KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
The weather in Pondi has started to heat up, now that Pongal is over. Many festivals in India occur when there is a change of season, I guess this is really no different from home. We are now up to three showers-a-day; we plan to clear out of India before the four-showers-a day weather arrives.
The other day we purchased a birthday card for our daughter, Adia and then headed to the Post Office to mail it. I have not had the best experiences with the Indian postal service (?) in the past, but I found the Pondi office very efficient and the woman who sold me the stamps, very helpful. That was until it came time to stick the stamps on the envelope. When I tried licking the stamps, she told me that "the glue is outside". She spoke very quickly and I had to ask her to repeat her words again. I finally realized that the stamps had no glue on them and went to the front courtyard to find a rickety table with a bowl of gelatinous paste on it. I had to stick my finger into the paste (there were tons of other finger marks already there) and spread the glue on the stamps. Then when I tried to seal the envelope that came with the card, I found it had no glue either. Yuck! I hope that Adia appreciates that I didn't just send her an email for her birthday!
We are really enjoying having a mobile phone in India. Today we wanted to "recharge" the phone so that we could continue to make weekly calls to Anil's family, but found that we are hampered because we purchased the phone is Delhi and are only able to get the "specials" if we recharge it there. Anil called his brother Ajay and he is going to see if he can get it done there for us. You don't have to have the phone with you when you pay for the extra time. There have been so many occasions already when it has been handy to have a mobile but the best feature is our ability to speak to Anil's family on a weekly basis. This has been harder to achieve over the long years that he has lived in Canada.
One evening we stopped into Coffee.com - a little eating place on Mission Street that is mentioned in the Lonely Planet. We ordered the French Onion Soup on the menu and I have to say, it was the best I've ever tasted. We had to wait as the owner made it right from scratch - frying the onions first! It was a creamy soup, unlike any onion soup I've had before, but it did have the toasted bread on the top. The next day, we stopped in for a cafe latte and much to our surprise, one arrived with ANIL spelled on top - in foam. Mine had a smiley face! The owner remembered Anil's name from the evening before; she had asked for his name to write on the order. She apologized that she didn't know my name but promised that if we came again, she would write mine too. Sadly, we were leaving the next morning and couldn't come again.
I hope that I haven't been making you too hungry with all the photos of the great food we've been eating, but I had to take one of the Adyar Ananda Bhavan (A2B) MINI Meal that we have been having almost every day for lunch while in Pondicherry. I learned long ago from my good friend, Dilip Kembhavi, that the South Indians eat their meals as several courses of rice mixed with other dishes. At the A2B, they have designed their Mini Meals for people on the run, so the rice comes already mixed in three separate dishes - rice & rusam, rice and sambar and rice and curd (yoghurt). Add to this, papad, mushroom masala, potato and cauliflower, pickle and then a sweet for dessert. All of this wonderful food for only 1 CDN dollar. We usually finish off the meal with a glass of wonderful South Indian coffee. What more could anyone ever want.