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Published: February 19th 2005
Bay of Bengal
From the rooftop of the Delhi House
We had an enjoyable two hour bus ride to Pondicherry. It was a bit better than the one to Mamallapuram, but this time we didn't have a seat for the first portion of the trip. Bean sat on the steps and I stood, both trying to hold on so the bus wouldn't sling us out the door. We had a very difficult time trying to find a hotel. After trying about 10 different places, I asked a woman passing by if she knew of any places to stay. It it turns out she is part of the Aurobindo Ashram and her brother, Promise, has provided us with very nice little room in one of the ashram's guesthouses. When I asked him how much the room would cost, he said that we could pay whatever we were able to. Isn't that great? Pondicherry is a very unusual place, due to it being a French designed colony. It has a completely different feel than the surrounding state of Tamil Nadu. It is clean, has very nice buildings, and actually has something that resembles traffic laws. Bean and I rented two bicycles and we are going to use them to explore the city and
the nearby town of Auroville. We visted the botanical gardens, where we took the "Joy Train" kid ride through the park. If anyone has read "Life of Pi", this is the town that Pi was from and the botanical gardens is where his zoo used to be. We also ate at the Indian Coffee House this morning, which is the place that Yann Martel first heard the story about Pi. And if you haven't read the book, you should; it is one of the best books I have come across (thanks Chad!). We spent the remainder of the day checking out a couple cathedrals, learning about Aurobindo, the Mother, the Ashram and Auroville. Check out www.auroville.org to learn about this interesting nation-unifying settlement down here ins southern India. It is quite interesting. The town was designed for 50,000 people to live together in a self sustainalbe township, without laws and much government. Tomorrow we will visit and find out what it is really all about. The ashram and the related people also fill up part of the city of Pondicherry and many are here because of the celebration of The Mother's (the brain and inspiration behind Auroville) birthday on Monday.
That is why we had such a hard time finding a room. So we are in for a big celebration Monday. Emily, I will try to get a picture of both of us up soon. E. red Love in India, to be continued...
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