Lost, but found: passport – thank you, Matthew, for running back with it.
Long, but worth it: the Dubai – Chennai leg of today’s trip, which included being bumped to Business class: Veuve Cliquot for breakfast and a massage chair that stretched out into a bed.
I’m in Mamallapuram, a sort of Indian Capitola-Tahoe City-Grand Marais (when it’s hot). Or, “…like the coast of Florida, only with more elephants.”
It’s on the Bay of Bengal, and best-known for the stone statues, still done (with electric “knives & chisels,” I noticed), and for its 5th-7thc. temples on the beach. I walked out to visit the Shore Temples, which Elizabeth and I had seen a few years ago, but not entered.
I was there with hordes of schoolgirls – those matching uniforms – and families in electric orange.
My driver, who decided to walk there with me, said all the orange was for the lotus. Somebody else said it was to show they were a family; still another person said… you get my drift: I’m back in India!
Consequently, the assault to the senses has begun: this hotel is on the main street, and horns replace turn signals outside the window of my 2nd floor room. The hotel seems full of agents and porters tripping wonderfully over themselves to help people like Maggie Smith and Judy Dench. DO TAKE 3 MINUTES to watch that clip, because it is iconic of the colors, the dust, the energy of India: it [all] teaches me something.
So, a few photos in this note from my hotel room, where the a.c. is going [more or less] strong, and where the Internet is doing similarly valiant, if spotty service.
As I was finishing this post, I looked up to see a 3-inch flying…?bee?beetle?…landing on a light fixture. Those of you who know me, know I do not do flying or scurrying critters. One of the men from downstairs helped me. Full disclosure: I stood 10 feet away, calling out, “What are you going to do? Where will it go? Shall I open the door?” The man wisely ignored me, swatted the thing onto the floor and out the door (bare-handed), and now I’m going in search of some re-vivifying seafood.
It’s good to be back.