søndag den 17. september 2017

South Indian Reconnection

We thought we had a direct flight from Jodhpur til Bengaluru, but we quickly found out that it was stopping in Mumbai on the way down. And we had to stay in the plane while waiting for the new passengers to get boarded. So we sat there while they cleaned around us, haha.

We arrived quiet late and I found a cheap and good place to eat online. Our area seemed pretty rich so we were surprised when we very quickly found ourselves in a street with no white people and lots of authentic shops and restaurants. And this meal was one of the most authentic of the whole trip. It was a good feeling - until of course it wasn't. We woke up the next day feeling queezy. Which was perfect, since this was the day of the wedding...
We tried the fake it till you make it-strategy and went to Commercial Street to try and find a place where they could do henna mehandi on my hands. We couldn't locate any, but I found this gorgeous saree for a bargain instead. And when we got to the wedding, no one else was wearing mehandi, so I was pretty happy that I wasn't.

After shopping we went for lunch. Oh and this whole day was basically spent alongside the Australian guests Scott and Yolana. We got back to the hotel and I pretty much collapsed. Shaking, nausea, the works... And Mum wasn't far behind. So we decided to not go with the others and try and rest for a bit. We only went after sleeping a little - and probably also because we willed ourselves to go. When we got there the sisters helped me into my saree.

They all gave me such nice compliments and I loved finally wearing one after having seen Mum wear one so many times growing up.


The wedding was in session. Guests came, presents were given, rose petals were thrown, food was ingested, messages passed along, and nice meetings all around. Gweni was baffled to see that I had grown taller than her, Jothi couldn't believe her eyes when she saw me, and it was just nice to see some people we have history with again. We ended up staying longer than most other guests and we were absolutely done for when we drove back for the night.

The day after we met up for breakfast with the aussies before they headed out for the day. We really just wanted to rest in the hotel before our evening train, but the hotel was booked out. So we went to a nearby cafe instead and tried to stay as horizontal as possible.

 We found the platform and our cabin pretty easily and tried to nestle in.

And before we knew it we were in Thanjavur (after a restless, queezy night that is...) We slept for a few hours and then went to our old Indian home to meet Aisha and Abbas. I almost wanted to cry when Aisha aired out the chai for me.

They made us the biggest lunch that we sadly couldn't eat a lot of and we saw the house. It all seemed so small. I remember it all so big. But the waves of recognition definitely hit me seeing the terresse and the tiles of the bathroom and all these weird little details that I would have never guessed would matter so much.

In the afternoon my dad went out on his own while mum and I rested. He came back with guests though, the waiter from satas and his family who we also have a special connection with.

It was so weird to see how they had changed.

Before leaving Thanjavur, Jothi and John met us for lunch. We talked about the old days, which we hadn't been able to at the wedding since they were so busy. And we talked about the new days and how their and our lives have changed. It was so nice to catch up.

 And then we were on the road again. Another six hours to Pondicherry. We were all getting very tired of these long treks of transportation. India is a huge country, a tiny detail which we had somehow forgotten when planning this trip.
At least the views were nice.

Pondy was a welcome breath of more western air, and our sensitive stomachs liked this food better.

 We were almost too tired to walk around much though, and it took the fun out of the 1,5 days we spent there. I still felt pretty sick, and it was only because we knew there would be an elephant at the temple that I went out at night.
We spent the last dinner at an intimate restaurant with only five tables or so.

The final morning in India. I finally gave up on these sandals that had been through all of California and India with me..

And Mum and I snuck away to the beach to see Gandhi before our ride towards the airport came. This statue was one of the only things I remembered from India, so it was good to see it again.

 Surprisingly this one didn't seem smaller than I remembered.

We drove on, past salt reservoirs and colourful South Indian temples.

 And we made it to Pepitha and Mubarak's place. We had seem them briefly at the wedding, but it was so great to be able to have a proper sit down in their apartment. They had prepared a more western style lunch and we were grateful to load up on energy before our long flight home. We had some good laughs and heard about their plans for the future. It was such a nice way to end our stay in India.


The sun was setting over our time in India and we made our way home. I even got to see clouds being formed!

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