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January 29th 2005
Published: January 29th 2005
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tea plantations galore!
I'm writing from Ooty which is a hill station in the state of Tamil Nadu located in Southern India. This place is touristy but its currently low season so I've only season a handful of westerners. The scenery is beautiful as there are tea plantations and eucalyptus trees in the surrounding areas. I ended up taking two tours which only cost me about $3cdn each and perhaps it was a good thing I didn't have high expectations on the tours. One of them had a guide who didn't speak english and the other tour started an hour late as we drove in circles to pick people up and then stopped back at the same place 10 minutes later to pick up other people. The second tour was amusing as it highlighted places used in Indian Bollywood movies. Hills and fields became the borders between India and Kashmir or India and Pakistan. I may have to watch a few when I get back home. The tours gave me a chance to talk with Indian couples as some were on their honeymoon. This one lady from Tamil Nadu had an arranged marriage and looked happy with it. She said that love marriages were

accepted but arranged ones seem to be the norm (matches based on education and level in society). Most women, I guess, get married when they are 21 and the men at 24 or older. She asked me when I was going to get married and I think she didn't understand when I told her I was uncertain (and I'm sure she was thinking... what kind of guy will marry a girl who runs off to India by herself to foolishly waste money by travelling).
My next entry will be from Delhi sometime after enduring a 44hr+ train ride from Coimbatore (a town near Ooty) to New Delhi. Weee....


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