they began to dip each giant statue in the ocean using a huge crane. I'm still not sure of the significance of that act, but we just rolled with it. 


This was just one of literally hundreds of Ganesh statues being paraded down the boardwalk, soon to be dipped in the ocean by a giant crane. I'm sure there's a religious reason for this, but mainly I think the Indians love to party.






The food in India is so fresh and delicious. The sight of giant carts filled with fresh produce like these limes, never got old to me.

{Cotton candy and a Gandhi statue after a rainstorm}